Seahawks added some competition on the defensive line with the addition of Meder, who has started 17 games in his career.
The Seahawks on Monday signed free agent defensive tackle Jamie Meder, a veteran of 43 games with the Cleveland Browns from 2014-17, to a reserve/futures contract. That means he will become an official member of the team when the new league year begins March 13.
Meder, listed at 6 feet 2, 308 pounds, started 15 games for the Browns in 2016 and two more in 2017, but was waived in the cut down to a 53-man roster last September and did not play in 2018. He suffered a high ankle sprain late in the 2017 season that ended his year after 10 games. Before that injury, he was rated by Pro Football Focus as the second-best run-stopping defensive tackle in the NFL.
“Jamie Meder is probably one of the best run players in the National Football League,” Cleveland defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said before the 2018 season, according to Cleveland.com.
Pro Football Focus had this to say about Meder in October of 2017: “Well known among Browns fans for blocking the potentially game-tying field goal in the team’s victory over the Chargers a year ago (he was named the AFC special teams player of the week late in the 2016 season after blocking a field goal that helped the Browns beat San Diego), Meder has found a home as a rotational player on a Browns line that has produced the second-most run stops (53) among defensive lines this year. He’s played 51 run defense snaps, accounted for seven stops, and ranks second among interior linemen with a run stop percentage of 13.7 percent.”
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Run defense is an area of need for the Seahawks after allowing 4.9 yards per rush in 2018, 30th in the NFL.
Meder, 27, played at Division II Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio before making it in the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He has 95 tackles and two sacks in his four NFL seasons.
The Seahawks currently have only four other players listed as defensive tackles under contract for the 2019 season — Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Nazair Jones and Quinton Jefferson. Shamar Stephen, who started alongside Reed for 14 games this season, will be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said at the end of the season that he envisions Ford, who made the roster last season as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Texas, contending for a starting spot in 2019.
Meder, who essentially played a one-technique, could also now contend for a starting role and for a spot in the tackle rotation, if he can get back to the form he showed with the Browns in 2016-17.
While Jones is listed as a tackle, Carroll confirmed in his end-of-season news conference that he will likely be an end going forward.
“Naz has been moved to five-technique,” Carroll said. “We’re excited about that.”
MCGOUGH CONTRACT EXPIRES: In one other roster move announced for the Seahawks on Sunday by the NFL, the practice squad contract of quarterback Alex McGough expired, making him a free agent.
McGough, the team’s seventh-round choice last spring out of Florida International, was the only member of Seattle’s 10-man season-ending practice squad not to re-sign to a futures deal last week. It’s thought McGough might be exploring other playing options, possibly in other leagues.
Seattle has only one quarterback under contract for 2019 — Russell Wilson.
Brett Hundley, the backup quarterback last year who was acquired in a trade with Green Bay for a sixth-round choice last August, will be an unrestricted free agent and it’s unclear if he will return in 2019. Hundley could explore other options where he might have more of a chance to play after having started nine games for the Packers in 2017 when Aaron Rodgers was injured but then not taking a snap in 2018 for Seattle.