Former Titans NT Sylvester Williams is signing with the Lions, per source.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) March 21, 2018
UPDATE: The team has confirmed the signing.
Per Wolfe, Williams’ deal is only for one year. The team has not disclosed any additional contract details.
Williams reportedly visited the team earlier in the week, and was deciding between the Lions and Washington.
Williams was cut by the Titans earlier this offseason after undergoing a complete coaching overhaul in Tennessee. He was a former first-round draft pick from the Broncos who never quite lived up to his draft status, but did enough to stick around in the starting lineup for most of his rookie contract.
In Detroit, Williams may contend to be the starting nose tackle, but what’s most intriguing about this signing is what it means for the other defensive tackles Detroit was pursuing.
Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that Detroit was signing Ricky Jean Francois, but the original source of that news has since walked it back a bit:
Update: Ricky Jean-Francois and the #Lions have exchanged proposals, but nothing is imminent, per a source. @RapSheet first with the negotiation process between RSJ's camp and Detroit. https://t.co/mPpASoX1La— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 21, 2018
The Lions could very easily add both Williams and Francois to their roster—and they might—but this could be one reason why there’s a hangup in Francois’ deal.
Perhaps more importantly, this seems to put a damper on any chances the Lions have in signing Johnathan Hankins, who was reportedly scheduled to visit the Lions sometime in the future. Williams will likely come at a pretty significant cost (his last contract was three-years, $16.5 million), and if he gets anything similar, it would be hard to see how the Lions could afford adding Hankins, as well.
But as we’ve already seen today, news can change very quickly, so stay tuned to Pride of Detroit for the latest updates and be sure to keep an eye on our free agency rumor tracker.