Former Bills LB Bolts for Seahawks After Career-Best Season

Tyrel Dodson

Getty Former Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson at FedExField on September 24, 2023.

The Seattle Seahawks finally made a move to fill the linebackers room on Thursday, March 14.

Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz broke the news that Seattle was signing former Buffalo Bills veteran Tyrel Dodson.

Dodson, who first signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2019, didn’t play his rookie season. Over the next three years, he was used primarily as a backup. However, he showed flashes of potential starting in place of an injured Tremaine Edmunds during the 2022 NFL season. The Texas A&M alum participated in 100% of the snaps for the first time in his career in Week 11, recording 13 total tackles during the Bills’ 31-23 win.

During the 2023 NFL season, Dodson got his chance to be full-time starter after linebacker Matt Milano went down. In 17 games and 10 starts, he recorded 74 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 passes defensed, and 1 forced fumble.

Schultz noted how the Seahawks “have been scanning the market for a young backer. In Tyrel Dodson, Seattle gets an ascending player known as a very sound tackler and super high IQ player.”

SI’s Corbin K. Smith wrote of the 6-foot, 237-pounder, “Dodson graded out as one of Pro Football Focus’ three best linebackers in 2023, finishing with an elite 86.8 coverage grade that ranked ahead of Ravens All-Pro defender Roquan Smith.

“Along with a fantastic 10.6 percent run stop rate that ranked in the top 10 for linebackers, he produced 11 pressures and 2.5 sacks on just 41 blitz opportunities as well, posting a gaudy 26.8% pressure rate when sent as an extra rusher by the Bills.”

Tyrel Dodson Reunites With Former Bills Coach Leslie Frazier in Seattle

The Seahawks are undergoing a major transformation under new head coach Mike Macdonald. While Seattle was linked to several defensive players from Macdonald’s former team, the Baltimore Ravens, none of the rumored reports came to fruition.

With Dodson’s signing, the 25-year-old reunites with Leslie Frazier, who was hired as the Seahawks new assistant head coach. The 64-year-old spent six years as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, and assistant head coach for three seasons.

While Frazier took a sabbatical in 2023, he didn’t exactly take the year off. Working as an analyst for the NFL Network and 33rd Team throughout the season, he remained connected to the game. In fact, Frazier said leaving Buffalo helped him grow.

“It’s forced me to broaden my horizons a little bit,” Frazier told CBS Sports. “Looking at the league from a global standpoint as opposed to just a team that I’m on and just the opponent that we’re getting prepared for. It’s forced me to see the league in its entirety and it’s helped me to get more involved in some of the angles that allow you to win.”

Both Jordyn Brooks and Bobby Wagner Left Seattle in Free Agency

After both Jordyn Brooks and Bobby Wagner left in free agency, general manager John Schneider needed to add a new linebacker.

While Schneider called retaining Brooks a “priority,” he went on to sign a three-year, $26.25 million contract with the Miami Dolphins.

Wagner’s departure, however, was expected. The 33-year-old, nine-time Pro Bowler signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal with Washington Commanders.

As for the Bills, Milano should be ready to go when the 2024 NFL season starts. They also signed former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nicholas Morrow. The financial terms were not immediately revealed.

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