4:44pm: It’s a two-year deal for Williams and the Steelers, the team announced (via Twitter).
3:23pm: After paying a visit to the team’s facility today, running back DeAngelo Williams will sign a new contract with the Steelers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported (via Twitter) that it looked as if the two sides would strike a deal, and the veteran back himself has since tweeted about his new team as well, assuring his followers that he has plenty of gas left in the tank.
Williams, a former first-round pick, is coming off the worst season of his career, one marred by injuries. The 31-year-old played only six games for the Panthers, and wasn’t productive when he did play, averaging a career-low 3.5 yards per carry on 62 total attempts. Carolina had been on track to head into the 2015 league year with three running backs among their top 10 cap numbers — Jonathan Stewart, Williams, and Mike Tolbert counted for about $18MM combined, so it came as no surprise when the club decided to part ways with Williams, a longtime Panther.
For the Steelers, Williams certainly won’t be asked to carry the load — that task will fall to Le’Veon Bell, the AFC’s leading rusher in 2014. Williams figures to have the inside track on the backup role in Pittsburgh, with Dri Archer serving as a change of pace and all-purpose weapon.