The Saints have agreed to re-sign cornerback P.J. Williams, per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. It will be a one-year deal for the Florida State product, as Underhill tweets. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds that Williams will earn a fully-guaranteed $2MM (Twitter link).
Though he was once considered a first-round talent, Williams slipped to the third round of the 2015 draft, perhaps due to a DUI arrest shortly before that draft. He was arrested for DUI again in January 2019, which led to a two-game suspension last season. But on the field, Williams has finally found his niche as a slot corner.
He has never been a darling of the advanced metrics, but he has continued to play a critical role in the Saints’ secondary. His work as a nickel back certainly passes the eye test, even if sites like Pro Football Focus don’t love him, and he also brings valuable positional versatility.
As Underhill points out, the Saints have very little boundary CB depth behind Janoris Jenkins and Marshon Lattimore, and while Williams won’t win any awards for his work outside the numbers, he represents a marked improvement over players like Patrick Robinson in that regard. And even though New Orleans certainly hopes Williams won’t need to play a ton of snaps at safety in 2020, he performed very well at that position last year as an injury replacement.
Williams, who is particularly effective as a tackler and against the run, has four interceptions and 24 passes defensed in his career.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.