It appears that defensive tackle remains a pretty high priority for the Detroit Lions this offseason. Although they didn’t target any of the first-tier players, this second wave of free agency has brought about a few players of interest. The Lions have already brought in Shamar Stephen, Quinton Dial and Ricky Jean Francois for meetings. Now you can add another name to the list, per ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe:
Former Titans NT Sylvester Williams visited the Lions Monday and Redskins today. He’s expected to make a decision on where to sign today.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) March 20, 2018
Sylvester Williams was cut by the Titans last week after signing a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Tennessee Titans in 2017. The move saved the Titans over $3 million in cap space, and some believe they may use that money to aggressively pursue Ndamukong Suh, though the team has not met with the All Pro defensive tackle yet. It’s worth noting, too, that Tennessee has a brand new coaching staff, so there may be some changes in scheme coming.
As for Williams, he has carved himself a nice little career since drafted in the first round in 2013. Here’s a look at his career stats:
2013 (Broncos): 13 games (4 starts): 19 tackles, 2.0 sacks
2014 (Broncos): 16 games (13 starts): 21 tackles
2015 (Broncos): 15 games (15 starts): 25 tackles, 3.0 sacks
2016 (Broncos): 16 games (16 starts): 29 tackles, 1.0 sacks
2017 (Titans): 15 games (11 starts): 20 tackles
Things weren’t great with the Broncos, which is why they didn’t give him a fifth-year option and chose not to re-sign him, but his play can certainly be described as adequate.
While the stats above aren’t exactly eye-popping, the life of a nose tackle typically isn’t one littered with a ton of stats. Williams earned an “average” grade of 76.5 from Pro Football Focus last year.
We’ve mentioned several times before how big of a need defensive/nose tackle is for this team and the 6-foot-2, 313 pound lineman could certainly fill that role.
What’s interesting here is that Wolfe is reporting that Williams is choosing between Washington and Detroit. Remember, Washington is also in the mix for DT Johnathan Hankins. If Williams chooses Washington, it could free up Hankins for Detroit—should the Lions show any interest.
A decision is expected soon, so we may finally see the Lions make a move along the defensive line in the next 24 hours.