After joining the Cardinals earlier this offseason, Shawn Williams has already earned his walking papers. Arizona is releasing the veteran safety, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).
Williams inked a one-year pact with the Cardinals back in March. The move reunited the safety with Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who was Williams’ defensive backs coach in Cincinnati for a couple of seasons. The 30-year-old sat on active/non-football injury list until early August.
Williams played sparingly his first couple of years in the league, but then blossomed into a full-time starter. From 2016-19, he started 57 of the 58 games he appeared in.
In 2018 he had an impressive five interceptions, and in 2019 he had 114 tackles. This past season he suddenly fell into the coaching staff’s doghouse, and mostly only played on special teams. He was suspended for a game back in December for stepping on an opponent.
March 29th, 2021 at 1:11pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Cardinals are adding another piece to their defense. Arizona has agreed to terms with veteran free agent safety Shawn Williams, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Financial terms weren’t immediately available, although Pelissero reports it’s a one-year pact. Williams, a 2013 third-round pick, has spent all eight seasons of his NFL career with the Bengals so far. There’s some familiarity here, as Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was Williams’ defensive backs coach in Cincinnati for a couple of seasons.
It’s the second addition to the secondary in recent days, as Arizona also just signed cornerback Malcolm Butler on Thursday. Williams played sparingly his first couple of years in the league, but then blossomed into a full-time starter. From 2016-19, he started 57 of the 58 games he appeared in.
In 2018 he had an impressive five interceptions, and in 2019 he had 114 tackles. This past season he suddenly fell into the coaching staff’s doghouse, and mostly only played on special teams. He was suspended for a game back in December for stepping on an opponent. The Georgia product will turn 30 in May.
The NFL has suspended Bengals safety Shawn Williams and Titans defensive end Teair Tart one game apiece “for violations of unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules,” per Michael Signora, NFL Senior Vice President of Football & International Communications (via Twitter). Specifically, both Williams and Tart stepped on opponents. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that both players will appeal their suspensions.
Williams violation took place during the second quarter of the Bengals loss to the Dolphins yesterday when he stepped on Dolphins lineman Solomon Kindley. The defensive back will be sidelined for Cincy’s game against the Cowboys next weekend. The 29-year-old has spent his entire eight-year career with the Bengals, compiling 419 tackles and 12 interceptions. He’s appeared in 10 games off the bench this season, collecting 11 tackles and one pass defended.
Tart’s violation occurred during the second quarter of the Titans’ loss to the Browns yesterday. The undrafted rookie out of FIU will be forced to miss Tennessee’s game against the Jaguars this Sunday. The 23-year-old has appeared in five games this season, collecting two tackles and one pass defended.
Meanwhile, Pelissero notes (via Twitter) that there won’t be any suspensions following yesterday’s Bengals/Dolphins skirmish. However, there’s a good chance fines will be coming for several individuals.
The Broncos will feature one of the more traditional practice squads, at least to start the season. No big-name veterans appear on Denver’s initial practice squad. Instead, a host of developmental players populate the unit.
However, veteran cornerback De’Vante Bausby — who was one of Denver’s final cuts Saturday — will stick with the team as part of this 15-man practice squad. The Broncos acquired Bausby after his stint in the Alliance of American Football in 2019. He played in five Broncos games last season, after previously seeing spot work with the Bears and Eagles in 2016 and ’18, but wound up on IR for much of the slate.
Joining the four-year veteran will be ex-UDFA Brett Rypien, who resided on Denver’s practice squad last season. Here is the Broncos’ full list:
The Rypien cut will leave the Broncos with two active-roster QBs — Drew Lock and Jeff Driskel — while the Fumagalli and Fort decisions mean Jake Butt made Denver’s active roster. Viewed as a long shot to do so after the team made multiple tight end additions this offseason, Butt made it through camp healthy to start his contract year. The former Michigan standout has suffered three ACL tears in his career.
Denver drafting three wideouts made matters difficult for their lesser-known holdovers, but Winfree — a 2019 sixth-rounder — profiles as a practice squad candidate. The Broncos will carry rookie seventh-rounder Tyrie Cleveland onto their active roster.
Bausby has bounced around the league for several years now, and the former Division II standout joined Mike Purcell in vaulting from the Alliance of American Football to a Broncos role last year. But the team kept UDFA Essang Bassey over Bausby this year.
After leaving for Los Angeles to care for his coronavirus-stricken son, John Ross has returned to the Bengals. The fourth-year wide receiver, however, has landed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link). Ross’ son and the baby’s mother tested positive for COVID-19. Pending no positive virus tests, Ross can return to action as soon as Saturday.
Moving first to a Browns injury situation, here is the latest from the AFC North:
Browns linebacker Mack Wilson is awaiting word on the severity of a knee injury he suffered in practice recently. The Cleveland starter is expected to miss several weeks because of a knee hyperextension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). No tear is believed to have occurred, per Rapoport, but surgery appears to still be on the table. That would put Wilson’s season in jeopardy. With the Browns having disbanded their veteran linebacking corps over the past year and change, Wilson is now the team’s longest-tenured starter at that position. The 2019 fifth-round pick made 14 starts as a rookie.
Bengals safety Shawn Williams has also run into injury trouble. The eighth-year defender was carted off during a recent practice with a calf ailment. Williams has sought a second opinion, and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero writes optimism exists the longtime starter can return in time for the Bengals’ Week 1 game (Twitter link). Williams has been a starter for the past four seasons, but the Bengals signing former Saints starter Vonn Bellcould potentially cloud Williams’ role.
Nine months after tearing his ACL, PCL and MCL and dislocating his kneecap, Matt Skura returned to practice. The Ravens‘ first-string center passed his physical and was back in time for the team’s first padded practice, the team announced. Skura’s return, in a contract year, would be key for a Ravens team that saw potential Hall of Fame guard Marshal Yanda retire after 13 seasons.
It appears the Ravens will put their sixth-round pick to work quickly. Wide receiver James Proche is on track to be the team’s punt returner, but Baltimore special teams coordinator Chris Horton said (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, on Twitter) the SMU product is a candidate to return kicks as well. The Ravens recently signed veteran return man Kenjon Barner, so Proche still being in contention for the kick-return role is interesting.