Williams was one of several key contributors the Bengals had been expected to attempt to lock up between now and next spring. Mostly a backup defensive player throughout his career, it seemed likely the Bengals would have Williams play out the 2016 season before making him an offer. That, of course, didn't ultimately happen.
Some four months before he's slated to become an every-down member of the Bengals' secondary, Williams agreed to an extension that will keep him in stripes through the 2020 season.
According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, the four-year extension is worth $19.5 million in new money and has a maximum value of $21.5 million.
Williams was originally scheduled to enter the 2016 season drawing an $823,986 cap figure.
With the 25-year-old locked up long term (Williams just had a birthday last Friday), what other Bengals are scheduled to hit free agency next spring? Here's a look at the 22 Bengals entering contract years this season (seven of whom were regular starters in 2015):
RB Rex Burkhead
RB Bronson Hill
WR Brandon Tate
TE/H-back Ryan Hewitt
TE John Peters
OT Eric Winston
OG/C T.J. Johnson
DE Margus Hunt
DT Domata Peko
CB Chykie Brown