OCTOBER 9: Williams has not, in fact, been released yet, per SI’s Howard Balzer (Twitter link). General manager Steve Keim acknowledged that the TE is “banged up,” however, suggesting that an agreement is in place between player and team to keep him in the fold, potentially via the practice squad.
OCTOBER 7: The Cardinals are cutting ties with Maxx Williams. Early in his fourth season with the team, the veteran tight end received his walking papers Friday.
Williams re-signed on a low-cost deal (one year, $1.27MM) this offseason after having played with the franchise throughout Kliff Kingsbury‘s tenure. The Cardinals retained both Williams and Zach Ertz this year and drafted Trey McBride in the second round.
Early in his eighth NFL season, Williams had played 17% of Arizona’s offensive snaps. He does not have a reception through four games. Because the trade deadline has not passed, Williams’ vested-veteran status will send him straight to free agency. Williams could conceivably come back on a practice squad agreement, but for now he is off the team.
A Ravens second-round pick in 2015, Williams topped out in receiving production (32 catches, 268 yards) as a rookie. Teams have still valued the former Minnesota Golden Gopher, with the Cardinals signing him to three contracts since 2019. Williams, 28, caught 39 passes for 497 yards and three touchdowns during his three-plus-year Arizona run.
Williams has made multiple IR trips since coming to the desert, however. He missed nine games in 2020 and 12 last year. A major knee injury shelved him midway through last season, and while the Cardinals brought him back, they made multiple long-term tight end commitments since that injury. Ertz re-signed on a three-year deal in March, and McBride is locked in through 2025. Seventh-year veteran Stephen Anderson rounds out Arizona’s active-roster tight end contingent.