Cary Williams has plenty to fight for. Like many professional athletes, Williams had a rough childhood that could be worthy of a movie, and nothing has came easily for the Ravens cornerback.
Williams finds himself playing for a new contract. Even though he’s making $1.927 million this season on a restricted free agent tender, he has the opportunity to cash in on an amount of money that can change his and his children’s lives.
Self worth is something Williams has plenty of. After turning down a deal worth $4-5 million annually – as first reported by Tony Lombardi of RussellStreetReport.com 25 days before national media picked it up – Williams believes he’s worth more.
Leaving plenty of life changing guaranteed money on the table in hopes for a bigger payday has the stakes higher than ever for Williams. Knowing that this year is the most important in his career, he’s not letting anyone get in his way.
This year, the aggressive chip on his shoulder seems larger than it has through most of his life; at least it seems that way – a perception that he denies.
“I haven’t changed that part of my game,” said Williams. “It’s something that has been a part of my game since last season and really since when I was playing on special teams.”
Possessing great athleticism, Williams also uses his mouth to his advantage. In the Ravens’ season opener, Williams and Bengals receiver A.J. Green were constantly jawing at each other. At one point, Williams tackled Green to the ground, and then as he tried to get up, pushed him down again.
“It’s always been that aggressive side just because all my life, I’ve been that underdog type of guy.”
Underdog may be an understatement for a kid who grew up in a rough part of Miami and avoided drugs and gun shots his entire childhood. When fighting to stay alive becomes a default mode of living, backing down from even less dire conflicts becomes nearly impossible.
This past Sunday, Williams irritated Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson so much that fists started flying in front of 68,000 people at Lincoln Financial Field. The fight was one of many during the game where the players were fortunately only flagged and not ejected from the contest.
“I’m not going to be anybody’s punk or anything like that out on the field,” Williams said, “you’re not going to push me around.”
Challenging receivers is nothing new to Williams, even if they wear the same uniform. During training camp, Williams and Ravens’ receiver Tandon Doss almost fought after Doss started a heated verbal dispute, which was eventually broken up by their teammates. Even though Williams didn’t cause the argument, he’s not one to back down.
This Sunday Williams will have plenty of receivers to challenge as the prolific New England Patriots passing offense comes to town. For Williams to better position himself for a large contract, he and fellow cornerback Lardarius Webb – fresh off a large contract himself – will have to find a way to slow down Tom Brady.