One day before the start of the 2016 League year, the Seahawks waived defensive tackle Jesse Williams, a fifth-round pick out of Alabama in the 2013 NFL Draft.
In his three seasons with Seattle, Williams never played in a regular-season game. His first two seasons were cut short by knee injuries and last May Williams was diagnosed with Papillary Type 2 cancer, a setback that forced him to have a kidney removed weeks later. He was able to return to practice last August and saw action in all four preseason games, but prior to the start of the season the Seahawks placed him on the reserve/non-football illness list, where he spent all of 2015.
"All things considered, it's a miraculous summer for him," coach Pete Carroll said of Williams after Seattle's final preseason game last year. "To play football under these circumstances and the stress he's had to deal with, and the uncertainty and all of that, Jesse's had a terrific summer. He played good football for us. He demonstrated fantastic resiliency to bounce back from all of the things he's been through. Even in the last couple of weeks, to play so hard and so tough, I'm really, really proud of him. I think he did a great job. He's knocking on the door trying to make this club too, just like everyone else. He fought very gallantly to do that. Most people, I don't know that they ever respond like he did. Remarkable."
This past January, Williams tweeted that he had been given the "all clear" to return to football. Williams' release from the Seahawks makes him a free agent available to sign with another NFL club. He appeared in six total preseason games for the Seahawks, recording five tackles and 0.5 sack.