The Seahawks released defensive tackle Al Woods Monday, parting ways with a player who has been a big part of their defense over the past two seasons.
Woods, a 13-year NFL veteran, played in Seattle early in his career, appearing in two games in 2011, then returned in 2019, then again for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
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A respected player on the field and person off of it, Woods was voted one of Seattle's two defensive captains in 2022 along with safety Quandre Diggs.
"It feels really good to see that happen for him," defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt said in September after Woods was voted team captain. "He is a man's man. When you talk about somebody that has their personal life together, whether it is as a husband, as a father, who takes care of his body as a pro, his practice habits, his study habits, what he does for the young people. A lot of times you get veteran guys that stay on their island and to themselves; he brings all the young guys in and really just tries to help these guys."
Woods started 30 games over the past two years, recording a career-high 50 tackles in 2021 and 39 tackles last season, as well as 3.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss over those two seasons. And while those numbers are no doubt impressive for a player who spent much of his time at nose tackle, Woods' impact on the defense went beyond his stats.
"It's a selfless, thankless job," Hurtt said last year. "But the guys that know they have a lot of success playing behind him, they know how valuable he is. His job is to take on two grown men, 600-something pounds between him and control two guys so the guys that play behind him can make tackles and not have to deal with blockers and address blockers. And he'll do that every single time that he is out there, and never complain, doesn't want any credit. As long as it helps us win, that's what it is always about. So, the definition of unselfishness."
The release of Woods continues what has been a significant overhaul of the defensive line this offseason. The Seahawks released Shelby Harris and Quinton Jefferson last week, and have added in free agency defensive ends Dre'Mont Jones and Jarran Reed.
Take a look back at some of the best photos of Seahawks defensive tackle Al Woods from the 2022 season.