The move was not unexpected, as the Steelers had been negotiating on a new deal with Williams for the past several weeks. The only sticking point to the deal was its length and some of the incentives.
A 12-year NFL veteran, Williams started the final 10
regular-season games and both playoff games in 2004 after
starting cornerback Chad Scott was injured on Oct. 17 at Dallas.
Williams remained a starter after Scott returned, and finished the
season with 57 tackles, one sack, an interception and seven
Though Williams' deal is worth $2.5 million over two years, he
will earn a base salary of $760,000 this season, but will count
just $450,000 against the Steelers' salary cap provided he
makes the team. He also received signing bonus of $500,000.
The Steelers will give Ricardo Colclough and Ike Taylor the first
opportunity to win the starting job Williams held down last
season and are also likely to select a cornerback at some point
in the draft. That would leave Williams battling with veteran Chidi Iwuoma for a roster spot.
Williams is the only member of the current Steelers roster to
have played with the team in Super Bowl XXX after originally
being drafted by the Pittsburgh in the sixth round of the 1993 NFL
Draft. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an unrestricted
free agent after the 1996 season, but re-signed with the Steelers
after being released by the Seahawks.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Plaxico Burress was in New York
Monday speaking with Giants' brass. New York is reportedly
offering Burress a six-year deal worth $20 million with a signing
bonus of just $4 million. If that is indeed the case, the Steelers
may be inclined to get into the bidding for Burress, the team's
No. 1 draft choice in 2000.
While they won't be used as a pawn to drive up the price for
Burress, he may choose to stay in Pittsburgh if the Steelers offer
a deal close to what New York is offering rather than play for
noted taskmaster Tom Coughlin.
Williams back in the fold
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