Cary Williams

Bears Work Out Cary Williams

The Bears recently worked out free agent cornerback Cary Williams, a source tells PFR’s Dallas Robinson (on Twitter). Cary Williams

Williams, 31, signed a three-year deal with the Seahawks prior to the 2015 season. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and Seattle cut him loose after ten games. Pro Football Focus ranked the veteran 102nd out of 118 qualified cornerbacks at the time of his release last month. Williams was inactive for his final two games with the Seahawks before he was cut. In January, Williams hooked on with the Redskins and appeared in their lone playoff game.

Williams didn’t play his best football in Seattle, but he does offer plenty of experience with 75 starts on his resume. Now, he’s looking for his next NFL opportunity and the Bears could have interest.

As shown on Roster Resource, the Bears currently have reserves Bryce Callahan, Deiondre’ Hall, Sherrick McManis, Demontre Hurst, and others behind starters Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter. Williams could provide veteran leadership in that group following Brandon Boykin‘s season-ending injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Moore, Williams, Lanning

Here are some PFR-exclusive updates on three veteran free agents:

  • Veteran wide receiver Denarius Moore has worked out for both the Lions and Jaguars this offseason, PFR has learned. Moore was signed by the Bengals prior to the 2015 season, but was cut before the season began and ultimately appeared in five games with the Bills. The 27-year-old was part of a wideout contingent that auditioned for the Saints last month.
  • Three teams have expressed interest in signing cornerback Cary Williams, a source tells PFR. After signing a three-year deal with the Seahawks prior to last season, Williams lasted only 10 games before he was released. He latched on with the Redskins at the tail end of the year, and appeared in Washington’s playoff game. Though he’s now 31 years old and coming off a down stretch in his career, Williams does have 75 starts under his belt, and could serve as a veteran presence in a club’s secondary.
  • Free agent punter Spencer Lanning worked out for the Saints last week, PFR has learned. Lanning, 28, was the Brown’s full-time punter from 2013-2014, but appeared in just one game last season, filling in for the Bears in early October while Pat O’Donnell was injured. The South Carolina product also auditioned for the Jaguars back in January, but is in no rush to sign as training camp approaches.

Washington To Sign Cary Williams

Washington will add some veteran secondary depth to its 53-man roster in advance of this weekend’s playoff game against the Packers, according to Adam Schefter of,Cary Williams who reports (via Twitter) that cornerback Cary Williams is signing with the the club.

[RELATED: Washington To Keep Kirk Cousins For 2016, Discussing Long-Term Deal]

After spending several seasons as a starting cornerback for the Ravens and Eagles, Williams signed a three-year, $18MM deal last March with the Seahawks, looking to step in as a replacement for departed free agent Byron Maxwell. However, the 31-year-old struggled this season in Seattle, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 102nd out of 118 qualified cornerbacks at the time of his release last month. Williams was inactive for his final two games with the Seahawks before he was cut.

Heading into the postseason, Washington is without top cornerback Chris Culliver, who landed on injured reserve in November, and the team also had two defensive backs – cornerback Dashaun Phillips and safety Kyshoen Jarrett – leave Sunday’s game with injuries. As such, Williams will provide some veteran insurance, and could even step in and play immediately in the Wild Card round.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Bradford, Lynch, Panthers, Cooley

Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is a few months from free agency and could be in another uniform next season. If you’re to believe head coach Chip Kelly, he hopes the sixth-year man is under center again for Philadelphia in 2016.

“We’ve always wanted Sam here. We wouldn’t have traded for him if we thought he was (only) going to be here for a year,” Kelly said, per Les Bowen of

Kelly sent former Eagles starting QB Nick Foles and a second-round pick to St. Louis last offseason for Bradford, whose performance in Philly has been a mixed bag. Bradford’s stats aren’t great – 6.71 YPA, 14 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 82.9 rating in 11 games – but the Eagles have won the last three games the 28-year-old has both started and finished, and Kelly likes the former Heisman winner’s progression.

“I just see improvement from Sam on a weekly basis that gets you excited about him. I thought he threw the ball extremely well (Sunday),” said Kelly, whose Bradford-led Eagles knocked off Buffalo, 23-20, and are atop the NFC East at 6-7.

More from the NFC:

  • With Thomas Rawls‘ season over, the Seahawks could certainly use a return from injured rusher Marshawn Lynch to upgrade a backfield that no longer looks like a strength. There’s no timetable for that, though, says head coach Pete Carroll (link via ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia). Lynch, out of the Seahawks’ lineup for a month, underwent abdominal surgery a couple weeks ago. The five-time Pro Bowler is rehabbing away from the team, which Carroll believes is “best for” Lynch. Asked if Lynch will be back before the end of the regular season, Carroll said, “I don’t know.”
  • Don’t expect the 13-0 Panthers to sign free agent cornerback Cary Williams, according to The Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person, who tweets that the team has kicked the tires on the 30-year-old but doesn’t plan on adding him. Williams signed a deal worth up to $18MM last offseason with Seattle, which released him last week after he totaled 46 tackles and an interception in 10 games.
  • Former NFLer Chris Cooley was an accomplished tight end for Washington from 2004-12, catching 429 passes and making a pair of Pro Bowls. Now, with the team dealing with injuries at the position behind starter Jordan Reed, Cooley tweeted Sunday that he’d “love a chance” at a comeback. The 33-year-old spoke about a return in the summer and worked out for the Giants in September. As Peter Hailey of CSNMidAtlantic writes, Washington will probably have to sign somebody to help better its tight end situation. Whether that somebody proves to be Cooley, we’ll see.

Extra Points: Draft, Titans, Gabbert, Manning

While none of this year’s crop of collegiate quarterbacks are projected to be as successful as Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, NFL personnel men do see four QBs — Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, Cal’s Jared Goff, Michigan State’s Connor Cook, and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz — as being worthy of a first-round pick, according to Charlie Campbell of

Elsewhere in draft-land, Tony Pauline of reports that Penn State signal-caller Christian Hackenberg, once projected as potential first-rounder himself, is likely to enter the draft, and will probably announce as such in the near future. Two other collegiate players — Boise State edge rusher Kamalei Correa and Stanford tight end Austin Hooper — are intent on entering the draft, as well, says Pauline.

  • Free agent corner Cary Williams, who visited with the Titans yesterday, is still drawing the attention of the club, tweets Terry McCormick of Tennessee management will reportedly make a decision on whether or not to sign Williams at some point early next week. Williams, who was cut by the Seahawks on Monday, has also garnered interest from the Rams.
  • In other Tennessee news, Titans linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil suffered torn patellar tendon in practice on Thursday and will require surgery, meaning he’ll miss the rest of the season, reports McCormick (Twitter link). Practice squad ‘backer J.R. Tavai is a candidate to be promoted to the active roster, adds McCormick.
  • Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin believes Blaine Gabbert can be the 49ers‘ quarterback of the future, writes Matt Maiocco of Gabbert has led San Francisco to a 2-2 record in his four starts, averaging 240 yards per game while throwing five touchdowns and three interceptions. For what it’s worth, he’s only signed through next season, with a 2016 cap charge of $2.25MM.
  • Peyton Manning has $4MM riding on whether or not he gets to start in the playoffs — as Mike Klis of 9 News writes, Manning could earn $2MM for winning the AFC Championship Game, and another $2MM for winning the Super Bowl. Manning must start those games, adds Klis, meaning he can’t earn the bonuses by coming on in relief. At this point, though, it’s hard to see how the Broncos can turn back to Manning given how Brock Osweiler has played.

Cary Williams Visiting Titans

Veteran cornerback Cary Williams is paying a visit to the Titans today, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. It’s the first free agent visit Williams has made since he was released by the Seahawks earlier this week, though we heard he had received interest from several teams, including the Rams.

After spending several seasons as a starting cornerback for the Ravens and Eagles, Williams signed a three-year, $18MM deal in March with the Seahawks, looking to step in as a replacement for departed free agent Byron Maxwell. However, the 30-year-old struggled this season, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 102nd out of 118 qualified cornerbacks. Williams was inactive for his final two games with Seattle before he was cut.

As for the Titans, their secondary has been affected by injuries, with Jason McCourty having landed on IR. The team could use a cornerback to add depth and to complement Perrish Cox and Coty Sensabaugh.

Extra Points: Rams, Pettine, Flacco, Raiders, Draft

A look around the NFL as Tuesday wraps up:

  • Free agent cornerback Cary Williams, whom Seattle released Monday, is drawing interest from several teams around the league, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter). One of those teams is the Rams, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Browns officially named Johnny Manziel their starting quarterback today, but it doesn’t sound as if head coach Mike Pettine is 100% committed to the decision. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) suggests that the move back to Manziel from Austin Davis was motivated in part by Pettine trying to save his job.
  • Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had surgery Tuesday to repair his torn ACL. The procedure went well, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). He’s expected to make a full recovery and should be back in six to nine months, adds CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (Twitter link).
  • The Raiders extended the contract of fullback Jamize Olawale on Tuesday, and ESPN’s Bill Williamson points to offensive tackle Donald Penn and receiver Michael Crabtree as players the club could look to lock up next (Twitter link). Penn has started 28 straight games since joining the Raiders in 2014, while Crabtree leads the team in receptions (66), targets (115) and touchdowns (seven) this year. Both are scheduled to hit free agency during the upcoming offseason.
  • Clemson safety Jayron Kearse and Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee are leaning toward entering the 2016 draft, according to Rand Getlin of (Twitter links: 1; 2). If they do, Michigan tight end Jake Butt won’t be joining them. He announced that he’ll return to school for his senior season (Twitter link via Getlin).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Seahawks Cut Cary Williams

Less than nine months after signing him to a lucrative three-year contract, the Seahawks have decided to move on from Cary Williams. According to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link), Seattle is releasing the veteran cornerback.

After spending several seasons as a starting cornerback for the Ravens and Eagles, Williams signed a three-year, $18MM deal in March with the Seahawks, looking to step in as a replacement for departed free agent Byron Maxwell. However, the 30-year-old has struggled this season, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 102nd out of 118 qualified cornerbacks. Williams was inactive for the Seahawks’ last two games, coinciding with Jeremy Lane‘s activation to the 53-man roster.

Because Williams’ 2015 salary was fully guaranteed, Seattle will remain on the hook for his full $3.5MM salary and $4.667MM cap hit for this year. Assuming Williams goes unclaimed on waivers, he’ll count for about $2.333MM in dead money against Seattle’s 2016 cap.

Seahawks GM On Graham, Unger, Williams

The Seahawks have certainly had an eventful Tuesday, orchestrating perhaps the day’s biggest news by acquiring tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick from the Saints in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round selection. Seattle general manager John Schneider spoke to reporters, including Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, about today’s events, so let’s take look at the highlights:

On how discussions for Graham began:

“We started talking to them probably maybe three days ago, just about general things—lots of different players. This time of year there are a lot of teams that are just trying to move some pieces around to figure some things out as we get close to the deadline to cut down for salary cap purposes to start the new year, and it was no different than a regular call like that. Then he was one of the players who was brought up and we continued to pursue it.”

On his level of surprise at hearing Graham’s name come up in talks:

“Yeah, we think he’s a heck of a player, but there are a lot of names that are talked about. You just never know how serious people are, but it just depends on the different scenarios that you talk through, then the level of intensity or interest either increases or decreases based on the different scenarios that are discussed.”

On losing Unger as part of the deal:

“Any time you’re making these types of trades for a player like this, it’s not just going to be a handover. Both teams had specific needs, for us, we’re going to miss Max’s leadership, he was a core part of what we were doing around here the last several years. He was here when we got here—coach Carroll and his staff actually move him to center for guard, and he really took off. But we have to continue moving this thing forward. We always talk about not having any finish lines, and this is just part of it—tough decisions, but exciting futures as well.”

On how the trade will affect Seattle’s salary cap:

“In some respects it actually helps us. When you take out a first round draft choice like that, the cost of a first-round draft choice is close to 3.5 million. So if we were going to go out and sign a tight end in free agency, and have a huge signing bonus, big paragraph 5, a lot of guaranteed money, that would have hindered some of the things we would have been able to do.”

On signing Cary Williams:

“We’re going to miss (Byron Maxwell) but we had to be ready to go. I think it’s a testament to coach Carroll, Kris Richard, all of the guys that have worked so hard with our defensive backs; he’s a sixth-round draft choice that leaves for a monster, monster contract and we’re going to miss Byron a lot and we’re excited for him but we’re also very excited to add Cary. We felt like we needed to do it early because of the competition at the cornerback position and feel blessed we were able to finish it up last night.”

Seahawks Sign Cary Williams

6:08pm: The Seahawks have confirmed the transaction, making it official, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter).

8:08am: The three-year pact will be worth $18MM, including $7MM in year one, a source tells Wilson (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 7:26am: Williams is expected to sign a three-year deal with the Seahawks, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who tweets that the lack of state income tax in Washington played a part in the cornerback’s decision.

MONDAY, 10:03pm: After drawing interest from numerous clubs, Cary Williams has decided to join the Legion of Boom and sign with the Seahawks, according to Aaron Wilson on the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). After being released by the Eagles, Williams considered the Ravens, Titans, and Jets before settling on Seattle.

The 30-year-old Williams has started all 16 games in each of the past three seasons, racking up nine interceptions during that time. Miscast as a No. 1 corner with the Eagles, Williams is a perfectly complementary option at defensive back, and he’ll be playing in the best secondary in the league when he arrives in Seattle. The Washburn alum will flip-flop clubs and roles with Byron Maxwell, who agreed to terms on a six-year deal with Philadelphia yesterday.

The Seahawks were also reportedly considering Tramon Williams as an option to replace Maxwell, but they’ll settle for a player who merely shares the surname. Seattle added more secondary help earlier today, agreeing to a deal with ex-Jaguar Will Blackmon, who isn’t a candidate to start.