Shawn Williams to Cardinals, per report


Another Cincinnati Bengals free agent is signing with the Arizona Cardinals.

Per NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, the Cardinals have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with safety Shawn Williams.

Williams, a ninth-year player in 2021, originally was the Bengals’ third-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft. In his eight seasons with Cincinnati, Williams played in 119 games (61 starts) and registered 305 solo tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 26 passes defensed, and 14 interceptions.

In the 2016 offseason, the Bengals signed Williams to a four-year contract extension before he became a full-time starter at safety. Williams became a mainstay in the Bengals’ defense for the next four seasons, but was demoted to special teams after the club signed Vonn Bell in the 2020 offseason. Bell’s presence next to All-Pro safety Jessie Bates III made Williams expendable, and when his contract expired this month, it was heavily speculated he would not return to the team.

Williams, who turns 30 in May, will also join former Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green in Arizona. Williams and Green not only played their entire careers in Cincinnati, they were college teammates at Georgia from 2009-2010. Williams will also play under Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who was Williams’ position coach from 2014-2015 in Cincinnati.