Jaguars CB Darious Williams shows up on list of overpaid free agents

Darious Williams #11 of the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Darious Williams #11 of the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The consensus is that the Jacksonville Jaguars paid a premium for former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk when they gave him a four-year, $72 million deal in free agency. However, he might not have been the only player they overpaid, as cornerback Darious Williams recently earned the distinction.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently put together the NFL’s 2022 overpaid team and both Kirk and Williams both made the cut. Moton believes that “unless they play to feature Kirk, they overpaid for him“. Regarding Williams, he thinks that signing Williams comes with a couple of concerns. First, he may have peaked under former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator and Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. Second, he might have a hard time covering big wide receivers.

"Furthermore, Williams may have issues against big receivers, especially in the red zone. After he allowed just two touchdowns in 2020, the 5’9″, 187-pounder gave up four touchdown receptions last season. The Jaguars hope that number doesn’t continue to trend in the wrong direction, though we shouldn’t be surprised if offensive coordinators try to put Williams in disadvantageous positions inside the 20-yard line."

While it’s not shocking to see Kirk pop up on any list of overpaid players, Williams’ inclusion is a bit more surprising, especially when you take into account that was a starting cornerback, and a good one at that for the Los Angeles Rams. Over the last two seasons, the UAG product appeared in 30 starts and logged 23 passes defensed, and four interceptions.

The Jaguars’ cornerback room looks in great shape after free agency.

Signing Williams in free agency was a bit surprising and it might have been a bit of a luxury since the Jaguars already have two starting cornerbacks in Shaquill Griffin and Tyson Campbell. However, his addition gives defensive coordinator Mike Calwell plenty of talent to work with in the back end. With Griffin and Campbell starting in the boundaries, Williams projects to line up in the slot. There, his height might not be much of a factor, and if Griffin or Campbell have to miss time, he could easily slide outside.

In the end, it will come down to whether Williams thrives in Jacksonville. If he plays well, his contract will seem fair but if he struggles, any criticism will be warranted. For the time being, it looks like a solid addition to the Jaguars’ cornerback room. Last season, they ranked 17th in passing yards allowed and his presence should help them move up a few spots.

The Jaguars’ roster lacked playmakers and finished 3-14 in 2021. Thus, they made several impact additions in free agency. Did they overspend to do it? Yes, but it won’t matter if they improve significantly in 2022.

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