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Cary Williams gets into a skirmish during Super Bowl XLVII, not an uncommon sight during the fiery cornerback's stint with the Ravens.
Cary Williams gets into a skirmish during Super Bowl XLVII, not an uncommon sight during the fiery cornerback's stint with the Ravens. (Al Bello, Getty Images)

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have released veteran cornerback Cary Williams, rather than pay him a $6.5 million base salary next season, the feisty defensive back is an option worth exploring for the Ravens.

And Williams has a strong interest in potentially rejoining the Ravens after leaving the organization on good terms two years ago, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

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Whether that means the Ravens will try to sign Williams is premature at this time, though.

Williams plays the game with a combative nature, embracing an underdog mentality as a 2008 seventh-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans. He's a big cornerback at 6 feet 1, 190 pounds and has the physical style and leaping ability to prevent receivers from making contested catches.

The Ravens had problems in the secondary last season, thanks in large part to injuries to top cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (Lisfranc foot sprain) and Lardarius Webb (nerve damage to lower back, hematoma). Smith is making steady progress in his rehabilitation from surgery. Webb was healthy by the end of the season and was working toward regaining his old form.

The Ravens are working on a potential restructured contract for Webb ($12 million salary-cap figure) to remain with the team at a reduced cost.

Pairing Williams with Smith and Webb and potentially drafting a young cornerback within the first two rounds -- someone like Marcus Peters (Washington), Jalen Collins (LSU) or Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest, River Hill) -- could upgrade the secondary.

Williams, 30, made $10.5 million in two seasons with the Eagles. He started every game over the past two years and had five interceptions.

Responsible for covering elite wide receivers, including Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant, Williams allowed 56 completions on 96 passes thrown in his direction last season for 757 yards and five touchdowns. Opposing quarterbacks had an 89.5 passer rating against him. It wasn't a stellar season, but Williams has a proven track record and played his best football with the Ravens.

Williams started 28 games over four seasons in Baltimore. He had 75 tackles, four interceptions and 17 pass deflections during his final season with the Ravens.

Williams declined a three-year, $15 million offer from the Ravens before joining the Eagles.

awilson@baltsun.com
twitter.com/RavensInsider

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