With Kyshoen Jarrett out at least for the Redskins Wild Card round playoff game against the Packers, Washington needed to make a move in the secondary. When news broke Tuesday that GM Scot McCloughan added veteran CB Cary Williams, all the parts made sense. Williams can step in immediately for the Redskins on Sunday and provide snaps. This is not a project, Williams has started 75 games over a 10-year career, most recently with Seattle. But Williams also brings with him some baggage, a reputation of penalties and an often-ugly tenure with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.
Washington will need another cornerback, particularly in nickel packages, a formation that will likely see a lot of time on the field against Aaron Rodgers. How significant a role Williams takes for the defense will be a major question for Jay Gruden and Joe Barry this week.
For his part, Williams has been part of a Super Bowl winning team in 2012 with the Baltimore Ravens. He started every game at corner that season, logging four interceptions in the regular season and another two in the playoffs. His play that year got him a major free agent deal in 2013 with Philadelphia, though Williams fiery personality and Kelly's coaching approach never meshed. Upon his release two seasons later, Williams talked about the Eagles problems being "outcoached."
The fresh start with the Seahawks this season ended abruptly for Williams, as he was released in December after being benched in a game against the 49ers in late November. Pro Football Focus ranked Williams 77th out of 114 cornerbacks, and he earned a -4 overall grade for this season. The Seahawks excelled in the second half of the year, and Williams was not much a part of that success. In 10 games with Seattle, Williams registered 30 tackles and one sack, but zero interceptions. It's also worth pointing out neither Williams nor the Seahawks coaches had anything negative to say from his brief tenure in Seattle.
So far this year, McCloughan has found success with Mason Foster, Quinton Dunbar and Pierre Thomas among others. Could Williams be another player to contribute right away after coming in off the street? Depends what version shows up.