Free agent running back DeAngelo Williams is still “waiting on the phone call” to join an NFL team for the 2017 season. However, the 34-year old back, who rushed for 343 yards and four touchdowns on 98 attempts last season, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in his “Know Them From Adam” podcast that he would rather not play for the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, or Dallas Cowboys.
Williams’ hesitance towards joining the Panthers or Cowboys is because of purely personal reasons. The veteran back is unhappy about how Carolina handled his release from the team in 2015, and has no interest in a possible reunion. Williams, who grew up a San Francisco 49ers fan, cites Dallas’ fans as the main reason why he does not want to sign with the Cowboys.
As for the Browns and Jaguars, Williams said he wants to sign with a team “where winning is something that’s expected, not something that people get excited about.”
Cleveland finished last season with the NFL’s worst record (1-15), and have had only two winning seasons since the franchise was resurrected in 1999.
“[The Browns] don’t have a history of winning,” Williams said. “I’m not sure about all of the championships they won before the Super Bowl was the Super Bowl, but in my lifetime, I haven’t seen them have a winning season.”
Williams is coming off a two-year, $4 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A knee injury caused him to miss nine games during the 2016 season, but the veteran is now healthy and could begin to draw interest from teams as we near the start of training camps.
The Browns decided to bring back starter Isaiah Crowell, who will combine with pass-catching back Duke Johnson to handle a majority of the running back duties for the 2017 season. Cleveland also spent a seventh round pick on North Carolina State’s Matt Dayes, who should get every opportunity to prove himself worthy of a roster spot during training camp.