Quinton Jefferson‘s second Seahawks stint is coming to an end. The team plans to release the veteran defensive lineman, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
A Seahawks draftee in 2016, Jefferson made his way back to the Pacific Northwest last year and played mostly a rotational role with the team. But the Seahawks can create $4.5MM in cap space by releasing the seventh-year D-lineman.
The Seahawks just notified Jefferson of this decision, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson (on Twitter), and it comes hours after the team paid up to win the Dre’Mont Jones sweepstakes. The Seahawks are giving the former Broncos starter a three-year, $51MM deal. This has led to some rearranging, with Shelby Harris — Jones’ teammate in Denver for three seasons — also on the way out.
Jefferson, who will turn 30 later this month, played in all 18 Seahawks games last season and started three of those. With the former Bills and Raiders cog registering a career-high 5.5 sacks, it would seem he will have the option of continuing his career elsewhere. Jefferson intends to keep playing, per Anderson, and he will bring some versatility to his next team — whomever that may be.
Teams have used Jefferson as both a defensive tackle and defensive end, both in 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, making the former fifth-round pick a valuable rotational presence. Jefferson, who also added a career-best six tackles for loss in 2022, started 17 games with the Raiders in 2021 and has 48 starts on his resume.
Seattle will be retooling up front, with Poona Ford also unsigned at this point. But the team still has nose tackle Al Woods and veteran Bryan Mone under contract. Jones will be the centerpiece of the Seahawks’ updated D-tackle situation, however, with the Seahawks making a late appearance in that competition to bring the ascending interior rusher to the NFC West.