The Detroit Lions have expressed interest in yet another free agent defensive back. Per NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco, the Lions are one of a few teams interested in 49ers free agent cornerback K’Waun Williams.
Williams, 29, is a full-time nickel corner whose seen a fair amount of success since being signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie in 2014. Despite being overlooked in the draft, Williams started four games in his rookie season with 13 total game appearances. He tallied eight passes defended, 38 tackles, and made PFF’s All-Rookie team.
Though things dissolved with the Browns quickly after an injury dispute in 2016, he’s bounced back nicely with the San Francisco 49ers over the past four seasons. He’s posted a PFF grade of 66 or higher in all four years as the team’s primarily slot cornerback. However, injuries remain a concern for Williams, as he’s never played a full 16-game season, including missing eight games last year to injury.
Detroit has an obvious need at nickel after cutting Justin Coleman in a move that saved the Lions $4.9 million in cap space. As of now, the Lions don’t have a capable starter at nickel corner. In fact, they only have three corners currently signed to the roster: Amani Oruwariye, Jeff Okudah, and Mike Ford.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Lions showed interest in Williams. Back in 2017, before he signed with the 49ers, Williams visited Detroit in free agency.
If the Lions want to sign Williams, they will, once again, try to pry him from the 49ers. Per Maiocco, the 49ers are still trying to re-signing him (with players acting as recruits), while the Jets and Chiefs are also keeping an eye on the situation.