The fourth overall pick of the 2010 draft, Williams is in the final season of a six-year, $60 million rookie contract. He will earn a base salary of $10.25 million this season. Adding in bonuses, he will earn $14.23 million this season – the richest salary on the roster. Then, his new contract kicks in. The year-by-year breakdowns of that deal weren’t immediately available.
Williams had expressed a strong desire to remain with Washington. In his tweet on Saturday, he described the development as a “dream come true.”
After Saturday night’s game, the lineman admitted he experienced a feeling of relief when he received a call from his agent, notifying him of the news, during the bus ride from the team hotel to M&T Bank Stadium.
“Obviously, every time you’ve got to step on the field and play, you’re taking a chance, and to know that my future is secured, it just allows me to let my hair down and play,” Williams said. “It was a pleasant surprise to know Washington made that commitment to me. My agent, Vincent Taylor, he worked night and day to get this thing nailed down before the regular season started and I owe it all to him. He went to bat for me.”
The Redskins held the same desire to retain the 6-foot-5, 325-pound left tackle. Throughout the offseason, they maintained confidence that a deal would get done. However, the two sides remained far apart on a deal as recently as June.
Although he said he wasn’t worried at the time, Williams said during offseason workouts that he doubted that a pre-training camp agreement was realistic.
On the eve of camp, Washington completed one of their priority re-signings, awarding outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan a five-year, $57.5 million deal. However, Williams remained unsigned.
He said on July 30th that his uncertain future didn’t worry him or serve as a distraction, however.
Williams maintained that stance this week.
“I’m just not going to worry about it,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s up at the end of the year, and as of right now I’ve just got to give Washington one of the best years of my career. That’s my focus, just being better than last year. The contract situation, it’ll work out. Hopefully. I don’t really have a say in that.”
During his five previous seasons in Washington, Williams has gone from talented yet immature player to one of the most respected members of the team, both on and off the field.
In his second NFL season, Williams received a four-game suspension for failing multiple tests for marijuana use. Williams, whose four-game suspension came at the end of that 2011 season, returned the following year vowing to prove that he had learned his lesson and that he could be relied upon both as a player and member of the locker room.
Williams has delivered, serving as one of the team’s offensive captains in each of the past three seasons, while also becoming more dominant and more consistent. He has earned Pro Bowl honors in 2012, 2013 and 2014. This offseason, the NFL’s players voted Williams as the 47th-best player in the league in the NFL Network’s annual Top 100 poll.
“Something like this happens and you just reflect and go over all the years and the lessons learned and go over the journey,” Williams said. “You’re appreciative of all the adversity you went through and all the accolades that you’ve got, and it makes it all worth it.”
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