The Seattle Seahawks significantly restructured the defensive line this offseason, letting several players go either through free agency or by releasing them outright. In the case of defensive tackle Poona Ford, he stuck around as an available free agent through the NFL Draft, but Seattle obviously didn’t have much interest in re-signing him. Ford agreed to a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the AFC East champion Buffalo Bills, where he joins one of the league’s best defenses and perennial contenders.
At the time of his signing, it was reported that Ford had turned down more money elsewhere to go to Western New York. Aside from being familiar with the area—he has family in Buffalo—there is a football component to his decision. I don’t think anyone will be too surprised with his answer.
“The scheme on defense is really what made me come here,” he said (via The Buffalo News).
Seattle has been operating out of a 3-4 hybrid for a few seasons now, but in 2022 Ford’s snap count was reduced and he was essentially playing out of position as an end. Even Pete Carroll admitted as such at the end of last season.
Pete Carroll says Seahawks overused Poona Ford on the defensive line. He likes Ford over the center at nose tackle. They played him more outside as 3-technique and even 5-tech. "I think we wore him down."— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) January 16, 2023
Expect Ford back over the nose, among other changes to DL/run D in 2023
Well I guess Pete’s technically correct since he’ll be back in a 4-3 scheme in Buffalo, presumably as 1-tech.
“I’m picking it up pretty good,” Ford said about the Bills defensive playbook. “I know I’m going to have an opportunity to play all three downs. That excites me, especially the chance to get some third-down reps.”
Ford signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Texas back in 2018, and by 2019 he was a full-time starter on Seattle’s defensive interior. He accumulated 7.5 sacks and 28 tackles for loss in his Seahawks career.
Poona’s Buffalo teammates along the d-line include Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, Tim Settle, Greg Rousseau, Shaq Lawson, and the recently signed Leonard Floyd. Plenty of talent on that roster, which also means Poona’s gonna really be battling for playing time. Hopefully it works out for him because he was fun to root for while in Seattle.