Cary Williams: 'I was worth more'

Cary Williams: 'I was worth more'
November 7, 2012, 3:30 pm
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Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams (29) is congratulated after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium.

(Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE)

No one could ever accuse cornerback Cary Williams of not seeing the bigger picture.

The Ravens cornerback, who grew up in tough circumstances in the drug- and crime-infested Liberty City section of Miami, always has had his sights set above and beyond what's expected of him.

"I can't allow my circumstances to determine my future. … I never looked into that tunnel. I always looked outside of it," said Williams, 27, a seventh-round pick the Ravens nabbed from the practice squad of the Tennessee Titans. "I always had a broader scope on how life could be and the way I wanted my life to turn out.. I knew if I wanted to get out of those circumstances I had to do something different."

Williams is standing out alright. He's in a contract year, having rejected a three-year, $15 million from the Ravens before the season. He was slowed by hip surgery this summer and had to assume the role of No. 1 corner with the absence of Lardarius Webb to a knee ligament tear.

Now Williams, who earned a starting role in training camp for the first time in his fourth NFL season by beating out 2011 first-round pick Jimmy Smith, has come full circle. He has gone from not having an interception in his career to four which leads the AFC.

Williams has gotten the four picks in the Ravens' last five games. His first one, a 63-yard return for a touchdown, was the winning margin in a 23-16 win vs. the Cleveland Browns on Sept 27.

"Cary's so focused. People can say its the contract negotiation. People can say he's going into his last year, whatever … Everybody said things about him," safety Bernard Pollard said. "Everybody have dogged him. People have said all the crazy stuff. But nobody understands, he is his worst critic. We are his worst critic. ...

"Cary has gone through the surgeries and everything and Cary has bounced back."

In last week's road victory against the Browns, Williams intercepted Brandon Weeden on their first drive of the second half. He also made a spectacular return of 26 yards to advance the ball into Cleveland's territory.

Turning down Baltimore's before the season doesn't seem like a bad idea after all.

"I felt like I was worth more. I felt like I brought a lot to the table. A lot of guys that (are) third corners are worth more than that. … I felt like I deserved a little bit better," Williams. "Fifteen million dollars was a great deal. It's a wonderful opportunity. It's a humbling offer. It was a great offer.

"At the end of the day my scope has never been that small. I take that from days I grew up in Liberty City until today. I want to continue to get better, I want to continue to strive for more and achieve for greater things."