To play cornerback in the NFL, you have to be confident.
For Ravens corner Cary Williams, that means being willing to gamble $15 million on staying well and being productive.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, Williams recently turned down a three-year, $15 million contract extension, and will instead play out the year under his $1.927 million restricted free agent tender.
“My philosophy on doing that was just having confidence in myself,” Williams said. “I know myself, I know my ability. I know my work ethic. At the end of the day, the offer, I felt like I could always make that. I felt it wasn’t good enough and my agent said it wasn’t good enough. I love playing for the Ravens. I would love to be here, but right now we’re just in the negotiation stage.
“For me to say the money ain’t good, that wasn’t the case. It’s good money, but my job is to make the most money I possibly can for my family. I’m thinking about my daughter and any future children I want to have. I want some kind of security, and the deal we had wasn’t like that.”
If that’s the Ravens offer, they’re clearly trying to buy low.
Williams is coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum after playing through hip pain much of last year. He still started 18 games. But so far, he’s off to a slow start in camp. He said his left hip is sore from overcompensating for the surgically repaired right one.
Making his play more interesting is the fact he’s a former seventh-round pick, who was signed off the Titans practice squad, so he’s never had that kind of rookie deal that allows him true financial flexibility.
And with a 2-year-old daughter, he’s clearly thinking long-term instead of taking the first thing offered.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” Williams said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be in the NFL, but I know that 17 or 18 years from now my daughter is going to be in college and it’s going to be a bunch of money for tuition.”
If he plays well and the Ravens have a good year, he’ll stand to make far more than $5 million per year, based on recent corner deals. But if he backslides, or gets hurt, he may wish he’d have taken the Ravens first offer, which may no longer be available now that his agent’s aired it out for the world to see.