Bengals sign Shawn Williams to a four-year extension

Cincinnati Bengals free safety Shawn Williams has agreed to a four-year extension through 2020.

What It Means:

A third-round pick in 2013, Williams has only started four games in three seasons, but his presence was reportedly a big factor in the decision to let Reggie Nelson walk. Williams is expected to open the season as the starter at free safety, and a big year likely would have earned him a hefty payday next spring. Cincinnati's decision to lock him up now could look like a savvy move this time next year.

The Bengals ranked 10th in Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points per play last season. Williams had 32 tackles, 5 passes defended and 2 interceptions while seeing action in all 16 games.