Cary Williams to Redskins: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike ChiariFeatured Columnist

Seattle Seahawks defensive back Cary Williams after causing a fumble and running it back for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
Tom Gannam/Associated Press

Veteran cornerback Cary Williams found a new home Tuesday, agreeing to sign with the Washington Redskins, per the team.

Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the signing, calling it "instant help for the playoffs." The Redskins have a wild-card matchup with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

On Wednesday, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters: "We needed another veteran guy. ... This game won't be too big for him. ... He's a very confident corner."

Gruden added Williams can "play significant reps [and] not be overwhelmed."

The 31-year-old defensive back inked a three-year, $18 million contract last offseason with the Seattle Seahawks, but his tenure with the team ended after just 10 games.

Seattle released him following its Week 13 game against the Minnesota Vikings, as head coach Pete Carroll had him on the inactive list for that contest.

After cutting ties with Williams, Carroll explained the move and essentially suggested it came down to a numbers game, per the Seahawks' website:

There's always consideration for special teams and other things that go along with it. Cary's a good football player, and did some good stuff for us, but our guys kind of came back to us and gave us an opportunity to go to them.

It was a short amount of time to try to catch up with all of the real specifics of our technique, but he did a nice job; he progressed with it. But we feel more comfortable with the guys that have been with us, so we made the move.

Seattle thought Williams could be a fine replacement for Byron Maxwell, but he struggled to the tune of 46 tackles, four passes defended, one sack and no interceptions in 10 starts. The Seahawks instead opted to go with a combination of Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead across from Richard Sherman, which made Williams expendable.

Prior to 2015, Williams started all 16 games every season from 2011 through 2014 with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, racking up a total of nine interceptions during that time. He was originally a seventh-round pick by the Tennessee Titans out of Washburn University in 2008, and he has come a long way since then.

Although Seattle ultimately wasn't a good fit for him, Williams is an experienced player who is capable of providing quality depth in the right situation.

Players with Williams' track record don't become available often during the season, so it wasn't surprising to see a team jump on him, especially with the Washington defense going up against Aaron Rodgers.

It may be difficult for Williams to make a big impact right away, as it takes time to feel comfortable within a defensive system, but his mere presence should be a solid addition.


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