9;18am: It’s a four-year extension worth $19.5MM, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The deal includes $4MM guaranteed.
8:39am: The Bengals announced that they have signed safety Shawn Williams to a four-year extension running through the 2020 campaign. Wlliams was originally slated to hit the open market after the 2016 season. Financial terms of the deal are not yet known.
The former third-round pick took on his largest role yet in 2015, appearing in all 16 games and making four starts in the secondary. Williams recorded two interceptions, five passes defensed, and 28 total tackles in the regular season. Now, Williams will take on his biggest role yet in Cincinnati following Reggie Nelson‘s departure in free agency.
“Shawn is one of our bright, young players, and we’re excited to have him as part of the team moving forward,” head coach Marvin Lewis said in the team’s press release. “He has been a physical player, and he has increased his value as a playmaker on the ball. This is just one more part of our plan, which is to draft the right players, develop them and retain them.”
Williams graded out as the 43rd best safety in the NFL last season out of 89 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Williams’ 73.7 overall grade put him just behind Jairus Byrd of the Saints and ahead of players like Will Allen (Steelers), Quintin Demps (Giants), and Dwight Lowery (Chargers). The advanced metrics were high on Williams’ coverage abilities but were less favorable for his pass rush and run defense.
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