Marcus Williams (CB)

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/18

Today’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Saints Sign CB Marcus Williams

The Saints now have two Marcus Williams‘. The team is signing the fifth-year jounreyman cornerback, a source told Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate (Twitter link). Williams came into the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, signing with the Jets. He made an impact right away, starting eight games as a rookie.

He continued to play a large role in New York over the next couple of seasons, and the team valued him highly. When he was a restricted free agent in 2017, the Jets placed a second round tender on him. Despite paying him $2.75MM under the tender, he quickly fell out of favor and was waived just a few weeks into the 2017 season.

The Texans claimed him off waivers, and he appeared in ten games for them, notching 12 tackles in a reserve role. After the season, he signed with the Cardinals, but was released back in May. Across his four seasons in the league, Williams has played in 49 games, including 15 starts, and racked up 89 tackles, ten interceptions, and 27 passes defended.

Signed this late in the offseason, Williams will be fighting an uphill battle to earn a roster spot with the Saints. New Orleans was apparently looking for some secondary depth, also signing safety Robert Nelson according to Underhill (Twitter link). It’s a nice add at this point in the season for the Saints, as Williams has always shown good ball skills, compiling an impressive amount of interceptions and pass breakups on limited playing time.

Cardinals Release CB Marcus Williams

The Cardinals released cornerback Marcus Williams, according to a team announcement. Williams was signed as a free agent in April, but his time in Arizona has come to an end after just one month. 

The release of Williams comes just after the acquisition of former Browns cornerback Jamar Taylor. Taylor projects as the team’s new starter opposite of Patrick Peterson, which pushed every other cornerback on the depth chart down a peg. That shift wound up pushing Williams off of the roster.

Williams started 15 games in three seasons with the Jets, but did not start a game in 2017. The Jets shopped him in the summer of 2017 and waived him in October, leading him to Houston. With the Texans, he appeared in ten games as a reserve and totaled 12 tackles, four pass deflections, and came up with an interception against the Seahawks in a late October game. His most notable season came in 2015 when he tallied six interceptions in 13 games with Gang Green.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: ‘Hawks, Thomas, Kaep

Seahawks GM John Schneider says he has not talked to Earl Thomas‘ representatives since the combine, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets. However, Schneider added that is not unusual. Despite his name being floated in trade rumors this offseason, the GM says that he hopes to have Thomas on the roster when the season begins.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

Cardinals To Sign CB Marcus Williams

The Cardinals have signed cornerback Marcus Williams, according to Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic (on Twitter). Williams finished the 2017 season with the Texans. 

Williams started 15 games in three seasons with the Jets, but did not start a contest in 2017. The Jets shopped him last summer and later waived him in October, leading him to Houston. With the Texans, he appeared in ten games as a reserve and totaled 12 tackles, four pass deflections, and came up with an interception against the Seahawks in a late October game. His most notable season came in 2015 when he tallied six interceptions in 13 games with Gang Green.

Williams will now fight for a reserve job on a cornerback depth chart that is presently headlined by Patrick Peterson and Brandon Williams. If the Cardinals can land an impact cornerback early in the draft, they’ll likely have a rookie starting opposite of P2. Other reserve corners in Arizona include C.J. Goodwin, Ronald Zamort, Jonathan Moxey, Jarell Carter, and free agent pickups Bene Benwikere and Louis Young.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/10/17

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Promoted to active roster: WR Ed Eagan

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Jets Activate WR Jalin Marshall

The Jets have activated wide receiver Jalin Marshall from suspension, the club announced today. In a related move, New York has waived cornerback Marcus Williams.Jalin Marshall (Vertical)

Marshall, who was banned four games for PED use, entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016. While he didn’t contribute much on offense (14 receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns), Marshall served as the Jets’ primary returner during his rookie campaign. He averaged 25.9 yards per kick return and 5.6 yards per punt return last season, and will likely continue in that role upon his return.

Williams, meanwhile, started 15 games during his first three seasons in New York but hasn’t started a contest in 2017. While he graded as the NFL’s No. 67 corner among 110 qualifiers last year, Pro Football Focus has assigned him poor marks this season. The Jets were reportedly shopping Williams earlier this year, and presumably did so before cutting him today, but couldn’t find any takers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Have Shopped CB Marcus Williams

The Jets have gauged trade interest in cornerback Marcus Williams recently, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link), who adds New York has “been selling” all offseason.Marcus Williams (vertical)

[RELATED: Jets Shopping Matt Forte]

Given that Gang Green is set to embark on a full-scale rebuild, the concept of dealing Williams doesn’t come as a complete surprise given that he’s entering the final year of his contract. A restricted free agent, Williams is scheduled to earn $2.746MM in 2017, although none of that total is guaranteed. That’s a reasonable figure for a 26-year-old defensive back who appeared in 13 games and played on 457 defensive snaps a season ago. Pro Football Focus assigned Williams middling grades, ranking him as the No. 67 corner among 110 qualifiers.

Williams isn’t projected to start for the Jets next season, as Buster Skrine and Morris Claiborne hold that honor. Instead, Williams — if not traded — will serve as a valuable backup and special teams player. In 2016, Williams played on roughly 20% of New York’s special teams snaps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/13/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Jets have re-signed restricted free agent corner Marcus Williams, as Williams has now inked his second-round RFA tender, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). New York tendered two restricted free agents — Williams and center Wesley Johnson — at the second-round level, and both have now signed their tenders, which will pay $2.746MM for the 2017 campaign. Williams, 26, has appeared in 34 games (15 starts) for Gang Green since joining the club in 2014.
  • The Texans have waived linebacker Gerald Rivers, the club announced today. Rivers, 26, has bounced around the league since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2013, spending time with six different clubs in that time. He’s appeared in three career games, but those all came during his rookie campaign. Rivers spent the entire 2016 season on injured reserve, and had inked a reserve deal with Houston in January.
  • Four players signed their exclusive rights tenders today, meaning they’ll return to their clubs on a minimum salary:

Jets To Give Marcus Williams Second-Round RFA Tender

The Jets have already cleared numerous names off their books this offseason and may be in line for similar transactions going forward, but the team plans to retain one of its key defensive pieces for 2017. Marcus Williams is expected to receive a second-round RFA tender, Darryl Slater of NJ.com reports.

Although the league hasn’t released precise tender values just yet, the second-round figure is expected to come in around $2.81MM. Williams has become a UDFA success story for the Jets, being a steady contributor in a secondary that hasn’t seen its big expenditures live up to their contracts. He stands to be a UFA come 2018 if no extension is reached this year.

The Jets have used Williams as a backup for the most part during the past two seasons, and in a secondary that made splash signings in 2015 (Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine), the former low-profile addition could outlast each of them in New York. If the Jets cut Skrine, Williams on his second-round tender price will enter free agency as the Jets’ highest-paid cornerback.

Williams has played in 13 games in each of the past two seasons and started seven games in that span. The 2014 UDFA missed time in 2016 because of a high ankle sprain. Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 72 full-time corner last season, two spots behind Revis. Williams led the Jets with six interceptions in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.