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Cary Williams reported to Ravens headquarters Monday with contract talk behind him and his health on the forefront of his mind.
Williams signed his $1.972 million second-round tender this afternoon, taking the Ravens’ final restricted free agent off the market.
The fifth-year cornerback had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum on Feb. 15, and has been rehabbing and waiting to see what happened with contract negotiations before returning.
He said there hasn’t been talk of a long-term contract extension since the draft.
“Hopefully we’ll get back to the table,” Williams said. “But right now I just want to rehab and make sure my hip is right and that I can play at a high level. Contract talks can go from there. I just want to make sure that I can play for the Ravens this season.”
Williams became a first-time starter last year, lining up opposite Lardarius Webb for all 16 games. He notched 78 tackles, 18 pass deflections and two forced fumbles.
He was playing the final seven weeks of the regular season and playoffs in pain.
Williams hurt himself during the Seattle Seahawks game on Nov. 13. He thought it might go away, but the problem persisted and would shoot pain down his right leg when he opened his hips inside.
Williams has his range of motion back now and says he’s at about 80 percent. He is hoping to be back on the field in time for the Ravens’ minicamp starting June 11, but expects to definitely be fully healthy in time for training camp.
“That’s already set in stone,” Williams said. “I’m eager to get out there and run with the guys. My body is saying, ‘Yeah, it’s that time.’ But I just can’t. I’m just trying to stay within the limits and take it slow.”
Williams will compete with second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith to keep his starting spot. Smith earned more playing time as the season went on last year, and notched two interceptions in the regular season and another in the playoffs.
“I welcome competition. I’ve competed all my life,” Williams said.
“I think all the guys are excited about the opportunity. We understand what we had last year and this year we’re going to be tested with the schedule. We’re all happy about the situation. It doesn’t matter who’s out there or who the three may be or whatever order you’re in. Regardless, we’re three of the top corners in the league and we’re going to be a force for a lot of people out there on Sundays.”