The Eagles cut Cary Williams earlier this off-season, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not still a starting caliber player in the NFL. The Eagles were simply in the middle of a massive roster makeover and were cutting anyone that thought wasn’t worth his salary in an effort to free up as much cap space as possible for this off-season. The Eagles used some of their large amount of cap space this off-season to sign former Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell to a gargantuan deal, which left Seattle needing a replacement for Maxwell. That’s where Williams comes in.
Williams was Pro Football Focus’ 49th ranked cornerback out of 108 eligible in 2014, not bad, but not worth his 6.5 million dollar salary, especially going into his age 31 season. He’s made all 32 starts over the past 2 seasons in Philadelphia, but he’s graded out slightly below average in both seasons. Dating back to his final 2 seasons in Baltimore, Williams had made 64 starts in the last 4 seasons, grading out slightly below average in 2012 and slightly above average in 2013. He’s a consistent, but unspectacular cornerback who was being paid like an above average starter and going into his age 31 season. That’s why the Eagles cut him.
Given that, I think the Seahawks overpaid on this deal, giving him 18 million over 3 years, an average salary of 6 million that’s barely below that 6.5 million figure. He’s still being paid like an above average starter. Only 3.5 million of this deal is guaranteed, the signing bonus, but, barring something crazy happening, Williams will see 7 million in the first year of this deal, which is more than he would have gotten in Philadelphia.
Bringing in Tramon Williams would have been a better move. Williams is a year older, but he has a more impressive track record and he’s been just as durable and consistent. I know Williams commanded 7 million annually from the Browns, but I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t have taken this exact deal from the Seahawks had they offered it to him, given that he’d make 7 million in the first year and that he’d have a significantly better chance of winning the Super Bowl in Seattle than in Cleveland. This is an overpay for Cary Williams.