RENTON — During an offseason in which the Seahawks accomplished most of their key objectives, one issue that developed was their depth on the defensive line.
Seattle lost three of the seven players who made up a defensive line rotation that was critical to the team’s Super Bowl win, cutting Red Bryant and Chris Clemons in salary cap moves, and seeing Clinton McDonald signed away by Tampa Bay as a free agent.
The Seahawks took a big step toward plugging any potential leaks Thursday, however, agreeing to terms with veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who played the last 11 years with Minnesota, where he made it to six Pro Bowls and was a five-time All-Pro selection.
Williams was reported to have agreed to a one-year deal that could pay him more than $2 million. The 33-year old was an unrestricted free agent who had reportedly contemplated retiring if he didn’t find a suitable situation. He told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press that he will sign his contract with Seattle early next week.
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He also visited the New York Giants and New England Patriots in recent weeks before deciding on the Seahawks.
Williams projects to back up both nose tackle Brandon Mebane and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, a spot held last year largely by McDonald. Intriguingly, when Seattle finished Organized Team Activities on Thursday, McDaniel spent time playing at the defensive-end spot filled last year primarily by Bryant, Seattle possibly trying out an alignment that could work with the addition of Williams.
While Williams now becomes the oldest player on Seattle’s roster and one of just four who is 30 or older, he showed last year he still has something left, playing 746 snaps.
• As expected, running back Marshawn Lynch was not at Thursday’s OTA — he also skipped each of the previous eight. It remains uncertain if he will attend next week’s mandatory minicamp, with indications that he has yet to tell the team anything amid reports that he wants a new contract — his current deal, paying him base salaries of $5 million and $5.5 million the next two years, runs through 2015.
• Also not visible Thursday were cornerback A.J. Jefferson and receiver Phil Bates. Coach Pete Carroll did not meet the media afterward, so there were no explanations given.