Last week, Pro Football Focus mentioned a former Kentucky Wildcats defender when discussing “dream signings” for certain teams.
For the New England Patriots, their dream signing was Avery Williamson. Williamson is a free agent this spring, coming off his rookie contract with the Tennessee Titans.
After playing all four years at Kentucky, Williamson entered the NFL draft where the Titans took him in the fifth round. The 25-year old has only missed one game in his career (2015). This past season he recorded 92 tackles, three sacks and forced two fumbles. He led the NFL’s fourth-ranked rush defense and received a 90.1 grade from PFF in run defense (sixth-best).
The Patriots were gashed all season by opponents’ rushing attacks. Their rush defense ranked just 20th and lacked talent and discipline in the middle, something Williamson certainly brings to the field.
The Patriots currently have north of $23 million in cap space and more room can be created as free agency nears.
Spotrac projects Williamson to land a four-year, $36 million deal. If the Patriots can clear some more cap space, they could certainly look Williamson’s way to fill the gaping hole in their rush defense.
Free agency is set to begin at 4 P.M. on March 14th. While the Patriots are usually both unpredictable and rather conservative, with a 40-year old quarterback who is the reigning MVP, they may be willing to spend to acquire win-now players like Williamson.
Wherever Williamson ends up, he’s about to sign a contract that sets him up for the rest of his life.