It seems like everyone on this board has talked themselves into believing the Williams deal was a good one and he is going to be a significant upgrade to the line, I say that is absolutely insane.
This was an absolutely horrible signing and a horrible contract, just as bad as when Buddy inexplicably gave Mark Anderson a buttload of money despite the fact that he stunk - and make no mistake about it, Chris Williams stinks at football.
A lot has been made of the fact that Williams got a -21.8 grade from PFF, with a number of posters going on diatribes about how PFF's rankings are flawed and how his teammates on the OL were really bad… I agree there is some flaws and I agree his teammates weren't good. But that number is a real number and it is a horrible horrible number.
There is a reason all of the OL with very high PFF grades are generally considered the best OL in football and guys with horrible grades like Colin Brown and Legursky end up on the bench or out of the league. If Williams had a solid grade last year and maybe a -5 this year, I'd say those ratings aren't that big a deal. But Williams has always graded out poorly or rather extremely poorly, a negative 21.8 means he was one of the worst graded guards in football - you can't deny how bad that is, even if the system is flawed, it means he still was at least pretty awful.
For perspective on how bad this contract is lets look at the best FA guard that was on the market, Geoff Schwartz, he of the +18.6 PFF rating. This guy has gotten better each year and really played excellent football last year, and has as much if not more versatility than Williams.
Schwartz got a nearly identical contract to Williams!!!
Williams got 4 years at 13.5 mill with 5.5 guaranteed
Schwartz got 4 years at 16.8 mill with 6.2 guaranteed
So while I like the rest of the moves this offseason - especially the Graham signing - I think Whaley and crew deserve to face some harsh criticism when Williams ends up being a dud.
Though I wrote a post almost identical to this one when Mark Anderson was signed and it was almost universally met with negative comments and name calling, so I expect nothing less. But mark my words, this signing will end up hurting our cap and giving us the false belief that we have filled a hole on the OL that is still just as big a hole as it was 13.5 million dollars ago.