Will Ed Reed really bolt for Houston?
Add cornerback Cary Williams to the list of Ravens defensive starters who have bolted since the Super Bowl.
The Philadelphia Eagles announced via the team's twitter feed that Williams, who became a free agent this week, has agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the team. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported it was a $17 million deal, with $10.5 million guaranteed. Last summer, Williams reportedly turned down a three-year, $15 million extension from the Ravens.
"I had a great time in Baltimore and I'm taking my talent elsewhere," Williams told WNST Radio. "You know, it's a business. That's just how it is."
Williams told WNST that the Ravens deal was "off the table. We haven't even spoke, so as far as I was concerned, they were done with me once the season was over with."
But, he said, "I appreciate ... all the support from the organization, seeing a seventh-round draft pick who was a practice squad player and turning him into a two-year starter and helping me to be the guy that I am today. I'm very appreciate of the Baltimore organization and Ozzie Newsome and Coach Harbaugh."
Williams and Ed Reed were the only players who started all 16 regular-season games for the Ravens' injury-racked defense. He finished the season with 75 tackles, tied for the team lead with four interceptions and also had a sack. He had a 63-yard interception return touchdown against the Browns. Williams had two more interceptions in the playoffs.
The Ravens, Williams said, had "a great run. We got a championship, and now it's time for me to move on. I hope people don't feel upset about the situation."
The departure of Williams, 28, as a free agent was expected. With Lardarius Webb returning from injury, with Corey Graham establishing himself as a viable starter and with Jimmy Smith emerging late in the season, the Ravens' depth at corner and their tight salary cap all worked against giving Williams a big contract.
Williams, originally a seventh-round draft pick out of Washburn in Kansas, began his career on the Tennessee practice squad, then played in five game for the Titans over two seasons before the Ravens signed him off the Titans practice squad midway through the 2009 season.
Williams played in 50 regular season games for the Ravens.
Williams becomes the fifth defensive starter from the Ravens Super Bowl team to depart. Linebacker Ray Lewis retired, linebackers Paul Kruger (to Cleveland) and Dannell Ellerbe (to Miami) left via free agency, and safety Bernard Pollard was released.