The Packers and Williams agreed to a two-year contract Thursday, PackersNews.com reports. Former Packers teammate James Jones, now an employee of NFL Network, broke the news of a Williams-Green Bay reunion. Williams joined the Packers in November of 2006 but didn't become a regular in the cornerback rotation until 2008 and full-time starter until 2010, the latter of which coincided with a victory in Super Bowl XLV. Since leaving the Packers as a free agent in 2015, he spent two years with the Browns before working opposite Cardinals All-Pro corner Patrick Peterson last year. Williams experienced a resurgence of sorts in Arizona, holding opposing signal callers to a 58.4 QB rating on throws in coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. Due to his age (35), Father Time could catch up with him sooner than later. However, Williams likely is the best bet to line up with 2017 second-round pick Kevin King in Green Bay's base defense this fall, as the roster currently is constructed.
Williams had two tackles (one solo) and a fumble recovery in Sunday's 20-15 loss to the Redskins. Williams had a standout performance in his first start with the Cardinals in Week 7, but he's had a relatively quiet season otherwise. The 34-year-old added another pass breakup Sunday, bringing his season total to 10 in 11 games.
Williams started Sunday's 33-0 loss to the Rams in London, racking up 10 solo tackles while playing all 80 defensive snaps. Williams replaced Justin Bethel, the starting cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson during the Cardinals' first six games. During that stretch, Bethel was overmatched much of the time, but conceding a long touchdown to Mike Evans in Week 6 appears to have been the last straw. Predictably, the Rams' Jared Goff targeted Williams early and often, and the veteran corner matched his career high in tackles in the process. Once the Cardinals return from a Week 8 bye, Williams should continue to make frequent contributions to the box score working with Peterson.
The Cardinals signed Williams on Sunday, Darren Urban of the team's official site reports. During the first week of training camp, the Cardinals worked out a few veteran cornerbacks, likely to gauge each one's health, but injuries to Justin Bethel (knee) and Ronald Zamort (torn ACL) seemingly forced their hand earlier than expected. With the addition of Williams, the organization upheld its standard of plugging and playing a vet corner opposite All-Pro Patrick Peterson. However, that veteran will likely be Bethel, if he recovers from a hyperextended left knee. If Williams is able to obtain a large role, though, he's coming off two seasons with the Browns in which he notched 105 tackles (83 solo), 15 passes defended and two interceptions in 27 games, 22 of them starts.
Williams was released by the Browns on Tuesday. The Browns have decided to cut ties with the 33-year-old cornerback just two seasons after inking him to a three-year, $21 million contract. Williams struggled with knee and shoulder aliments throughout the 2016 season, forcing him to miss five contests. He recorded 36 tackles, five pass deflections, and one interception in 12 games. He'll now look to find his way onto a roster in need of some secondary depth, as the veteran will bring plenty of experience wherever he winds up.
|6||10/16||San Francisco 49ers||14|
|8||10/28||@Los Angeles Rams||29|
|9||11/05||@New England Patriots||7|
|16||12/23||@New York Jets||13|