Deangelo Williams signed today, with Carolina outbidding Denver (as expected), and New York (which was a surprise, late addition). The deal is worth $43 million over 5 years. Williams was set to be a free agent.
The deal is expensive – over $8 million per year, half of it already guaranteed – but it’s cheaper than the franchise amount for RBs. I honestly worried, once three teams or more were interested, this was going to hit closer to $10 million. That franchise tender amount - $9.86 million – included some anomalies – Reggie Bush and Marion Barber, for instance, aren’t likely to play on those numbers. But, compared to the average of the top 5 salaries currently, it’s not a hefty contract if Williams can continue to be productive.
He’s battled injuries the last two years, which is a bit concerning. He’d be 33 at the end of the deal, which seems unlikely to be completed healthily. In the meantime, he’s still our best back, and it gives a heavy 1-2-3-4 punch for another two years. Jonathan Stewart, Mike Goodson, and Tyrell Sutton are free agents after 2012.
I anticipate the same hard-sell message to come across with Williams that they used on Charles Johnson – staff visit in person with an offer, and a pitch as to how he’ll be used. To this point, haven’t read anything about it, but it’s a nice touch from a class organization.