With the Seahawks expected to part ways with long-time starter Jarran Reed, the team will be bringing back another familiar face to help fill the void.
According to the player’s agency Sports Trust, Seattle has agreed to terms with veteran nose tackle Al Woods on a one-year contract. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the deal is expected to be worth up to $3 million with a $750,000 signing bonus.
The 34-year old Woods most recently played for the Seahawks during the 2019 season, appearing in 14 games and making five starts in place of a suspended Reed at the beginning of the season. The ex-LSU standout performed well, producing 32 tackles, one sack, and two forced fumbles.
Woods finished the season with a respectable 70.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, which ranked 37th out of 84 qualified defenders. He received a far better grade in the run defense department, tying with then-teammate Poona Ford (77.7) for the 14th highest grade among 84 defensive tackles.
Unfortunately, Seattle lost Woods for the final two regular season games as well as both of the team’s playoff contests, as he received a four-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
Though the Seahawks hoped to re-sign him, Woods wound up agreeing to a one-year deal with the Jaguars last March. But he chose to opt out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic due to family and health concerns and with his contract tolling to 2021, Jacksonville released him earlier this month.
In 10 NFL seasons, Woods has played in 125 games with 48 career starts. The 6-foot-4, 330-pound run stuffer has amassed 204 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks playing for Seattle, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Tampa Bay.
Now gearing up for his third stint with the Seahawks, Woods will likely be utilized as a key reserve behind Ford and returning nose tackle Bryan Mone. After not playing a snap in 2020, it will be interesting to see how much he has left in the tank to help offset Reed’s exit.