The San Francisco 49ers announced on Wednesday that they have officially signed cornerback K’Waun Williams to a one year contract. He has been a free agent since late last August, which means he will not impact the compensatory pick formula. That only applies to free agents added and lost after the start of the new league year.
Williams did not play during the 2016 season due to an ankle injury. The Cleveland Browns waived him thinking he no longer wanted to play, but this led to a dispute over the injury. Dawgs by Nature editor Chris Pokorny provided some details on the bizarre situation.
Whatever the case, Williams has been medically cleared from his ankle surgery. He will compete for the nickel back role, along with 2016 draft pick Will Redmond, Keith Reaser, and Chris Davis. Redmond never made it into action last season, with his knee rehab keeping him sidelined. Davis appeared to win a role, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in October. Reaser emerged as nickel and dime back, getting more playing time when Rashard Robinson was sidelined.
Considering Williams did not play this past season, this one-year deal is a prove-it contract. He very well could be the guy they think can take over the role, but they are not committed long term. They are in the midst of evaluating the entire roster, including the potential nickel backs. What is likely an inexpensive contract for Williams opens the door for more competition in the secondary.