When Kyshoen Jarrett was ruled out on Monday by Jay Gruden, general manager Scot McCloughan must have felt the need to go out and get a veteran talent to contribute to the team’s efforts right away. He has done that all year with the likes of Will Blackmon and Mason Foster and now Adam Schefter reports that former Seahawks, Eagles, and Ravens defensive back Cary Williams will join the burgundy and gold.
Former Seahawks and Ravens CB Cary Williams is signing with Washington, per source. Instant help for playoffs.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2016
Since DeAngelo Hall has made a full time transition to safety, the Washington Redskins have just two experienced corners on the team between Bashaud Breeland and Will Blackmon. Quinton Dunbar, who sat out of the Cowboys finale with a quad injury, is an undrafted rookie initially brought in as a wide receiver. Although he has come up with big plays, including an interception in the end zone against Eli Manning, the playoffs are an even bigger spotlight.
Despite recent struggles, Williams was a gem selection by the Tennessee Titans as a seventh round pick in the 2008 draft. Williams was signed by the Ravens and made an instant impact on special teams, where he could also contribute for the Redskins. Following changes in the secondary in 2010, Williams got his first real action as a starter in 2011. Williams was also part of the Ravens Super Bowl run in 2013 that included an interception of Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game. When playing against an experienced playoff squad such as the Green Bay Packers, Williams’, a participant in 11 career playoff games, presence is a further asset.
Williams signed a three-year, $17 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 but was released in March 2015 after just two seasons (one of many player personnel moves by recently fired Chip Kelly). Williams again signed a three-year deal, this time with Seattle, for $18 million but struggled immensely throughout the 10 games that he started. Following his benching this past December, the Seahawks released Williams.
In 97 career games over nine season, Williams has accumulated 351 tackles, three sacks, 61 passes defensed and nine interceptions, the first of which he returned for a touchdown.
Perry Fewell is an excellent coach that knows what he is doing and getting the most talent out of players, so I am confident Williams will bring a positive contribution to the team albeit slight.
The club made the report official on Tuesday afternoon by placing Jarrett on season-ending injured reserve to make room for Williams on the 53-man roster.
UPDATED (1/7/2016): After Wednesday’s practice, which Williams did participate in, Gruden had the following to say about Cary Williams:
“We brought him in, needed another veteran guy and he fits into the same mold as [Will] Blackmon, Mason Foster and Alex Smith – guys that have played a lot of football where this game won’t be too big for them, that they can come in and play significant reps and not be overwhelmed with the terminology or the competition. He’s a very confident corner, played a lot of ball. We have confidence that he can pick this system up and contribute.”
Williams will play exclusively corner on Sunday, no safety although he has infrequently in the past, but it is unsure if he will play outside or against the slot receiver. That will be determined once the final status of Quinton Dunbar is discerned.