Xavier Williams is set to return to the desert. The Cardinals are bringing back the veteran defensive tackle, according to a team announcement. Williams began his career in Arizona but has played elsewhere over the past three seasons. It’s a one-year deal.
The former UDFA interior lineman left to join his hometown team in 2018, signing an RFA offer sheet with the Chiefs. That alliance lasted two seasons, with Kansas City not re-signing Williams last year. Williams played with the Bengals and Patriots in 2020.
Prior to Williams’ defection to Missouri, the Cardinals used him as a role player in the middle of their 3-4 defense. He played for three of Arizona’s James Bettcher-run defenses, but the Cards have seen some defensive coordinator turnover since. Williams will now attempt to make the Cards’ 53-man roster as a nose tackle in Vance Joseph‘s 3-4 scheme.
Williams, 29, worked as a regular for the Chiefs’ 13-3 team in 2018 and returned from injury to contribute to their 2019 team’s Super Bowl-winning march. Last season, the 6-foot-2 nose played 11 games (three starts) with the Bengals. He will join 2020 fourth-round pick Leki Fotu among Cardinals D-tackles. Corey Peters remains unsigned, though the veteran D-lineman said he has spoken with the Cardinals about returning for a sixth Arizona season.
To make room on their roster, the Cards waived linebacker Shareef Miller. Originally a fourth-round Eagles pick, Miller has played in one regular-season game.
October 12th, 2020 at 1:34pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Bengals are bolstering their banged up defensive line. The team has signed defensive tackle Xavier Williams and placed fellow defensive tackle D.J. Reader on injured reserve in a corresponding roster move, Cincy announced Monday.
As we wrote last night, the team believes Reader, one of their big free agent signings this offseason, will miss the rest of the year with a quad injury. Williams is a 2015 UDFA who spent his first few seasons with the Cardinals. After finally getting some real playing time with Arizona in 2017, he signed with the Chiefs as a restricted free agent the following year. He appeared in all 16 games with Kansas City in 2018, starting four while racking up 47 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
He missed most of last year with an ankle injury but was activated down the stretch, and ended up playing a sizable role on defense in the Chiefs’ first two playoff wins. After earning his ring he signed with the Patriots back in August, but was cut two weeks ago after appearing in only one game with New England.
Fellow interior defensive lineman Mike Daniels is on injured reserve as well, leaving the Bengals without the stout run-stuffing trio they envisioned. Fortunately, All-Pro Geno Atkins made his 2020 debut this past week and should begin to ramp up his snaps.
Workout updates stand to be sparser going forward, with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com noting the NFL has moved to, in light of some teams’ recent issues with the coronavirus, cap workouts at five per week (Twitter link). However, the rule will not apply to teams that place more than three players on IR in a week, Garafolo tweets. In those scenarios, teams would be permitted to work out 10 players in a week. That said, here are the top developments from the workout circuit, as of Tuesday evening.
September 12th, 2020 at 4:10pm CST by Sam Robinson
Here are Saturday’s minor moves. Many of these roster decisions involve practice squad promotions. Under the new CBA, teams are permitted to promote two P-squad players without corresponding roster moves per week. Teams can carry 55 players on their rosters for game days and can have up to 48 active.
Former Chiefs and Cardinals defensive tackle Xavier Williams headed east for a workout. The Patriots brought in the veteran lineman for a mid-camp audition, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.
The Patriots are currently down Beau Allen, an offseason acquisition who has missed each of the team’s practices this week. Williams would add to a Pats line that lost Danny Shelton this offseason.
A Northern Iowa product, Williams spent the past two seasons with the Chiefs. The 28-year-old defender collected a Super Bowl ring last season, returning from IR late in the season to play in two of the Chiefs’ playoff games. A high ankle sprain sidelined Williams for much of 2019.
The former UDFA caught on with the Cardinals in 2015. He signed a restricted free agent offer sheet with the Chiefs in 2018, which the Cards refused to match, and played 36% of Kansas City’s defensive snaps that season.
December 25th, 2019 at 4:10pm CST by Zachary Links
The Chiefs have placed running back Spencer Ware on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. To fill his spot on the roster, the club activated defensive tackle Xavier Williams from IR.
Ware returned to the Chiefs on December 3rd, but his stay was short-lived. At the time, starter Damien Williams was hampered by a rib injury, but he returned to action last week. The Chiefs now have three healthy RBs in Williams, LeSean McCoy, and sixth-round rookie Darwin Thompson.
Ware spent four years with the Chiefs between 2015 and 2018. The LSU product had his best season in 2016, when he ran for 921 yards and three scores on 214 carries. He also added another 33 receptions for 447 yards and two touchdowns that season. Ware sat out the 2017 campaign recovering from a torn PCL and knee damage, and he saw a reduced role for the Chiefs in 13 games last year.
He signed with the Colts back in April, but ankle surgery landed him on PUP, then the free agent pile in September. In this run with the Chiefs, Ware carried the ball 17 times for 51 yards in three games.
The Chiefs will enter the playoffs as the AFC West champions. They still have a outside shot at a first-round bye if they beat the Chargers, but they’ll also need the Dolphins to defeat the Patriots.