A recent Seattle Seahawks starter is signing with a Super Bowl contender.
“The Bills have added a key contributor to the middle of the team’s defensive line, signing defensive tackle Poona Ford to a one-year deal, the team announced Tuesday,” said Getzenberg.
Poona Ford Spent Past Four Seasons as Seahawks Starter
Ford spent five seasons with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, emerging as a starter during the 2019 season. During the 2022 season, Ford notched a career-high three sacks while also contributing 35 tackles and seven quarterback hits.
Just prior to his signing with the Bills, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had actually expressed hope that Seattle could re-sign Ford. The comments came shortly after the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft.
After hinting at wanting both defensive tackle Al Woods back, Carroll also expressed hope that the Seahawks could also bring back Ford.
Via Gregg Bell of The News Tribune:
“Love ‘Poo,’ too. He’s one are our guys, so we’d love to see those guys come back,” Carroll said.
Ford most recently played the past two years under a $12.3 million deal. The Seahawks cut Woods this offseason after he was due to earn $5.42 million — the 10th-highest cap figure on the team — in 2023.
As Bell notes in his column, the Seahawks both defensive tackles back — at their price.
“So, yeah, the Seahawks could use Woods, at their price, though, not his,” writes Bell. “Same with Ford. He became a popular mainstay for five seasons after signing with Seattle as an undrafted free agent nose tackle in 2018.”
Poona Ford Had Worst Season Last Year After Seahawks’ 3-4 Defensive Shift
As the Seahawks transitioned to a 3-4 defensive alignment during the 2022 season, Ford found himself playing more of a three-technique and defensive end role rather than as a true defensive tackle.
“Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the 2022 season that the team preferred playing Ford at nose tackle, but they had to play him more often than they preferred at three-technique and at defensive end, ‘which was pushing him to a spot that he’s not as familiar with,'” writes Getzenberg.
The transition seemed to affect Ford’s play. According to Pro Football Focus, the veteran defensive tackle posted a career low 56.2 defensive grade and 52.0 run defensive grade. For perspective, he posted a 73.0 defensive grade and a 68.9 run defensive grade during the 2021 season. During the prior season, he posted an 81.9 defensive grade and 73.5 run defensive grade.
With Ford moving on from the Seahawks, Seattle will likely attempt to re-sign Woods or former defensive tackle Shelby Harris, whom they acquired in the Russell Wilson trade with the Denver Broncos last offseason.
Seattle also drafted defensive tackle Cameron Young out of Mississippi State with a fourth-round draft selection. Young currently projects as the primary backup to starter Bryan Mone.
During five total seasons with the Seahawks, Ford started 64 of 76 appearances while posting 181 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He hasn’t missed a game over the past three seasons.