Seahawks Named Top Trade Destination for $32 Million Pro Bowler

Pete Carroll

Getty The Seahawks could be an ideal trade destination for DT Quinnen Williams.

The Seattle Seahawks could be an ideal landing spot for one of the top defensive playmakers in the NFL.

As suggested by CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan, the Seahawks could be a trade destination for disgruntled New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. As Sullivan mentions, one of the few weaknesses Seattle has is their defensive unit, particularly their run defense. During their playoff berth last season, the Seahawks ranked 30th in rushing yards, 27th in rushing touchdowns and 26th in rush yards per attempt.

“Seattle is a team similar to Detroit that many expect to be a serious player in the conference in 2023,” writes Sullivan. “They are in the midst of a fantastic offseason where they’ve added a top-tier corner (Devon Witherspoon) and wide receiver (Jaxson Smith-Njigba) at the NFL Draft and added defensive end Dre’Mont Jones while retaining quarterback Geno Smith. A deal for Williams would drastically improve a Seattle defense that ranked 21st in DVOA last season that much more fearsome and could inch them closer to rivaling the 49ers in the NFC West.”

Quinnen Williams is Looking to Be Highest-Paid DT

The 25-year-old Williams is seeking a new contract that will make him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the league. After the New York Giants signed Dexter Lawrence to a four-year, $90 million contract extension — making him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL — Williams is seeking to surpass that, according to Fox Sports’ Henry McKenna. As McKenna reports, Williams is seeking a deal that would pay him $25-to-$30 million annually.

“Williams could make the case for $25 million per year (just a bit more than Titans DT Jeffery Simmons) to $30 million (just less than Rams DT Aaron Donald),” writes McKenna. “A league source confirmed that’s where Williams wants to land. But given the Jets’ cap situation, Williams will likely land at $25 million in average annual value — if he sticks with the team.”

There’s little doubt that Williams is an elite defensive tackle. He’s coming off of a banner season, posting his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro season last year after producing 55 tackles and 12 sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams posted a 90.1 defensive grade last season, ranking fourth among all defensive tackles in grade. The only interior linemen who ranked higher than Williams are Lawrence, Chris Jones and Aaron Donald.

Why the Seahawks Could Use Quinnen Williams

By comparison, the Seahawks’ projected starting linemen for the 2023 season all posted substantially lower defensive grades than Williams did last year: Darrell Taylor (57.4 defensive grade), Dre’Mont Jones (51.8 defensive grade), Jarran Reed (61.9 defensive grade) and Uchenna Nwosu (72.6 defensive grade).

In other words, Williams would obviously immediately upgrade the Seahawks’ defensive unit. In fact, he could potentially make them into an elite defensive unit when factoring in that Seattle has two potential lockdown cornerbacks (rookie Devon Witherspoon and second-year Tariq Woolen) and the return of eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner.

While Williams would obviously represent the missing piece that Seattle’s defensive unit is looking for, the price tag is too steep. Ignoring possible draft capital aside in a potential trade for Williams, the Seahawks aren’t going to pay Williams $25 million per year. The best possible scenario would see Seattle use Williams as a short-term rental as he enters the final year of his rookie deal that pays him $9.6 million in base salary.

We’ll see if the Jets end up working things out with their franchise defensive player after acquiring four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers. But the Seahawks would obviously represent an interesting potential destination for Williams considering their weaknesses along the defensive line.

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