Cary Williams played well in 2013, but he’ll have to be even better next season.
It was March 14, 2013 when the Philadelphia Eagles and Cary Williams put pen to paper. The two sides agreed on a deal worth $17 million that would make Williams an Eagle for the next three NFL seasons.
Williams started in all 16 games of the 2013 NFL season. He didn’t turn heads with his performance, but for a team used to poor play from the secondary, he was more than adequate. A tough, physical cornerback, Williams won the heart of Eagles fans with his confidence and his fighting spirit.
In 2013, Williams recorded 67 total tackles (57 of them were solo), three interceptions and a sack. He almost duplicated the stats from his previous season, when he won the Super Bowl as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
There were times, however, when the 29-year old cornerback struggled in coverage and failed to keep momentum going from game to game.
Per Pro Football Focus, Williams ranked 32nd among cornerbacks who played at least 75% of their team’s snaps. He was 21st in YAC (yards after catch) allowed with 269 and 26th in quarterback rating, with opposing quarterbacks averaging 80.6 when they threw his way.
Overall, Williams was a better than average player. However, he was not good enough to be the “number one” cornerback of a team that aims to go far in the postseason. The same applies to the other starting cornerback, Bradley Fletcher.
The Eagles do not consider either of their starting cornerbacks as a “number one” guy. Both are of equal value. This, however, is not reflected in the payroll. Williams’s earnings are almost twice as much as Fletcher’s.
It’s a good thing to have a salary of $6+ million per year, but you must justify this amount of money.
Williams have been performing more or less at the same level as Fletcher. He is two years older than Fletcher, he makes more money and his salary climbs over the $8 million bar in 2015. Why would the Eagles want to keep him after the 2014 NFL season, if he doesn’t up his game?
Toughness and passion to win is something you don’t measure with stats and Cary Williams definitely has both. Unfortunately, these do not seem enough to keep a player on an NFL roster, especially if he’s being paid top dollar (Williams’ salary ranks in the top 20 among cornerbacks).