SEATTLE — Veteran defensive tackle Al Woods is heading back to Seattle for a third stint with the Seahawks.
The agency that represents Woods, SportsTrust Advisors, announced his return to the team Friday. He gives the Seahawks an option to replace Jarran Reed in the starting lineup, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting Thursday that Seattle is expected to either trade or release Reed.
Woods, who turned 34 on Thursday, was with the Seahawks in 2011 and ’19. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency last year but opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
At 6-4 and 330 pounds, Woods has primarily been a run-stuffer since entering the NFL as a fourth-round pick out of LSU. He has 5.5 sacks over 10 seasons spent with Tampa Bay, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Indianapolis.
Woods made five starts and appeared in 14 games for the Seahawks in 2019. The NFL suspended him in December of that season for a violation of the league’s PED policy.
Woods’ return is the latest move in the shakeup to Seattle’s defensive line. The Seahawks brought back a pair of pass-rushers this week in Benson Mayowa and Carlos Dunlap and added a third in Kerry Hyder. Reed’s expected departure will clear almost $9 million in much-needed cap space while leaving behind $5 million in dead money.
The nearly $9 million that remains in the final year of Reed’s contract would be inherited by any team that trades for him, which could make finding a trade partner difficult.
Woods joins Poona Ford and Bryan Mone as defensive tackles at the top of Seattle’s depth chart. Ford has started the last two seasons alongside Reed and got a two-year deal as a restricted free agent at the start of free agency. Seattle’s other defensive tackles are a pair of second-year players in Myles Adams and Cedrick Lattimore who only have one game of NFL experience between them.