Rams’ Super Bowl Winning CB a ‘Free Agency Fit’ for Steelers: Analyst

Darious Williams Rams

Harry How/Getty Images Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is chased by Darious Williams of the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 26, 2021.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing a possible makeover in the secondary, as three of the club’s front-line defensive backs are pending unrestricted free agents. That means the team is likely to sign (or trade) for a veteran defensive back or two, much like it has done in recent years with the addition of cornerback Steven Nelson (UFA, March 2019) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (trade, September 2021).

In fact, Witherspoon is one of the three Steelers defensive backs who could sign elsewhere, a trio that also includes No. 1 cornerback Joe Haden and starting strong safety Terrell Edmunds, the latter of whom will be a UFA because the Steelers declined to pick up his fifth-year option back in May 2021.

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If the Steelers do end up in need of reinforcements in their secondary, NFL.com’s Around the NFL Writer Marc Sessler likes Los Angeles Rams cornerback Darious Williams as a “free agency fit” for Pittsburgh.

Williams “benefitted (from) playing across from ace Jalen Ramsey, but his quickness and ball skills make him an attractive add-on for a defense waving goodbye to Joe Haden after letting go of Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson an offseason ago,” writes Sessler, who is assuming that Haden is as good as gone, contrary to the opinion of at least one Steelers insider.


Darious Williams Started His Career With the Ravens

As for Williams, he’s a 28-year-old former undrafted free agent from the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) who joined the Baltimore Ravens out of college. But after getting waived by the Ravens in October 2018, he was claimed by the Los Angeles Rams, where he eventually developed into a starter.

In three-plus years with the Rams Williams appeared in 43 games and made 26 starts, recording 130 tackles (111 solo), with six interceptions, 27 passes defensed and five tackles for loss, as per Pro Football Reference. Along the way he earned Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades of 78.9, 80.0 and 65.3 over the last three seasons, winning a Super Bowl with the Rams just last month.

According to overthecap.com, Williams earned a $4.766 million salary with the Rams last season.


Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster to the Jaguars?

It’s also perhaps worth noting that Marc Sessler likes Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster as a good fit for former No. 1 overall QB Trevor Lawrence, knowing full well that the odds are long that the former second-round pick will choose Jacksonville, which is both far from home and the NFL’s smallest media market. Never mind the fact that one recent report suggests that Smith-Schuster, 25, “hopes to join” forces with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

In Jacksonville, Smith-Schuster would have the opportunity to play with a young franchise quarterback and “Doug Pederson’s offense demands more support” around Lawrence, notes Sessler. “Smith-Schuster is coming off an injury-slammed 2021, but remains a player who can bolster an air game.”

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