Rams grab familiar face to boost secondary, tender offer to tackle Alaric Jackson

Rams cornerback Darious Williams (11) walks off the field after a game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2021.

A day after adding two free agents to their offense, the Rams began remaking the defense Tuesday — and they did it by turning to a familiar face.

The Rams agreed to terms with cornerback Darious Williams, who played for the Rams from 2018 to 2021, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The person requested anonymity because deals cannot become official until the NFL’s new league year begins Wednesday.

The Rams also placed a second-round tender on left tackle Alaric Jackson, a restricted free agent.

For the second day in a row, general manager Les Snead steered clear of making a splashy deal and instead continued to methodically address team needs.

Williams, who turns 31 next month, fast-tracked his career by performing well in his first stint with the Rams. After helping the Rams win Super Bowl LVI to cap the 2021 season, he signed a three-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars that reportedly included $18 million in guarantees.

Read more: Rams deal changes starting offensive line; tight end Colby Parkinson added

Williams, 5 feet 9 and 187 pounds, has 10 interceptions in six seasons. Last season he intercepted four passes, returning one 61 yards for a touchdown. The Jaguars released Williams last week, however, to create salary-cap space.

Williams excelled under former Rams defensive coordinators Brandon Staley and Raheem Morris. Now he joins a defense under the direction of new coordinator Chris Shula.

Last season the Rams gave up 231.1 yards passing per game, which ranked 20th among 32 teams. They ranked 20th in total defense (337.9 yards ) and 19th in points given up (22.2).

The Rams intercepted only 10 passes, tied for 23rd in the NFL.

Williams will be part of a cornerback group that includes third-year pros Derion Kendrick and Cobie Durant and second-year pro Tre Tomlinson. Ahkello Witherspoon, who played last season on a veteran-minimum contract and intercepted three passes, is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Safeties Jordan Fuller, who tied Witherspoon for the team lead with three interceptions, and John Johnson III also are pending unrestricted free agents.

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Jackson, 25, signed with the Rams in 2021 as an undrafted free agent. He beat out Joe Noteboom during training camp and started 15 games at left tackle.

By placing the second-round tender on the 6-7, 285-pound Jackson, the Rams have the right of first refusal if another team makes him an offer. If another team signs him, the Rams would receive a second-round draft pick as compensation. If Jackson stays with the Rams, he will earn about $4.9 million next season, according to

The tender for Jackson is the third offensive line position that Snead has addressed in the last few weeks. The Rams entered the free-agent negotiating period having re-signed right guard Kevin Dotson, and on Monday they agreed to terms with free agent Jonah Jackson. That signing means second-year pro Steve Avila will move from left guard to center.

Coleman Shelton, the starting center last season, voided the final year of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent. Noteboom plays multiple positions and is regarded as a valuable asset but with a salary-cap number of $20 million he almost certainly would have to agree to a contract restructure to remain with the Rams

The Rams also agreed to terms with tight end Colby Parkinson on Monday.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.