Seahawks: Cary Williams to Take Over at RCB

| 2 years ago

Seahawks: Cary Williams to Take Over at RCB

PFF-headlinesIn a virtual swap of cornerbacks, the Seattle Seahawks have signed for Philadelphia Eagle Cary Williams to complete the free agent “trade” for Byron Maxwell who is signing in Philadelphia. Williams played right cornerback on 1001 of his 1197 snaps for the Eagles last year and he’ll likely step into the same role in Seattle’s defense, replacing Maxwell.

It was an up-and-down two-year career for Williams with the Eagles, grading at +0.9 in coverage last year after a -3.8 effort in 2013. Last season, he was targeted 99 times, surrendering 56 catches for 757 yards, and five touchdowns to go with two interceptions and six passes defensed. He did cut his missed tackles in half from 14 in 2013 to seven last season, much more in line with his career numbers.

Ultimately, Williams was released because his average play was not justified by his huge contract.

The move presents an interesting study as we’ll have a way to compare the affect of playing in Seattle’s defense versus other defenses around the league. How much will having Richard Sherman on the other side of the field combined with rangy free safety Earl Thomas patrolling the middle help Williams’ production? Will the Seattle pass rush make things easier on Williams?

By comparison, Maxwell had a breakout 2013 season followed by an average effort in 2014. As the two players trade places, it will be fascinating to see just how much each team’s scheme and surrounding talent will affect individual performance. If anything, Williams will be challenged often as Maxwell was targeted, once every 5.8 snaps in coverage — 20th-highest frequency among cornerbacks — while Williams was targeted only once every 6.7 coverage snaps, 18th-lowest in the league. In order to justify the new deal, Williams will have to be up to the challenge of being a frequent target on a weekly basis as Sherman locks down the other side of the field.

Maxwell Table

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • Josh

    You forgot to mention all the pass interference penalties that gave opposing teams a first down on third and long. Williams is average at best.

    • Darnell

      He’ll fit right in then. Maxwell, Browner, and Sherman have all been fairly heavily penalized over the years.

      Comparing the difference in guaranteed $, feels like an easy decision for Seattle.

      • Joe Curtis

        Sherman wasn’t hardly penalized all season. Even after they started to “focus” on defensive holding.

  • EasterFleet

    Seattle has plenty of good, young backups at CB and S
    Maxwell or Williams would have been pushed. Williams
    Is great inside

    • eYeDEF

      Young? Sure. Good? That remains to be seen until we can evaluate their play on the field. People called the unproven Tharold Simon good until he got a chance to showcase what he had in the playoffs and Super Bowl. He was horrible. It’s what precipitated the front office’s immediate moves to shore up this position of weakness with Maxwell gone. They obviously don’t feel comfortable with Simon taking his spot, nor should they when he was anything but ‘good’.

      • EasterFleet

        I wasn’t talking about him
        as. starter -just 1 of a number of great young
        CB and S Seattle has. They have a great coaching staff
        for DBs and maybe he can
        be coached up. Snieder and
        Carroll know what they are
        doing. They are not going
        to pay Maxwell more than
        Sherman, Thomas.

        • eYeDEF

          What other “great young CB and S” could you be talking about? I really don’t see much there.

  • EasterFleet

    Simon is an unreal talent. Size,speed everything but is young and
    Is making mental mistakes. Maxwell was the only DB who
    Should have been playing in Super Bowl because of injuries so
    Much practice time was lost for LOB.They also have Lane who
    Was also injured in SB + lots of young CB other than Blackmond
    And Williams.