Damien Williams

Chiefs To Sign RB Damien Williams

The Chiefs are signing running back Damien Williams, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’s a one-year deal for $1.5MM. Williams recently had shoulder surgery and will miss most of the offseason, but the team hopes that he’ll be available for training camp, according to Rapoport. 

The Chiefs will start Kareem Hunt at running back and they hope to have Spencer Ware as the No. 2 RB behind him. But, Williams himself is coming off of preseason surgery to repair a torn PCL and a damaged LCL. Williams will serve as insurance for Ware, but the possibility exists that neither player will be at full strength to start the year.

Williams has spent the last four seasons in the league with the Dolphins, where he was used predominantly as a pass catcher, Williams has 85 receptions for 733 yards and six touchdowns to his credit with just 133 carries for 477 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

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Damien Williams To Visit Chiefs

After meeting with Thomas Rawls this weekend, the Chiefs will continue to look at running backs this coming week by visiting with former Dolphins backup Damien Williams, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets

The starter in K.C. is unquestionably Kareem Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing yards as a rookie in 2017. Williams could serve as insurance in the case that Spencer Ware has not recovered from preseason surgery to repair a torn PCL and a damaged LCL.

Undrafted in 2014 coming out of Oklahoma, Williams has spent his first four seasons in the league with Miami, appearing in 58 games. Used more as a pass catcher out of the backfield than as a runner, Williams has logged 85 grabs for 733 yards and six touchdowns, compared to 133 carries for 477 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

After the Dolphins dealt Jay Ajayi to the Eagles at the trade deadline, Williams made four starts and logged 149 yards on 34 carries during the stretch. In Week 12 against the Patriots, he dislocated his shoulder and was sidelined the remainder of the season.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins RB Damien Williams To Miss Time

Dolphins running back Damien Williams suffered a dislocated shoulder on Sunday and is now expected to miss time, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Williams will be sidelined for next week’s game against the Broncos, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, and could potentially be absent for further contests given that a dislocated shoulder typically requires a two-to-three week recovery period, per Rapoport.Damien Williams (vertical)

Miami traded starting running back Jay Ajayi to the Eagles on October 31, and Williams has split time with second-year pro Kenyan Drake over the past four weeks. Since Week 9, Williams has handled 34 carries to Drake’s 32, while both have managed 12 receptions. On the ground, Drake has been the more effective player, as he’s averaged 5.47 yards per carry while Williams sits at 4.38 yards per attempt.

With Williams out of the picture, Drake will now take on a full-time role. Senorise Perry now becomes the Dolphins’ No. 2 back, and the club could look to add an outside option to the 53-man roster (Miami doesn’t currently have a running back on its practice squad). The Dolphins have only a 1% chance of earning a postseason berth following yesterday’s loss to the Patriots, so inking a veteran back isn’t necessarily a requirement, as the team may use this opportunity to look at a younger player.

Williams, 25, will become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. He’s playing the 2017 campaign on a restricted free agent contract, and received interest from New England during the offseason.

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Dolphins RB Damien Williams Signs Tender

Damien Williams has signed his RFA tender, according to a league source who spoke with Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald (on Twitter). Williams was reportedly reluctant to sign on the dotted line over a desire for more money, but he has decided to move forward and play on the one-year, $1.8MM deal. Damien Williams (vertical)

Restricted free agents have little recourse once a tender is applied and the window for offer sheets closes, but Williams was hoping to pressure Miami into giving him a pay bump anyway. As expected, things didn’t work in the running back’s favor. Still, he’s in a pretty good spot as the tender will pay him three times what he earned in 2016.

The Patriots took a late look at Williams around the same time as they met with Mike Gillislee, but they ultimately signed the Bills ballcarrier to an offer sheet instead. As far as we know, no other clubs showed serious interest in signing him.

With Jay Ajayi entrenched as the No. 1 ball carrier, Williams is slated to share backup duties with rising sophomore Kenyan Drake.

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Dolphins’ Damien Williams Wants Pay Bump

Damien Williams has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender and there’s a reason for that. The running back is trying to pressure the Dolphins into giving him more money, as Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald writes. Damien Williams (vertical)

This offseason, Williams only drew interest from the Patriots as an RFA. Ultimately, the Pats inked Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet rather than Williams and the deadline passed without any other team stepping up. Williams wants more than the one-year, $1.8MM tender, but he has no real leverage at this stage of the offseason. If Williams wants to play in the NFL in 2017, it’s Dolphins or bust.

So we have his rights,” said Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum. “He hasn’t signed his tender. He is a restricted free agent and our tender is still out there.”

With Jay Ajayi entrenched as the No. 1 ball carrier, Williams is slated to share backup duties with rising sophomore Kenyan Drake. He may choose to stay away from the team for a bit this offseason, but it’s hard to see him winning this battle.

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Patriots Host Mike Gillislee, Damien Williams

The Patriots got a double dose of restricted free agent running backs on Wednesday. The Patriots hosted Bills RFA RB Mike Gillislee and Dolphins RFA RB Damien Williams, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Mike Gillislee (Vertical)

The Bills surprised many in the football world when they assigned Gillislee an original round/right of first refusal tender, which would only entitle them to a fifth-round pick if they did not match an offer sheet. For another $1MM or so, the Bills could have placed the second-round tender on Gillislee and that probably would have kept every potential suitor at bay. Gillislee averaged an NFL-best 5.7 yards per carry on 101 attempts as LeSean McCoy‘s understudy.

Williams, 25, was eclipsed by Jay Ajayi in Miami last year. Ultimately, he finished out with 35 carries for 115 yards (3.3 yards per carry average) and three touchdowns. Although the Dolphins would like to keep him, they would be able to get by just fine with Ajayi and Kenyan Drake holding down the RB position. They can also replenish the RB group in the late rounds of this year’s draft.

It’s fair to wonder whether the Patriots’ interest in either player is sincere. Already, the Pats have free agent addition Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James White, D.J. Foster, and Branden Bolden on the roster and LeGarrette Blount remains available. The Patriots could be taking a real look at guys like Gillislee, Williams, and Adrian Peterson, but they could also be faking it to put additional pressure on Blount to re-sign. It doesn’t sound like Blount has much of an outside market for his services, so that could be an effective strategy for New England.

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Dolphins To Place First-Round Tender On Kiko Alonso

The Dolphins are doing their best to ensure Kiko Alonso doesn’t bolt Miami as a restricted free agent, placing a first-round RFA tender on the linebacker, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets. Miami’s brass hopes this agreement will merely serve as a placeholder, because the Dolphins are attempting to sign Alonso long-term, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

This continues the Dolphins’ path for an Alonso re-up. By using the first-round tender, Alonso will see a $3.91MM salary in 2017 — around $3MM more than he made in 2016 — if no extension is reached by Week 1.

Alonso has been the rare twice-traded starter on a rookie contract, bouncing from Buffalo to Philadelphia to Miami. He rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 48 full-time linebacker last season.

The Dolphins also will place original-round tenders — $1.797MM — on safety Michael Thomas and running back Damien Williams.

 

East Notes: Drake, DRC, Revis

The Dolphins will treat rookie running back Kenyan Drake as the starter this week in place of the injured Arian Foster, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport, though, passes along more interesting news regarding Miami’s running back corps and head coach Adam Gase‘s attempts to instill discipline in his new club.

After Gase’s highly-publicized decision to leave Jay Ajayi off the team’s travel list prior to the Dolphins’ regular season opener in Seattle, there was another incident involving the team’s running backs the following week. Both Isaiah Pead and Damien Williams missed a meeting in advance of Miami’s Week 2 matchup against New England, which is why both were inactive for that contest. Drake, it appears, is the only back on the 53-man roster who is both healthy and has not had a lapse in maturity over the past several weeks.

As Rapoport notes, time will tell if more “messages” are necessary or if the Dolphins will begin to fall in line with Gase’s vision.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Despite his team-friendly deal and his still considerable abilities, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is clearly not in the Giants‘ long-term plans, James Kratch of NJ.com writes. Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple are entrenched as the team’s top two corners, and it would make no sense for New York to pay $6.5MM for a 30-year-old slot corner after this season (especially when the team could recoup the full $6.5MM by cutting DRC). But there are plenty of cornerback-needy teams for whom Rodgers-Cromartie would represent a significant upgrade, so Kratch opines that the Giants should look to trade DRC prior to this year’s deadline, and if that fails, then the team should release him before free agency begins next year.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com believes the Jets and cornerback Darrelle Revis are set for a “contract staredown” after the season. Revis is scheduled to earn $15MM in 2017, including a non-guaranteed roster bonus of $2MM, which is due to be paid on the second day of the 2017 league year in March. Of course, if Revis begins to recapture his prior level of play, his contract may not be as much of an issue, but if he continues to struggle, the team will probably ask him to renegotiate, which Revis has never shown any inclination to do. As Cimini notes, the roster bonus puts a deadline on what could become one of the bigger storylines of the offseason.
  • Eagles head coach Doug Pederson expects Dorial Green-Beckham‘s role to increase as DGB continues to learn the offense and get healthy, as Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com writes. Through the first two games, Green-Beckham has had just six passes thrown his way, though Pederson says DGB was the primary target on several plays in the team’s Week 2 win over Chicago, but the defense dictated that the play go elsewhere.
  • If Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is in fact suspended for PED use–his hearing is set for October 4–Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the team will move left guard Allen Barbre to right tackle and promote Stefen Wisniewski to the starting lineup to take Barbre’s place.

AFC East Notes: Williams, Thomas, Johnson, Kelly

Bills newcomer Mike Williams sat out portions of minicamp to rest his troubled hamstring, but the veteran wideout has no worries heading into training camp.

“I’m fully ready to go,” Williams told Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News. “I trained this whole offseason. There was really no offseason for me. I kinda had to get my leg better. I had to get back to feeling like Mike again, like my mom always tells me. Today running that conditioning test made me feel like I was Mike again.

“At the start of camp, just did the conditioning test and I feel real good. I feel great. I feel I got an A-plus, if there was a grade for it. I feel I’m ready to go.”

Williams finished 2013 with 22 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns – all career lows. The Buccaneers traded the wideout to the Bills in early April for a sixth-round pick.

Let’s look at some more notes from the AFC East…

Dolphins Sign 21 Undrafted Free Agents

THURSDAY, 4:25pm: Add one more player to the Dolphins’ undrafted free agent class, as USC safety Demetrius Wright showed up on today’s transaction wire, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).

WEDNESDAY, 10:44am: The Dolphins have signed two more undrafted free agents, bringing their total to 20. Former Arizona State defensive end Gannon Conway and Tulane running back Orleans Darkwa have also showed up on the league’s transaction wire for the Dolphins, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

MONDAY, 6:06pm: The Dolphins have made their undrafted free agent signings official today announcing their 18 new players via their official Twitter account.

Here are all the Dolphins’ signings:

  • Deion Belue, DB, Alabama
  • Steven Clarke, DB, Vanderbilt
  • Tariq Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech
  • Evan Finkenberg, OL, Arizona State
  • Harold Hoskins, TE, Marshall
  • David Hurd, OL, Arkansas
  • Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
  • Derrell Johnson, LB, East Carolina
  • Kamal Johnson, DT, Temple
  • Ryan Lankford, WR, Illinois
  • Tyler Larsen, OL, Utah St.
  • Tevin Mims, DE, South Florida
  • Garrison Smith, DT, Georgia
  • Marcus Thompson, LB, Rutgers
  • Davonte Wallace, OL, New Mexico State
  • Damien Williams, RB, Oklahoma
  • Andrew Wilson, LB, Missouri
  • Rantavious Wooten, WR, Georgia