The Seahawks Monday cut CB Cary Williams, who lost his starting job two weeks ago and was inactive for Seattle’s past two games. Williams, 30, was Seattle’s biggest free agent signing in the off-season, getting $18 million over three years. His $7 million this year is guaranteed, none thereafter.
Coach Pete Carroll said Monday the return to play of CB Jeremy Lane and the emergence of CB DeShawn Shead made Williams expendable.
“Our guys kinda came back to us, and gave us any opportunity to go back to them,” he said. It also became clear that Williams couldn’t adapt to the techniques Seahawks coaches seek from cornerbacks.
“He did a nice job and progressed with it, but we feel more comfortable with the guys who’ve been with us,” he said. “It’s s short amount of time to catch up with the specifics of our techniques.”
Asked whether lessons learned from trying to teach a 30-year-0ld cornerback new tricks might influence further free-agent hires, Carroll said, “Possibly.”
There was no locker room issue over Williams’ recent demotion, Carroll said.
“He was a real pro,” he said. “He handled it in practice. He was excellent.”
Williams was supposed to replace Byron Maxwell, who left for Philadelphia in free agency. Williams had some good moments, particularly against Detroit, but against Arizona Nov. 15, was beaten repeatedly, then benched in the fourth quarter for Shead.
Shead, who previously had more work at safety and nickel back, started against Pittsburgh and Minnesota.
But cutting Williams now instead of after the season leaves the Seahawks thin behind starters Shead and Richard Sherman. Lane and Marcus Burley have shared time at the nickel spot. A fifth-round draft pick in spring, Tye Smith, has not played.
The Seahawks last week cut C Drew Nowak, a five-game starter, but he cleared waivers and was re-signed to the practice squad. That won’t happen with Williams. Carroll declined to say what will be done with the roster vacancy, which could go to another that is shorthanded, such as receiver.
Wish things went better for Williams but the writing was on the wall for this action. It’s not easy to be a part of the LOB.
Perhaps they let him go in hopes that a future playoff opponent might claim him and put him in their backfield, thereby further increasing our odds of winning.
All kidding aside, Carroll and Schneider once again demonstrate the ability to cut a loss and move on. Thin as the position may be, the move illustrates just how much of a liability Williams was for this team. They only needed a two-game sample size from Shead to make the decision.