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CB Darious Williams would check some boxes for the Lions after being released by Jaguars

An unexpected addition to the free agent ranks could be one that really intrigues the Detroit Lions.

On Tuesday, several reports indicated the Jacksonville Jaguars will cut loose veteran cornerback Darious Williams. It’s a cost-cutting move for the Jaguars, shaving $11.5 million off their salary cap figure for 2024. Williams was due a $12 million salary in the final year of the three-season deal he signed in Jacksonville in 2022.

The Jaguars certainly aren’t cutting Williams, now 31, for performance purposes. He was the team’s best secondary player and posted the second-highest grade of any Jaguars defender from PFF. Williams broke up 19 passes, good for second in the entire league. He picked off four of those, including a pick-six against the Falcons.

Any cornerback with some recent accomplishment should be on the Lions’ radar, but Williams is a special case. He’s got deep ties to the team, even if he’s never set foot in Ford Field.

Williams’ position coach in Jacksonville was Deshea Townsend, who is now the Lions defensive passing game coordinator and DBs coach. Before his time in Jacksonville, Williams was a Brad Holmes scouting find for the Los Angeles Rams. Holmes saw something in the 5-foot-9 corner from UAB and it led to the Rams claiming him as an undrafted rookie off waivers from Baltimore back in 2018. He was a full-time starter by the end of 2019.

His lack of size on the outside hasn’t proven to be too much of an issue; Williams has allowed just over a 52 percent completion rate and only two touchdowns while playing outside over the last three seasons — much better than he fared in the slot.

A short 31-year-old isn’t a long-term solution for the Lions and their outside CB woes, but Williams has the potential to be a very effective short-term bandage, a la Rashean Mathis or Robert Bailey from Detroit’s past.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire