Thursday, February 28, 2013
Top free agents in the division: No. 12
By Jamison Hensley
Free agency officially begins March 12, so the AFC North blog is counting down the 20 best free agents (unrestricted and restricted) from the teams in the division. Let's continue with No. 12 ...
Baltimore Ravens cornerback
The good: Williams proved to be a playmaker this year. He had four interceptions in the regular season, including one for a touchdown against Cleveland in Week 4. Williams also picked off two passes in the playoffs, sealing the Ravens' trip to the Super Bowl with an interception of Tom Brady in the end zone with 66 seconds remaining. It's been quite a progression for Williams, who went from the Titans' practice squad in 2008 to becoming a two-year starter for the Ravens.
The bad: While he makes a lot of plays, he gives up a big number of them as well. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams allowed six touchdowns this season, which was tied for fifth-most in the NFL. Quarterbacks completed 65.7 percent of their passes against Williams and averaged 14 yards per completion against him. He is a lean and long defender but he has trouble going against physical receivers.
The bottom line: Williams told the Carroll County (Md.) Times that he doesn't feel like he's a priority of the Ravens. That's true when you consider quarterback Joe Flacco and safety Ed Reed are free agents and there's a big need at inside linebacker. Baltimore is probably fine going into next season with Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham and Jimmy Smith being its top three corners. The Ravens tried to sign Williams last season, but he turned down a three-year, $15 million extension. Williams will draw interest in free agency, and the key for him is to get a contract that averages more than $5 million per season.