Luke Willson is back with the Seahawks.
Willson, who spent his first five seasons with the Seahawks after joining the team as a fifth-round pick in 2013, left as a free agent in 2018, but has since re-signed with Seattle on multiple occasions, including on Tuesday.
Willson first returned to the Seahawks early in the 2019 season after Seattle traded away tight end Nick Vannett. He then re-signed as a free agent the following spring, but was released during the 2020 season after Colby Parkinson came off the non-football injury list. After spending three games with Baltimore, Willson returned to Seattle late in the season as a member of the practice squad, then was promoted to the active roster for the Wild Card playoff game against the Rams.
"It's exciting, I obviously love coming back here," Willson said after signing. "I have good relationships with a lot of people in this building, this place means a lot to me. But at the same point, coming in late, I've got to come in here, learn this offense fast and be able to go out and compete."
Cornerback Pierre Desir was released and defensive end Alex Tchangam was waived, meaning the Seahawks currently have an open spot on their 80-man roster.
Explaining late last season the decision to bring Willson back time and time again, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, "Luke has been such an instrumental part of the spirit of this club that I wanted to get him close to it to have as much impact as possible. He's just an unusually gifted, spirited soul."
Willson gives the Seahawks needed depth at tight end with both Colby Parkinson and Tyler Mabry sidelined by foot injuries. Prior to the addition of Willson, first-year player Cam Sutton, who went undrafted out of Fresno State in 2020, was the only healthy player at the position available behind Will Dissly and Gerald Everett.
Over the course of seven seasons, Willson has appeared in 85 games with the Seahawks, starting 44 while catching 97 passes for 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns, but his impact on the franchise goes beyond those numbers. Blending a quirky sense of humor with unusual—even by football standards—toughness, Willson quickly became a favorite both of fans of his teammates in the locker room.
From short shorts and the Techno Thursday movement, to his ability to play through a high ankle sprain on multiple occasions, to his penchant for espousing harmless conspiracy theories in the locker room, to his play on the field that includes arguably the most important and improbable 2-point conversion in team history, Willson has been a one-of-a-kind Seahawk who Carroll once described as "just a lifeblood, energy guy in the program, as well as a really good ballplayer."
Desir, who spent time with the Seahawks in 2016 and 2017, went on to become a starter with he Colts and Jets before re-signing with Seattle this offseason. Tchangam, who went undrafted out of Colorado in 2020, signed with the Seahawks last week.