Both players will start out on the practice squad with the potential to be moved up to the active roster. The move came less than 24 hours after Randall and Williams were part of a free-agent group that met with the Seahawks.
The Seahawks also moved up cornerback Ryan Neal and linebacker Shaquem Griffin to the active roster in order to open two practice squad positions. Neal had the game-saving interception at the end of the Seahawks-Cowboys game, while Griffin was a key factor both in coverage and the pass rush in the final minutes of the contest.
Randall played his first three seasons with the Packers where he spent the majority of his time as one of their starting cornerbacks. He spent the last two seasons in Cleveland where he split time starting at both safety positions. The Seahawks are dealing with injuries in the secondary to a number of key players including Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar. Both players’ availability is in doubt against the Dolphins in Week 4.
Raiders GM Mike Mayock Had Randall Ranked as His Top Safety
— Damon J. Kecman (@DownWithDamon) November 25, 2018
The Raiders signed Randall during free agency but released him prior to the start of the season. Randall had been linked to the Seahawks this offseason prior to signing with the Raiders. After the Raiders added Randall, Las Vegas general manager Mike Mayock admitted he had him ranked as his top free safety when he was a draft analyst at NFL Network.
“When I was back in television, doing the draft rankings and everything, I had [Damarious Randall] ranked as the No. 1 free safety coming out of college football that year,” Mayock told ESPN Las Vegas, per Raiders.com. “He had played a lot of corner and people were split on where he should play in the NFL. When I called him for the first time in the offseason about signing him as a free agent, the first thing I did was remind him to go check my old college ranking and see where I had him. He started laughing and said, ‘Mayock I know exactly where you had me, that’s why we’re on the phone right now.'”
Williams Had Back-to-Back 9-Sack Seasons at Alabama
Williams was a highly-touted prospect coming out of Alabama but the linebacker has not had the breakout performance in the NFL many expected. The linebacker had 9.5 sacks in 2015 and nine sacks during his senior season in 2016. Baltimore drafted Williams in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but the team released the pass rusher during the 2019 season. Williams later signed with the Packers who cut the linebacker prior to this season.
The Seahawks are hoping Williams can recapture his affinity for getting to the quarterback now that he is playing under Pete Carroll. Alabama head coach Nick Saban praised Williams’ ability to disrupt opposing quarterbacks during his time with the Crimson Tide.
“He’s always had good pass rush ability,” Saban told Bleacher Report in 2016. “Tim’s worked very hard, made a lot of sacrifices to try to get where he is right now, and we certainly appreciate it. A lot of people in our organization have tried to help and he’s been very, very productive. It has nothing to do with ability. He’s not pass rushing any better than what he did before, he’s just more dependable doing his job. We’ve been able [to] count on him to this point. I’d say that’s the biggest difference.”