The Los Angeles Rams made keeping cornerback Darious Williams a priority by placing a first-round tender on him this offseason.
After all, the defense suffered some key losses in the secondary with the departure of cornerback Troy Hill and safety John Johnson III in free agency. The Rams managed to find a short-term solution by bringing back Williams on a one-year deal worth $4.766 million in the 2021 NFL season.
Of course, this has resulted in speculation regarding whether or not a long-term deal is in the works. Fortunately, Williams does not appear to be too concerned with securing a contract extension right away, via Cameron DaSilva of USA Today:
“I don’t really get into none of that stuff. I just focus on gameplay. If it comes, it comes, but if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I don’t even get into that contract talk,” he told reporters this week.
Williams added that while he would like to stick around, it remains to be seen if the business side of things will work out:
“Yeah. Obviously, McVay, his staff, everything is family around here it’s real cool, real chill,” he said. “Obviously, I’d love to stay, but you know what I’m saying? I just don’t know that stuff. If it happens, it happens.”
Williams’ comments indicate that he plans on letting his game speak for itself. Given how far he has come along since his arrival in L.A., he has good reason to be optimistic.
Williams was claimed off waivers by the Rams following a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens. He has since gone from being a bubble player on the roster to starting opposite of the best cornerback in the game in Jalen Ramsey.
The former undrafted free agent etched out an integral role for himself in the cornerback rotation during the 2020 campaign. He wound up finishing a career year with 44 tackles, 14 pass defenses and four interceptions.
Now that Williams is primed to take on an increased role, it is safe to assume that he will have an opportunity to top these numbers next season. Given the team’s efforts to keep him around on a first-round tender, another big year could result in an even bigger payday next offseason.
For now, it is evident that Williams is focused on the task at hand. If the Rams are going to repeat as the No. 1 defense in the league, he will need to prove to opposing offenses that going away from Ramsey is not always a viable option.