The Seahawks will sign free agent cornerback Cary Williams, reports Aaron Wilson. Williams, 30, is 6'1 and 190 pounds and has started 64 straight games, including the last two with the Eagles and every game for Baltimore's 2012 Super Bowl season. He's known to be physical and tenacious -- which suits Seattle -- but he didn't exactly leave Philly under the best terms after up-and-down play and a series of off-field controversies.
Williams drew the ire of Philly fans when he publicly criticized Chip Kelly for working the team too hard in practice during the week before a game against Washington last year, a thought that doesn't really seem to mesh too well with Pete Carroll's "Practice is Everything" philosophy or the fact that Carroll's practices are known to be highly intense. That said, I'm sure that this was something the team addressed with him on his visit and apparently got the explanation they needed on it (he also apologized for the post-game outburst afterwords). Williams has also drawn criticism for skipping out on offseason workouts and he has gotten into a series of spats in practice, first with Aaron Dobson during a joint practice session with the Patriots, then with Riley Cooper in practice with Philly.
Nonetheless, his 64-game start streak is honestly impressive, and there's still quite a bit of upside there if Seattle can utilize his skillset in their system. Frankly, I kind of trust their eye for cornerbacks, so it's an intriguing signing.
According to NFL.com's Chris Wesseling, Williams "was solid down the stretch in 2014 after getting picked on early in the year" and "he was released in large part because of a salary that jumped to $6.5 million while counting $8.17 million against Philadelphia's cap." He likely won't cost that much for Seattle -- I couldn't arrive accurately at number at this point but would guess it will probably be no more than $5 million per year -- and Seattle is in a situation where they need to add talent and depth to the cornerback position.
Bleeding Green Nation's Brandon Lee Gowton and Mike Kaye gave a somewhat tepid, if not encouraging appraisal of the deal.
Williams obviously had an up-and-down stint in Philadelphia. He was arguably the team's best cornerback but that's not saying much. His mixture of inconsistent play and outspoken nature rubbed some in the wrong way, but he is clearly an NFL talent that should be worthy of being a No. 2 for Seattle.
Williams will now compete with Tharold Simon, Will Blackmon, and likely a draft pick or two for that spot opposite Richard Sherman in the cover-3 defense.
Update: Williams's contract, per Aaron Wilson:
Cary Williams' three-year Seahawks deal is $18 million, gets $7 million 2015, $5 million in 2016 and $6 million in 2017, according to source.