Williams came to Cleveland in 2015, signing a three-year, $21 million contract after eight years as a ball-hawking defensive back for the Green Bay Packers. Though a 15-game starter in 2015, he started only seven games in 2016 (appearing in 12) before being released this past February.
Williams wasn’t happy during his final season in Cleveland, saying on SiriusXM NFL Radio in June that:
“From the start of training camp to the beginning of the season, they were going in a different direction. And it came a point during the season to where I wanted to be released. That’s why we got released because it wasn’t a stable spot. It’s not a stable spot. You don’t know who’s going to be the coaches from year to year, and I didn’t know that so I didn’t want to be one of those veterans who is stuck in a spot and at the end of the day, I’m not going to be able to get a job because I was on a bad team. That’s why I wanted to get out of there.
In his two seasons, Williams was mostly a statistical disappointment, with 105 combined tackles, 14 passes defensed and just two interceptions recorded.
Williams had hoped to be signed sooner than he was, but the 33-year old did not become desirable for the Cardinals until three cornerbacks suffered injuries, including Ronald Zamort, who tore his ACL (and who had been playing with the first-team defense in relief of the also-injured Justin Bethel. Now, he’ll at least get a summer’s worth of opportunities to stick on the Cardinals’ roster for the 2017 season