Brian Williams has in Jacksonville what he always wanted in Minnesota, a position to call his own. Now, Williams wants to prove he's worth the money the Jaguars paid him.
"I feel like I'm one of the top corners in the league. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't have gotten paid that. When it comes time to play, I'll prove it," Williams said.
The Jaguars were harshly criticized on some fronts for the $10 million bonus they paid Williams when they signed him from the Vikings in free agency. The Jaguars were said to have spent too much money on a player who wasn't even a starter.
Williams, of course, reclaimed his starting cornerback job last season. The Viking signed Fred Smoot to a rich free-agent contract and handed him the starting cornerback job, but when Smoot became injured, Williams moved into the lineup and played well enough to hold the job after Smoot was healthy and ready to return.
The Vikings had used the high tender on Williams in 2005 restricted free agency, which immediately turned teams away from signing him. In unrestricted free agency this year, the Vikings were out of options.
"My whole career has been like that," Williams said of being a talent that's been overlooked. "I've still got to showcase my talents."
He'll have the opportunity to do that in the Jaguars defense. He's the team's starting right cornerback and, through spring practices, Williams has done nothing to make the Jaguars regret their decision to sign him.
"He's a big, physical, strong corner that can play on top of the receiver and off. I anticipate he's going to be everything we thought he was," Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith said.
"The tape don't lie. There's a reason I got paid like that," Williams said. "That's what keeps me hungry. I know I can play. I just have to go out and do it on game day and prove everybody in this organization right."