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.