The Cleveland Browns defensive tackle room has taken on a new look in free agency with the signings of Dalvin Tomlinson, Maurice Hurst and Trysten Hill.
And while incumbents Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai and Perrion Winfrey are still currently on the roster, they may not want to get too comfortable as general manager Andrew Berry is still working to buck up the weakest part of the defense from last season.
One name to possibly keep an eye on is free agent defensive tackle Al Woods, who reportedly is visiting with the Browns (and the New York Jets) this week, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
Former #Seahawks DT Al Woods is visiting the #Browns and #Jets this week, source said. One of the most durable and valuable DTs for the last several years.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 3, 2023
A 12-year veteran, the 36-year-old Woods has spent the past three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, starting 30 total games over the past two seasons. For his career, Woods has played in 155 games and has 293 career tackles, nine career sacks, and 28 career tackles for loss.
His run defense grade was down last season (65.2 per Pro Football Focus), which is not ideal for a Cleveland defense that struggled to stop the run last year, although his pass rush grade of 67.5 was the highest of Woods’ career.
Numbers may not tell the full tale about Woods, however, as Seattle defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt highlighted on the team’s website:
“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.”
Seattle released Woods, who is reportedly a solid guy in the locker room, in a salary-cap move, with PFF highlighting the decision as a “least favorite” in free agency:
Sure, Woods will be 36 years old in Week 1, but his run-defense grades in each of the last five seasons were all above 65.0, and his cumulative 79.0 mark over the stretch is in the top 20 of all interior defenders.
Berry has kept busy in free agency rebuilding the defensive tackle room and if the report is true that they are hosting Woods for a visit, the work is clearly not complete.