OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Brandon Williams plays a key role in the Ravens' stout run defense.
Williams is in the final season of his five-year contract and the team could save $7.5 million by parting ways with him. However, Baltimore plans to keep Williams in the lineup for the upcoming season, according to general manager Eric DeCosta.
"Brandon played good football this year," DeCosta said. "He’s a valued player on the team; it’s hard to find guys like him. He fits our mentality. He’s still a relatively … As a nose tackle, these guys can play for a long time. He plays hard. He plays [well]. He’s one of us. He’s a Raven through and through. So, yes – I expect him to be on the team.”
Williams started all 13 games in which he played this past season and finished with 33 tackles (19 solo), two tackles for a loss, one quarterback hit and two passes defended. He played a key role in a defense that was ranked No. 2 in both points allowed (18.9) and thirddown efficiency (34.0%).
Williams also had 2 tackles in the Ravens' 20-13 Wild Card Playoff win against the Titans. Baltimore limited Tennessee to 4- of-12 (33%) on third down and held Derrick Henry to 40 rushing yards on 18 carries (2.2 ypc)
Williams turned to 32 on Feb. 21 and the Ravens have some younger players, most notably Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington, that are pushing for more playing time. However, Williams' experience will be vital for Baltimore to make a deeper playoff run.