When he became a free agent on March 9, receiver Terrance Williams could have signed anywhere. He decided to take less money to stay in Dallas.
Nearly three months later, Williams has no regrets.
“It just wasn’t about money to me,” Williams said Saturday, via Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “There was a lot of money I could have taken, but it’s just the people. The guys I hang around with in my locker room and then the coaches that I have. That’s a bigger price tag on it for me than money.”
And so Williams, a third-round pick in 2013, opted to stay put as the No. 2 receiver to Dez Bryant.
“I feel like Mr. Jones took a chance on me and I feel like I got to return the favor to him,” Williams said. “The same with Dez and the rest of my teammates. When you’ve been around certain people for so long, going somewhere else just wouldn’t feel the same if you’re being successful. . . . So to go to a different state and come back home when I see my bros, it just wouldn’t feel the same. I just feel like I owed them the respect that they gave me. I know a lot of people [Cowboys fans] didn’t like it, that’s part of the reason too I came back. Everybody thought I was fixing to go off and take something else and most people were mad too so that’s why I like it.”
He also may like his role, and the Cowboys may like the return they’ll be getting on a four-year, $17 million contract.
“The conversations we had is they’re going to use me a lot more than they have in the past,” Williams said.
He had 44 catches in 2016, down from a career high of 52 in 2015. With Bryant and tight end Jason Witten and slot receivers Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer and running back Ezekiel Elliott, Williams could have a hard time getting to 44 again. He still sees one specific label for himself: “[T]he spark maker.”
“Whenever it gets dull or we do go through a little dry spell, it’s my job to spark us back up and get us back going,” Williams said.
Regardless of whether he succeeds, the Cowboys have to be happy to get him back at $4.25 million per year.