While much of the focus in the offseason and preseason was on the negotiations for a long-term deal between the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco, cornerback Cary Williams also took a risk and declined a three-year, $15 million extension.
But Williams said he never viewed his decision as a risk.
"I just left it in God's hands," he said after Friday's practice. "At the end of the day, I knew that God had brought me this far, and all of that hard work and preparation was going to come into play, and I just continued to keep my head down, continued to do what I'm normally doing, and I felt success would be there. I never thought of it as a gamble on myself. I guess I gambled on God and whatever God's will was, I would go with that. I'm a very spiritual guy and for this situation to be the way that it is, it's not me. God is working through me and helping me get to this point. So I'm thankful for that opportunity because I know these opportunities only come so often for certain people and luckily for me, it's come this way. I don't want to squander this opportunity."
Williams may have priced himself out of the Ravens' budget. He tied free safety Ed Reed for the team lead in interceptions with four in the regular season and added two more in the playoffs, and the two players were the only ones on defense to start every game. Williams also posted 75 tackles and broke up 17 passes in the regular season.
Williams said he's not concerned with what the Ravens or any other team will offer in the upcoming offseason.
"All that stuff will play out when it plays out," he said. "Right now, I'm not focused on that. I feel like we're in the Super Bowl and that's the main thing. Right now, I'm a happy Raven and I want to be a happy Raven in the future, but that's one thing I'm really not worried about or dealing with right now. Right now, I'm focused on my team and on my best efforts this week, putting the best preparation in that I can. And then from there, we'll work on that. But I'm not worried about a contract, I'm not thinking about a contract or thinking about how much money I'm going to get. I'm focused on a ring."
Without saying whether he'd be willing to give the Ravens a hometown discount, Williams said he would prefer to remain with the organization that signed him in 2009 after the Tennessee Titans cut him.
"You don't get this type of locker room anywhere else," he said. "I've been on another team besides this, and the locker room wasn't as close-knit, wasn't a family atmosphere. We had a couple guys that were cool and things like that, but it's nothing like this. It's unparalleled, and for us to have great leadership in this locker room and a great coaching staff and a great front office, you don't want to leave a place like this because it's rare that you would find a place like this. And I've talked to several guys in the locker room – Anquan [Boldin] and some of the other guys who just came over, Vonta [Leach] and Jacoby Jones – those guys think this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a Raven, and it's great for everybody."