After an extended flirtation that started over a month ago, today the Bengals announced the signing of free agent Safety Roy Williams. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Williams was released by the Cowboys on March 5th, and had visited with the coaching staff in Cincinnati on March 19th. Though no deal was immediately signed, both sides came away impressed and viewed the pairing as a fit. Williams, a seven-year vet, had his most successful seasons in Dallas playing for Mike Zimmer, the current Bengal defensive coordinator. As a Cowboy, Williams was elected to five pro-bowls, recording 504 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 19 interceptions, three of which he returned for TDs. An enforcer, Williams excels at stopping the run and providing an intimidating force in the middle of the field.
Indications are the Bengals weren’t the only interested party, or the highest bidder. “There were a couple of teams offering considerable more money, but Roy liked the fit in Cincinnati.” agent Jordan Woy was quoted as saying.
Williams joins what looks to be a very interesting battle for the starting safety positions. The Bengals already have two playmaking safeties in Chris Crocker and Chinedum Nduke, plus solid depth with Corey Lynch, Marvin White, and Kyries Hebert.
Williams joins the recent additions of DT Tank Johnson, and MLB Rey Maualuga in upgrading the center of the Bengals D.