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Seahawks add Cary Williams to replace Byron Maxwell

In what turned out to be a swap of starting cornerbacks, the Seahawks signed former Eagle Cary Williams on Tuesday while Byron Maxwell jumped to Philadelphia in free agency.


He is 6 feet 1 and weighs 190 pounds. He entered the NFL as a late-round draft choice. He has been a member of a Super Bowl champion.

Byron Maxwell? No, the cornerback that the Seahawks signed on the first day of the NFL free-agency period to replace their starting right cornerback: Cary Williams.

As Maxwell was jumping to the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, the 30-year-old Williams joined the Seahawks – after being released last week by the Eagles.

The Seahawks acquired former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams on the opening day of NFL free agency.

This exchange of corners allowed the Seahawks' secondary to add another tall, aggressive player to the All-Pro trio of cornerback Richard Sherman, free safety Earl Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor – three very big reasons why Seattle led the league in average points and yards allowed last season.

Williams is a good fit for the Seahawks, according to Pro Football Focus: "Their scheme encourages the kind of physicality in coverage that Williams is most comfortable with, and he has all the athleticism needed to perform well in that system."

As for the similarities between Williams and Maxwell, Williams is the same height and 17 pounds lighter; he was selected in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, while Maxwell was a sixth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2011; and Williams was on the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl championship team in 2012, while Maxwell won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks after the 2013 season.

The Ravens signed Williams off the Titans' practice squad on Nov. 24, 2009 and he became a starter in 2011 and 2012 – posting career-highs in tackles (78) in 2011 and interceptions (four) in 2012. He then signed with the Eagles on March 14, 2013. In two seasons in Philly, Williams started 33 games, including playoffs. He had 67 tackles and three interceptions in 2013 and 60 tackles and two interceptions last season, including three tackles in the Seahawks' 24-14 victory over the Eagles in Week 14.

For his career, Williams has 306 tackles, nine interceptions and 58 passes defensed. Over the past four seasons, he has averaged 70 tackles, 2.3 interceptions and 14.3 passes defensed.

Williams began his college career at Fordham, but after one season he transferred to Washburn. At the NFL Scouting Combine in 2008, Williams ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds and had a 32.5-inch vertical leap.

With the Seahawks, Williams jumps into a situation where they have lost three starting-caliber corners in the past 12 months – Brandon Browner (New England Patriots) and Walter Thurmond (New York Jets) last March; and Maxwell on Tuesday. Also, nickel back Jeremy Lane is coming off surgeries to repair a knee ligament and a forearm after he was injured in the loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX last month.

Williams also visited the Titans and Jets before deciding to sign a three-year contract with the Seahawks.

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