Criticism begins to roll in for Cary Williams’ offseason plan


Cary Williams has bet on himself and won before, so obviously he’s feeling lucky.

The Eagles cornerback continued to adhere to the letter of the law of voluntary workouts, if not the spirit, by staying away for pretty much any reason this offseason. He had already missed workouts for a wedding, honeymoon, and dental work.

But after he skipped Friday’s for his daughter’s recital, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer took him to task for his absences.

In a column which will surely be appreciated by Eagles coach Chip Kelly for hammering players who do not walk the line, McLane chided Williams for his repeated absences.

“So much was made of how the Eagles signed team-first free agents this offseason. Williams’ actions suggest anything but,” McLane wrote.

McLane also hailed the team-first attitude of veteran receiver Jason Avant, mentioning that he stayed after practice to get extra work in when the voluntary session was over.

“You wish they would come, but you don’t know their reason or their circumstance” Avant said when asked about Williams.

“If you sit down with Cary, he’s definitely committed,” Avant continued. “Guys in the locker room know the guys that are committed to their craft, and Cary is definitely one of those guys.”

Of his own reasons for hanging around, Avant said: “First of all, it’s a new coaching staff. You want to let everybody know that you are integral to the team winning.”

There’s a significant difference between Williams and Avant, however.

Avant’s a better-than-average fringe player, who is taking reps on defense in hopes of hanging onto a roster spot.

Williams, unless Kelly decides to cut off his salary cap space to spite his own face, is a starter. That allows him the luxury of dismissing working with the second team, saying “the cream will rise to the top.”

Williams rolled the dice on himself last year and won, turning down a Ravens contract extension, staying healthy, winning a Super Bowl ring and signing for more with the Eagles than the Ravens had previously offered.

If the season starts and Williams plays well, the fact he opted out in May will be forgotten by coaches and media alike.

If he gives up a touchdown, however, expect it to be blamed on the fact he watched his daughter dance.

45 responses to “Criticism begins to roll in for Cary Williams’ offseason plan

  1. Whether he plays well or not well, it can be argued that he could have played better than that if he didn’t sacrifice football and work for family and personal reasons. Life is all about choices and Cary Williams clearly is not 100% committed to professional football, it’s his life and his choice. So you can either like his choice or not, but I don’t think one can make a strong argument that he wouldn’t be a better football player if he prioritized the game above everything else. And if not getting 100% out of a player is an important issue to the Ravens, then that’s their business to sort out. Maybe getting 98% out of Cary Williams is better than 100% out of somebody else.

    It just depends what your options are and what kind of team you want to have. Is that a team that dominates with focus on football, or is that a team that has cushy leniency for strong work-life balance?

  2. Buyer beware Eagles. This UDFA overvalued himself during his Ravens stint and was often picked on by other teams’ QBs. He turned down a good offer from the Ravens thinking he was a high-value free agent and could only get himself essentially a similar deal from the Eagles the following year.

  3. “IF” he gives up a touchdown? That’s like saying “IF” the sky will be blue tommorow. Just because he was on a superbowl team doesn’t mean he was good, Eagles fans. Far from it. If Nnamdi Asomugha couldn’t prosper with the Eagles, Cary has no chance.

  4. Sounds like McLane had a deadline to meet and nothing to write about. He should have another slap boxing battle royale with Les Bowen.

  5. I’m really starting to get annoyed by Jeff McClane.
    It seems like he’s less into reporting than he is telling the Eagles and their players what they should be doing. Opinion is one thing. Sitting back and passing judgment as if you are some sort of Philly Sports King is another. Yes, I’d prefer to see Williams there, too. But this guy is a veteran who has undoubted ability. He’s skipping VOLUNTARY activities, and he’s doing it for (apparently) specific reasons (wedding, family commitment, etc.). I don’t see the big deal. If we’re going to “take players to task” for missing voluntary workouts, they aren’t voluntary.

  6. It is possible this guy had important things come up. It is starting to look like one of those guys that schedule things so he doesn’t have to work. We all know those kind of people. Factor in the fact that he is already paid and it is easy to see. He may miss some time in camp because his car is in the shop or an elective surgery had to be scheduled early august.

  7. A contract was offered by the Ravens to Williams comensurate with his established history of on-again-off-again ability to cover.

    In fact the only thing he did consistently was mouth off to his opponents and pick fights for no reason other than satisfying his own need to let off some steam.

    Courtland Finnegan lite.

  8. Cary Williams better get his ass together.

    Whether or not he’s a good player, his off-the-field actions might cost him his roster spot.

    Hey, at least his teeth are clean.

  9. I’m an eagles fan, and totally fine with his reasons for missing voluntary work. There’s another angle for this story, and that’s him being actively involved in his daughter’s life… that shows the type of commitment that translate into a team-oriented player… I would love for Antonio Cromartie to take a page from his book. If I was his coach, I would have put “attend at least one of your daughters dance recitals” in his contract.

    Peter’s has been away, and so have a handful of other players for “personal” reasons. No hearing their names mentioned…

  10. It’s a sad place when you have write about an article that somebody else wrote…..oh wait…that’s every article here isn’t it?

  11. I wouldn’t categorize Avant as an above average fringe player. He’s not the fastest but he’s one of the better slot receivers in the league. He has the best hands on the team and it has been that way for many years. He just doesn’t fit as well with what Chip wants to do. But yes Cary Williams infuriates me.

  12. The NFL needs to quit fooling itself and either make all ota’s mandatory or stop trying too guilt players into showing up for their mandatory events. I am sure this McLane guy has showed up for all of the voluntary charity and work events that his employer holds.

  13. If the opinion of some tool at the Philadelphia Inquirer has a scintilla of influence over anyone in Kelly’s organization, he has already failed.

    The arrogance of a guy whose function in life is to regurgitate the work of others is beyond hilarious. Another pathetic effort, Gantt! Thanks so much.

  14. The issue shouldn’t be him missing spring practice for his family. Good for him. The issue should be that he stinks. Glad the Ravens let him walk after the Super Bowl.

  15. Cary Williams missing voluntary workouts in May just doesnt carry any weight to it…it’s inconsequential. People want to make a big stink out of it simply due to the particular reasons he missed OTAs, and if anyone actually attributes regular season failure to his attending a dance recital in May should get themselves checked out.

  16. Say what you want about Jeff McClane but he’s right about Williams. There is a totally new staff and schemes and he’s new to the team. He needs to be there. Jason Peters is afforded the right to miss because he is not new to the team and he is arguably the best offensive lineman in the league. Williams is an average player at best. He should have enough common sense to know to show up.

  17. He reminds of a MLB infielder (whom I won’t name here) back in the late 1980s, about whom his new manager asked the old manager after the guy was traded, “Great player, but how do you get him on the field?”, to which his old manager replied, “No matter how hard you try, there’s always a reason he can’t play.”

  18. I missed work for my daughter’s school program. I don’t see a problem with what he did. And I missed actual work that had to be done, not practice for a day where I would have to work.

  19. Cary Williams has been playing on one of the best defenses in football the first part of his career, so I doubt the wheel will be reinvented during OTA’s for the Eagles.

    How many OTA stars that these beat writers and blog heads tout who later go on to be either marginal or not good at all? Quite a few for my money.

    Until these guys get into pads and later take it into real game action, it’s all irrelevant.

    I remember a couple of years ago an article on the Browns talking about how building all this chemistry in the OTA’s were going to be the key to their upcoming success. Guess all the holes on the roster and the horrible coaching by Shurmur still resulted in a 5-11 season though, huh?

  20. Why would anyone claim Williams “bet on himself and won” last year? The Ravens offered him 3 years 15 million last year and he decided to play on his tender. Then he got basically the same deal the Ravens offered last year this year. So he played last season for the tender number instead of 5 million dollars and now he is three years from being a FA instead of two. Looks like he lost to me.

  21. Obviously “voluntary” means Mandatory Participation when referring to NFL OTAs by coaches, sports writers, some players, and fans. Ironic that a member of the free press is calling out a player for exercising his freedom to choose family over work in the off-season. Perhaps Mr. McClane would prefer Mr. Williams’ daughter grew up without a father around.
    I can see the NFLPA revising the CBA and excluding voluntary OTAs altogether.

  22. I always try to watch both off my kids sporting events, might miss one on occasion, if i have to leave work early to catch a game, i do…what is the problem here? the guy is family oriented, sounds to me like the writer is the one missing out on things, not cary…

  23. On any job anyone has ever had, people have missed days. But I have always kept this in mind:
    Stuff happens to everybody but it never happens to the same people every time.

    Other players also have dental appoitments, recitals, weddings, cars breaking down, aches and pains etc..etc…’

    But when the same person keeps missing work for all these problems, yea, there’s not only smoke, there is fire.

    Sucks for you Eagles.

  24. After watching The replay on the NFL network this weekend and considering the off-season losses for the Ravens and gains for the Broncos, I can only say that the score of the kickoff game for the NFL season will be Broncos 42 Ravens 14!

  25. Awful lot of Eagles fans acting compassionate and apologetic for Cary Williams… This cannot be the REAL Eagles fans. Never heard a kind word from a single one of them.

  26. What part of VOLUNTARY O.T.A.’s is not understood. he is not required to be there so there is no problem. It has nothing to do with team,family work ethic or being a good parent. He did not have to be there period. I read post’s above of great parents skipping work to go to their children’s activities, that’s wonderful how many would do so if they were told if your not at work at that time you don’t have a job. next week he is REQUIRED TO BE THERE. he will be or he will pay the consequences.

  27. Not surprising for the guy who was caught on camera cheap shotting a 49ers lineman while he was on his back during the superbowl. He followed that up by pushing a ref. So he seems to have a history of selfish behavior on the field, Why would it be any different off? He bet on himself and he got paid. So now he is just basking in the fruits of his accomplishments

  28. Every teams motto is FAMILY FIRST and so Cary is living that out & you gripe about it.

    The better question is why aren’t we willing to put our job on the line for family? Again I say every team in the NFL has the motto family first yet the better teams actually practice it and THE TEAM benefits.

  29. So this guy is getting paid 17 million over 3 years inc a 5million signing bonus and we see were this is going. Show Me the money! I’ll get around to football when its convenient……

    BTW, that’s 7.416 million for 2013

    Meanwhile, Jason Avant ( gotta love him, even back in maze and blue) who has 2 more years in the league, and is making 2.7 million this year is putting in extra voluntary time in on top of the already voluntary workouts he has been attending.

    And what Jason said is correct. New regime. Anyone who truly wants to be successful and win as both a team and individual would be doing the same exact thing.

    Which player would you rather have on your roster? I sure hope for his sake that he does have a huge year and doesn’t get scored on. I’m not sure if he understands the Philly fan base. They aren’t generally considered to be understanding when players don’t perform.

  30. First off as an Eagles fan, I would rather our starters take time out to be with their family. It makes for better work ethic, and future of the team. Sometimes the fans don’t realize that coaches tell the players to take some time off because they are veterans. That is what the sports writers fail to recognize. They wouldn’t risk two losses for a family event that could eventually lead to a dynasty. Any smart owner and coach would understand do not risk injuries like Crabtree, just like McCoy going off with a “knee” tweak.

  31. I am so tired of hearing players talking about their “craft”! You are paid millions of dollars and the phrase you should be using is “practice makes perfect”!

  32. Maybe he just wanted to leave with the rest of the Ravens secondary…… The same deal the same deal blah blah not the same deal because the deal is with the Eagles not the Ravens.

  33. “Cary Williams has bet on himself and won before, so obviously he’s feeling lucky.”

    He turned down a 3 year 15mil offer from the Ravens for a 3 year 17 mil offer with the Eagles…I guess technically he gambled and won, but he left the best organization in football for the Eagles…

    He’s also not a very good corner which Eagles fans will soon come to find.

  34. Typically, the new players on a team, regardless of tenure come to the OTAs. Williams has such an inflated view of himself, he already thinks he’s one of the Eagles best players and doesn’t have to show for such mundane events. He’s mediocre at best… Thank you Eagles for taking him off our hands…

  35. The guy is operating within the bargaining agreement, plus he’s taking care of his family.

    I really don’t see what the problem is here!

    If McClane doesn’t like the system & wants the expectations on the players to be mandatory he should be writing to that & complain about the CBA not bashing Williams or any other player for treating OTA’s as voluntary.

  36. Must be a slow day at the news desk, Jeff must be trying to garner Brownie Points with the other Shock Jocks of the Philly media circus. Those that WON’T recognize the importance of Balance in Work and Family will find themselves,ALONE without a family, and on the fast track to Burnout.

    Voluntary I think, means exactly that, can anyone name a starting CB that has NOT been beat for a TD in this N.F.L I would hope a Super Bowl winning starting CB would plan and execute as many his family commitments as possible during the off-season.

    Williams is NOT a rookie coming into the league. After the Nnamdi, Cromatie debacle of previous years Williams will prove to be a refreshing upgrade. MUCH ado about nothing.

  37. Eagles fans, you got a solid tackler…and that’s about it. The only reason he had 4 INTs last year was because EVERYONE threw at him. He’ll be there to make the tackle after giving up the catch but then you’ll have to deal with him mouthing off and trash talking after getting beat like a drum. Good luck with that…

  38. You only get attention, pass deflections and interceptions if qb’s are afraid to throw at the other corner. Williams was routinely beaten both on short and long routes and if you asked the qb’s in the league who fears Cary Williams, I doubt there would be a name on the list. It is funny to see the Eagles fan blaming the messenger instead of listening to the message and blaming the right person. My grandfather used to say “wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which one fills up first.” The eagles are wishing for a great Cary Williams but are going to end up with a big pile of number two.

  39. Eagles fans will be disappointed with cary williams. Philly ovepayed for a mediocre-at-best corner, who is honestly more trouble than he’s worth. He’s constantly pick on, nd he’s quick to start a fight after he’s beaten. He’s got a mouth like Richard Sherman, but with no play to back it up. You’ll see.

  40. why does it matter. Either way the greatness that is Rg3 will put a big cleat mark on his A$$ week 1.
    The league has flipped! You’ve been warned!

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