Al Woods returning to Seattle Seahawks, who release Jarran Reed

SEATTLE -- Veteran defensive tackle Al Woods is heading back to Seattle for a third stint with the Seahawks.

The agency that represents Woods, SportsTrust Advisors, announced his return to the team Friday. He gives the Seahawks an option to replace starter Jarran Reed, who was released by the team Friday.

Woods, who turned 34 on Thursday, was with the Seahawks in 2011 and '19. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency last year but opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

At 6-4 and 330 pounds, Woods has primarily been a run-stuffer since entering the NFL as a fourth-round pick out of LSU. He has 5.5 sacks over 10 seasons spent with Tampa Bay, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Indianapolis.

Woods made five starts and appeared in 14 games for the Seahawks in 2019. The NFL suspended him in December of that season for a violation of the league's PED policy.

Woods' return is the latest move in the shakeup to Seattle's defensive line. The Seahawks brought back a pair of pass-rushers this week in Benson Mayowa and Carlos Dunlap and added a third in Kerry Hyder. Reed's departure will clear almost $9 million in much-needed cap space while leaving behind $5 million in dead money.

Woods joins Poona Ford and Bryan Mone as defensive tackles at the top of Seattle's depth chart. Ford has started the past two seasons alongside Reed and got a two-year deal as a restricted free agent at the start of free agency. Seattle's other defensive tackles are a pair of second-year players in Myles Adams and Cedrick Lattimore who only have one game of NFL experience between them.

The 28-year-old Reed has been a full-time starter since 2017, the year after Seattle chose him in the second round out of Alabama. He was known as primarily a run-stuffer his first two seasons but then broke out for 10.5 sacks in 2018. He began the 2019 season by serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy and finished the year with two sacks in 10 games.

The Seahawks gave Reed the two-year, $23 million deal last March, betting that he could recapture his 2018 form. He had something of a bounce-back season with 6.5 sacks in 16 games but was set to count nearly $14 million against the cap.

The Seahawks have only three picks in next month's draft (in the second, fourth and seventh rounds), which gave them added incentive to find a trade partner for Reed. But that was a difficult proposition as any team that traded for him would have inherited his contract and the $9 million it owed him in 2021.