The Seahawks were one of the first teams Kevin Williams visited after becoming an unrestricted free agent in March, and Monday he joined the Super Bowl champions.
The Seahawks’ defensive line has gotten deeper, more versatile and potentially better.
That will happen when you sign Kevin Williams, a six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, and the team did just that on Monday. The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Williams agreed to terms last Thursday, but the deal did not become official until he signed.
The club also signed Demitrius Bronson, a running back from Eastern Washington University who attended the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in May. To clear spots on the 90-man roster for Williams and Bronson, rookie quarterback Keith Price and defensive end Kenneth Boatright were released.
Williams was the ninth pick overall in the 2003 NFL Draft and made an immediate impact with 10.5 sacks as a rookie. He followed that with 11.5 sacks in 2004 and also had 8.5 sacks in 2008. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2006-10, adding All-Pro honors in 2004 and 2006-09. Not surprisingly, he also was named the NFL All-Decade team for the 2000s – as were the Seahawks’ trio of Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones, running back Shaun Alexander and left guard Steve Hutchinson.
During his 11 seasons with the Vikings, Williams lined up mostly at tackle, but he also started four games as a rookie at end.
The Seahawks had Williams in for a visit in April after he became an unrestricted free agent. Re-signing with the Vikings also was an option, and Williams also visited the New York Giants and New England Patriots. But Williams likes what he sees in the Seahawks.
“I just believed that it probably was the best fit,” Williams told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. “Just the direction that the team has been going. They’ve got a quarterback (Russell Wilson) and they’re coming off a Super Bowl (win). They’ve got a great young team.”
Williams, who will turn 34 in August, joins a defense that led the NFL in average points and yards allowed during the 2013 season, as well as interceptions and takeaways, during the Seahawks run to the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
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Photo Gallery – Kevin Williams
But the Seahawks lost defensive tackle Clinton McDonald in free agency and starting ends Red Bryant and Chris Clemons signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being released. So Williams steps into a tackle group that includes nose tackle Brandon Mebane and three-technique tackle Tony McDaniel, the incumbent starters in the base defense; Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, who were draft choices last year; Jimmy Staten, a fifth-round draft choice this year; Michael Brooks, Dewayne Cherrington and D’Anthony Smith, who finished last season on the practice squad; and Andru Pulu, a rookie free agent.
Williams told the Pioneer-Press that he is content to either start or be a rotation player for the Seahawks, adding that less snaps in the rotation system preferred by coach Pete Carroll, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive line coach Travis Jones could prolong his career.
“Who knows?” he said. “I might go there and become a spring chicken again and play two or three more years.”