With run defense in mind, the Seahawks may be bringing back an old friend to strengthen their interior defensive line.
According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, Seattle could have interest in a reunion with veteran defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, who is reportedly in town for a visit with his former team.
Rubin, who will turn 33 on July 25, didn’t play at all last season after suffering a torn biceps during the preseason with the Raiders. Most recently, he appeared in 12 games with the Falcons and Broncos during the 2017 season and recorded 15 tackles in a reserve role.
Drafted in the sixth round by the Browns back in 2008, Rubin has been a consistent performer on the field during his 10-year NFL career. In 143 career games, he’s produced 428 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, and 15.0 sacks, including registering 80-plus tackles for Cleveland during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Prior to last year’s biceps injury, Rubin also proved to be durable, playing in all 16 regular season games five times and playing in less than 13 games only twice during in his entire career.
Seattle originally signed Rubin to a one-year deal in 2015, and after the team released Tony McDaniel during training camp, he won a starting job heading into the regular season. After starting all 16 games and posting 36 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and an interception, the Seahawks rewarded him with a new three-year deal in March 2016.
Rubin lasted just one year into his new contract, however.
Though he remained productive in 2016 and finished the season with 39 tackles and a career-high six tackles for loss, Jarran Reed was expected to be a full-time starter moving forward and the Seahawks acquired Sheldon Richardson from the Jets. With no guaranteed money left on his deal, Seattle released Rubin during final roster cuts before the 2017 season to create cap space.
At this stage of his career, the 315-pound Rubin isn’t a starter, especially coming off of a significant injury. But as the Seahawks know well from his first stint with the team, he’s always been a quality run defender and would provide another veteran presence for second-year defender Poona Ford and rookie Demarcus Christmas to learn from.
If he’s fully recovered from his biceps tear, Seattle should be able to sign Rubin to a low-risk, team-friendly deal. If he’s still got something left in the tank, he’ll be able to give the ‘Hawks 10-15 quality snaps per game. And if he’s unable to secure a roster spot, he’ll certainly still have a positive impact on the field mentoring younger players.