Originally published 3/17/2017 at 06:00a.m., updated 3/16/2017 at 09:18p.m.
The Baltimore Ravens made a great decision to bring back defensive tackle Brandon Williams. He was not expected to be back after testing the free agent market.
In the end, Williams returned to the Ravens for a five-year contract worth ear, $52.5 million, including a $12.5 million signing bonus with $33.75 million guaranteed.
Williams was once a third-round draft pick (No.94 overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has been an anchor along the Ravens defensive line, taking his place as the next standout tackle for Baltimore.
After completing four seasons, Williams knew exactly where he wanted to be when the dust settled from the free agent process.
"I didn’t [clean out my locker]. Everything is still there," Williams said at his press conference on Monday. "Even I think my last suit that I still had in there. I think it is still in there. I wanted to come back. I figured I would kind of try to leave hints and kind of speak it into existence and keep everything there so they know I am going to be there." The way things played out made it seem like he was not going to return. Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens front office found a way to clear up the necessary money to make a real offer to
"It was a crazy experience. I was anxious not knowing what was going to happen, not knowing where I am going to be," Williams explained. "I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. I was trying to be strong, kind of go through it, I guess just trying to figure out where I was going to be. It was tough, but in the end, it worked out perfectly, and I am happy for it. I am glad to be with Baltimore. I told coach Harbaugh this: ‘When it got down to it, I kind of just could not see myself in any other color but purple and black.’
"Newsome is a Ravens legend as a player and in the front office. He is well aware of the history of defensive tackles that has made Baltimore's vaunted 3-4 defense so strong. Newsome explained why Williams is a mandatory part of the team’s future and how he fuels Dean Pees' attack.
“I think he’s right up there with all of them," Newsome said during Williams’ Monday press conference. "You startwith ‘Goose’ [Tony Siragusa], Sam [Adams], Kelly Gregg, Haloti [Ngata]… I mean, I could just keep going and keep going. But he’s right up there as a player, but also as a person. The big thing about guys like Brandon is it takes two. He’ll make the play in the run game, but he also does a good job of pushing the pocket. So, he’s right in there with all of those guys.”
With Williams in the middle of the defense, the Ravens can now focus on adding help at inside linebacker to
strengthen the team up the middle.