The Seattle Seahawks continue to wait for alternatives to emerge as their new starting center and left guard. Meanwhile, they have brought back two contributors they found in the middle of last season and a former draft pick who has yet to play a snap in the regular season.
On Wednesday, Seattle re-signed free-agent fullback Will Tukuafu and defensive tackle Jesse Williams to contracts for 2015. The agent for free-agent defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs tweeted Friday that his client had re-signed with Seattle for 2015.
Tukuafu, who also played on the defensive line, signed with the Seahawks after starting fullback Derrick Coleman broke his foot during warmups Oct. 21 before a game at St. Louis. San Francisco gave Tukuafu an injury settlement in October; the former Oregon Duck then had a career rebirth in three months playing for the Seahawks.
Williams, a native of Australia who was Seattle’s fifth-round draft choice in 2013 out of Alabama, returns weeks after the team released him in a procedural move. He missed each of his first two NFL seasons because of knee injuries.
By the end of the 2014 regular season, Tukuafu had established himself as a valued role player on both sides of the ball.
“It’s such a rare accomplishment for anybody for it to happen. You can’t remember guys that can do stuff like this,” coach Pete Carroll said in late December of Tukuafu playing both ways. “A 285 pound fullback? That’s pretty cool. And he lays the wood.”
Tukuafu had the first carry and first reception of his five-year NFL career in his half-season with the Seahawks.
“He’s a remarkable kid. He’s really fit in well,” Carroll said Dec. 30. “He’s tough as nails, and he’s really been a great addition. He’s just right in the style of guys we like to have in the program.”
The 49ers waived Dobbs in the middle of last season. By the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 49, Dobbs had become part of a patchwork pass rush trying to pressure New England quarterback Tom Brady.
Even after bringing back Tukuafu and Dobbs, the Seahawks are expected to search for defensive linemen through the draft. The defensive line remains an area in need of depth and versatility, especially with 30-year-old starting defensive tackle Brandon Mebane trying to come back from a torn hamstring and carrying a $5.7 million salary cap number for 2015.