P.J. Williams Jersey

The New Orleans Saints are aiming to make one more run at a Super Bowl. But as an already supremely talented roster has learned over the past two years, depth often determines who plays in February. And luck of course.

In a move that screams to the “you can never have too many cornerbacks” mantra, the Saints added to their secondary with a very familiar face agreeing to terms with P.J. Willams on a one-year deal Tuesday worth $5 million.

Contrary to FS1’s Colin Cowherd’s belief, the New Orleans Saints do not have “really weak corners”. While their defensive backs weren’t perfect last season and had various cringe worthy lapses, the group improved immensely throughout the season.

And with talented slot cornerback Patrick Robinson returning after a season ending injury in 2018, it should only be better. Robinson’s replacement last season was the now five m-year pro in Williams. While he had been plagued by injury and inconsistency throughout his time in New Orleans, his struggles weren’t a secret.

But there were several games when the potential that made Williams a third-round pick in 2015 flashed. And sometimes the light shined extremely bright.

2018 however, gave him another chance to put it all on display. With another struggling defensive beginning to the season, Robinson on IR, and the Saints eventually welcoming Eli Apple aboard after a rough campaign from Ken Crawley —the pressure remained thick on Williams.

And he responded in a manner in which a former Florida State cornerback should. With swagger and success.

And he responded in a manner in which a former Florida State cornerback should. With swagger and success.

Now with a healthy returning Robinson, Williams will join an even more crowded secondary in 2019. With Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple expected to hold down the number one and two positions on the depth chart, Williams will be more than likely fighting it out for nickel and dime package snaps.

But nothing is ever guaranteed in a New Orleans Saints secondary, so his opportunity to contribute could easily arrive in another manner unexpected. If history is to repeat itself however, he’d have it no other way.

The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with CB P.J. WIlliams on a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.

Williams, 6-0 196, was originally selected by New Orleans in the third round (78th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida State. He has appeared in 33 career games with 14 starts, posting career totals of 106 tackles (83 solo), one sack, three interceptions, one returned 45 yards for a touchdown, 20 passes defensed and two forced fumbles. In four postseason contests with two starts, he has added 16 tackles (13 solo) and four passes defensed.

In 2019, Williams played in 15 regular season games with six starts and posted a career-high 53 tackles (44 solo), one sack, a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown, nine passes defensed and one forced fumble. With his 45-yard pick brough back for a score in the club’s 30-20 win over Minnesota on October 28, Williams was selected as the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week Eight. He opened both postseason contests and posted 11 tackles (nine solo) and two passes defensed.

charges early Wednesday morning, New Orleans Police confirmed to NFL.com.

According to a report from the NOPD, Williams was “arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center for driving while intoxicated, speeding (80 mph in a 50 mph), improper lane usage and failure to use a turn signal.”

Williams was released on bond later Wednesday morning.

This is not Williams’ first arrest for driving under the influence. Per the Tallahassee Democrat, he was arrested and charged with DUI in 2015 before that year’s draft, though the charge was later dropped.

The Saints selected Williams in the third round of the 2015 draft. This past season he appeared in 15 games with seven starts and logged an interception, which he returned for a touchdown, in addition to 53 tackles.

Williams is set to be a free agent in March when the new league year begins.

P.J. Williams is treating it just like any other game.

Never mind that he’ll be in Tampa, just 90 miles from his hometown of Ocala, Florida.

Never mind that he’ll be going up against his college teammate and friend, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.

Never mind that he grew up a huge fan of the Bucs, rooting for guys like Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott and Ronde Barber and others as 9-year old kid when they won Super Bowl XXXVII.

“It doesn’t mean much now, because I’m far from a fan now,” Williams said. “I don’t think about playing the team that I liked growing up. I just want to win.”

For the fourth-year cornerback used primarily in nickel packages, it’s a chance to continue building on what has been his best season yet.

His 40 tackles this season leaves him just seven shy of tying his career-high 47 from a season ago.

“I feel like I’m getting comfortable every week, playing with a lot more confidence and being able to play fast,” Williams said. “Just knowing the game plan and executing the game time. Just overall, I’m taking my game up.”

It helps that Williams is finally healthy after an injury-plagued start to his career. A hamstring injury ended his entire rookie season in 2015. He played in just two games the following year but suffered what at the time looked like it could be major injury in Week 2 against the New York Giants. Williams lay on the turf at Met Life Stadium after taking a knee to the side of the helmet and another knee to the back of the helmet on the same play. Williams was immobilized and carted off the field.

His recollection of the play?

“I remember being in the ambulance,” Williams recalled. “But I never think about it. It doesn’t affect me at all.”

Williams was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of that season after what was determined to be a concussion, but he never doubted he’d return.

Neither did his teammates.

“It was a scary moment for all of us, but God kept him close and he bounced back, and it’s like he never left,” safety Vonn Bell said. “He isn’t afraid to make the big hit, and he’s still sticking his nose in there when it gets cloudy and muddy. He lays his body on the line for us, just playing fast and making plays.”

Williams said he is as healthy as he’s ever been after playing the end of last season while battling tendonitis.

His performance in the seventh game against the Minnesota Vikings — when he returned an interception for a touchdown and also helped force a momentum-swinging fumble — earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Williams also recorded his first career sack on Thanksgiving night against the Falcons.

“P.J.’s really intelligent, he’s really smart and understands how to operate inside in that nickel position,” said Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. “He understands leverage and when we ask him to play receivers, he knows where his help is. He knows zone coverage and how teams are tyring to attack him. You can win a lot of games and do a lot of good things with highly intelligent players. I think P.J.’s had some success. That builds your confidence and allows you to come out and play more freely and aggressive.”

There was a time this season when it didn’t seem like Williams would get those snaps, particularly after a Week 3 when he struggled against the Falcons. His woeful day included giving up a 75-yard touchdown to Calvin Ridley.

“I feel like I didn’t play well at all that Atlanta game,” Williams said. “After that, I just wanted to make sure I played a whole lot better to help the team.”

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore noticed the difference.

“After the Atlanta game, he really locked in after that,” Lattimore said. “From that point on, he was great. Playing corner in the NFL, you’re going to have those rough games and you have to know how to bounce back, and that’s what he did. We knew how P.J. could play, and he’s showing that more this year.”

Now Williams returns to his home state of Florida, where his football journey began.

He stays in touch with Winston, with whom he played for three seasons at Florida State. The two were on the Seminoles team that beat Auburn in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. Winston and Williams were named the game’s most valuable players.

They stay in touch, with Williams giving Winston a bit of ribbing leading up to Sunday’s game. Williams’ last interception against Winston came in practice at Florida State. He has yet to intercept Winston as a pro.

“Hopefully this week,” Williams said. “I talk junk a little bit to him, told him not to come at me. Don’t look for him to complete any passes on me.”

But Williams is more focused on the Saints getting a win, avenging their season-opening loss.

“They are a lot better, but I feel we are a lot better too,” Williams said. “I feel like we are the better team. We just have to play like it. We are trying to win the NFC South championship. Losing last week (against Dallas) makes me want to win this week. That’s the main thing for me.”

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