Leonard Williams Trade: Seahawks Acquire DT From Giants

The Seattle Seahawks got in on the pre-deadline action on Monday, acquiring DT Leonard Williams from the New York Giants.

The Seattle Seahawks are pushing in their chips after taking over the division lead in the NFC West on Sunday.

Seattle is acquiring defensive tackle Leonard Williams from the New York Giants in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick, according to NFL Network.

Giants Trade DT Leonard Williams to Seahawks

The Seahawks’ Week 8 win — combined with the San Francisco 49ers’ third straight loss — propelled Seattle into first place in the NFC West. Now, they’re keeping a strength a strength by adding Williams to their already talented defense.

Williams will join a Seahawks front seven that includes Dre’Mont Jones, Jarran Reed, and Mario Edwards on the interior and Boye Mafe, Darrell Taylor, Derrick Hall, and old friend Frank Clark on the edge. Seattle recently lost outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu to a season-ending pectoral injury.

The Seahawks already rank fifth in pass-rush win rate and have the NFL’s fourth-best success rate against opposing running games. Williams — who has 1.5 sacks, 22 pressure, and five QB hits this season and has always been an outstanding run defender — could help Seattle get even better in both areas.

Williams will likely be relatively cheap for the Seahawks. While he has more than $10 million remaining on his contract in 2023, the Giants plan to rework Williams’ deal before making the trade official, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

New York will take on most of that total, as ESPN’s Jordan Rannan reported. The club will likely convert the majority of Williams’ remaining base salary into a signing bonus, which the Giants will pay before sending the 29-year-old to the Pacific Northwest.

That contractual manipulation may help explain why Giants general manager Joe Schoen was able to get so much in return for Williams. Other veterans — like CB J.C. Jackson and EDGE Randy Gregory — were traded for late-round pick swaps.

Even dealing safety Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles only netted the Tennessee Titans a fifth, a sixth, and fellow DB Terrell Edmunds.

What Else Do the Seahawks Need at the Deadline?

Adding more pass-rushing talent in the wake of Nwosu’s injury was always going to be the top priority for the Seahawks. By acquiring Williams and signing Clark, Seattle has largely filled that void.

The Seahawks have been extremely banged up all along their offensive line. Every member of their front five has missed at least some time with an injury. While it’s difficult to find OL depth at the trade deadline, GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll will surely be scouring the market before 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Seattle is mostly set everywhere else. They’re already loaded with offensive playmakers, solid at linebacker, and beyond deep in the secondary.

Will the Giants Make Any More Trades?

The Giants had been quietly shopping Williams for weeks, per NFLN, and the Seahawks weren’t the only suitor. Given New York’s 2-6 record, the Williams trade probably won’t be the club’s final move before the NFL’s Oct. 31 trade deadline.

New York won’t trade RB Saquon Barkley, but WR Parris Campbell has been buried on the club’s depth chart and is known to be available. Still, Big Blue might find it challenging to find a team willing to execute even a late-round pick swap for Campbell, who’s managed just 85 yards this season.

On defense, the Giants could be willing to move defensive backs like Adoree’ Jackson or Xavier McKinney, who are scheduled to reach free agency in 2024. Jackson probably isn’t part of New York’s long-term plans; McKinney, still only 24, might be.

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