Cornerback has evolved from the NFL's best team to its worst this offseason, but has decided to meet with the Jacksonville Jaguars about one month after helping the Los Angeles Rams win Super Bowl LVI.
Williams has never been defying conventional thinking and has prospered.
Williams had an NCAA Division III football experience before going on to the football team. In his first year in Birmingham, he played in every game and started five games in 2014. Then UAB canceled its football program.
The Blazers with their eligibility had to move to keep playing. Williams didn't.
Williams made All-Conference USA, and Pro Football Focus picked him for its All-American team when UAB's program returned to the field in 2017.
Williams had previously been included as a rookie free agent with the Baltimore Ravens, who had starting cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith returning and had just chosen its first draft option on Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Williams was on the regular-season roster, although Baltimore waived him four games into the season when Smith returned from an NFL suspension.
Williams has been a regular in the Los Angeles secondary since becoming a waiver player.
The Rams beat four postseason opponents to win the NFL championship last season. The Jaguars lost three games in the entire 2021 season.
Dwingbacker Mike Caldwell said Williams had a reason to choose the Jaguars that went beyond a, which included a $1.5 million signing bonus and $18 million in guaranteed money.
Williams played football at Creekside High School, about 25 miles from TIAA Bank Field, the Jaguars' home stadium.
"It's always rewarding to come home and play in a stadium where you watched the team play in or you watched them on TV," says the coach, adding that he actually gets to come home and play for the Jacksonville team, and that's why it's important for him. He was also pleased, his family and friends, and they can come out and play in front of him anytime, for him, and we're thrilled to have him.
"He's a guy who takes a lot of energy. Someone who can go out there and make plays for us. And he's a homeboy. It's a lot."
The Jaguars wanted Williams even though they return their starting cornerbacks in 2021 Shaquill Griffin and Tyson Campbell. Although Jacksonville gave up less passing yards than Los Angeles in 2021 (likely a result of the team's rushing defense), the Jaguars collected 24 touchdown passes and seven interceptions, and the Rams received 17 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions last season.
While Williams played mostly on the outside with Los Angeles, he'll probably get a great look as the Jaguars' slot corner finishes. Tre Herndon was originally intended to be Jacksonville's slot corner last season, but when he was injured, the Jaguars filled the spot with safety, a former New Hope High School, and a standout. Both Herndon and Ford are also on the Jaguars' roster.
The Jacksonville cornerbacks room is being remodeled with veterans and a little bit of youth, according to the report. "So it's going to mix together really well."
Over the past three seasons, quarterbacks targeting Williams have earned an 81.25 passing-efficiency rating, completing 111-of-185 passes for 1,335 yards with seven touchdowns and six interceptions.
Williams has gathered wide from Jalen Ramsey, who was a Pro Bowl cornerback annually and a first-team All-Pro selection in the previous two seasons.
As quarterbacks attempted to throw away from Ramsey, Caldwell said Williams came to the Jaguars after going through the fire.
"Once you're put to the forefront, they have an all-star corner on the other side, and they think they're going to pick on you on the other side," says the writer, "and you come here and you stand up and you get the stops, that's something we're looking for down here, so he can come in and develop with the other corners we have on the back end. Trying to keep him making plays as he did last year."
Williams completed 71 tackles in 14 regular-season games and completed nine passes in 2021.
Williams led Los Angeles with a career-high eight tackles and smashed a pass to complete his fourth season in the NFL. In Super Bowl LVI, he captained the Cincinnati Bengals for the 2021 NFL season.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at.