RENTON, Wash. (AP) Cary Williams came to Seattle as the Seahawks' most important free agent signing last offseason.
His tenure with the Seahawks didn't last a full season.
Seattle released Williams on Monday after the veteran had started the first 10 games only to get benched for the last two. Williams was benched midway through the Seahawks' victory over San Francisco in Week 11, then was a healthy scratch the past two weeks. Seattle has started DeShawn Shead at cornerback with Williams on the sideline.
''The return of Jeremy (Lane), he's had a couple of games with us and the emergence of DeShawn Shead, his play has been really good,'' Carroll said. ''There's always considerations for special teams and other things that go along with it. But Cary is a good football player and did some good stuff for us and all that but our guys kind of came back to us and gave us an opportunity to go with them.''
Williams signed an $18 million, three-year deal with Seattle in the offseason in the hopes he could start opposite Richard Sherman and take the spot vacated when Byron Maxwell signed as a free agent with Philadelphia.
But Williams acknowledged during training camp that he was struggling to learn Seattle's system and to adjust to the way the Seahawks ask their cornerbacks to play. Carroll acknowledged that it was more beneficial for the Seahawks to go with Shead and Lane - two players who have been in Seattle's system since entering the NFL - than continuing to have Williams struggle.
Williams had started 81 straight games before getting benched against Pittsburgh in Week 12. Seattle will continue to go with Shead as the starter and Lane as his presumptive backup. Shead was credited with four pass breakups two weeks ago against Pittsburgh; Williams had four pass breakups all season.
''It's a short amount of time trying to catch up with all the specifics of our technique and stuff,'' Carroll said. ''He did a nice job and he progressed with it, but we feel more comfortable with the guys that have been with us so we'll make the move.''
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL