It's in the Cards
Rams swap two picks for Pro Bowl CB Williams
Updated: Saturday April 21, 2001 1:30 PM
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams added another piece to their rebuilt defense Saturday, acquiring six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aeneas Williams from the Arizona Cardinals.
The Rams began the day with 12 draft picks, including three in the first round, and dealt from strength. They gave the Cardinals second- and fourth-round picks.
Arizona got the Rams' second pick of the second round, the 54th choice overall, and a fourth-rounder acquired from Oakland on Friday in a deal for tight end Roland Williams.
"Aeneas deserves the opportunity to go on," Cardinals general manager Bob Ferguson said. "We're going to miss him greatly."
Aeneas Williams is the latest upgrade for a defense that surrendered 471 points last season. The Rams also signed free agent safety Kim Herring from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and linebackers Mark Fields and Don Davis.
"You like to add guys like that at the top of their game," head coach Mike Martz said. "We're not adding guys we're trying to project.
"There's not a risk involved in any of these things."
Martz compared Aeneas Williams to Rams running back Marshall Faulk, the NFL's MVP last season.
"I think we get the same thing we got out of Marshall," Martz said. "I know he's at least got two more years and probably has a lot more."
Williams has played in every game and missed one start his rookie year. He's known as a fitness freak.
"I think he takes two weeks off after the season and that's it," Martz said. "How many guys in the league do that? That's one of the reasons why I think he'll stay on top for a while."
The deal was concluded about a half-hour before Saturday's draft after the Rams and Williams' agent, Eugene Parker, agreed on a contract. The Rams had been offering a three-year, $13 million deal with $7 million of that total guaranteed. That included a $3 million signing bonus.
Williams was the Cardinals' franchise player, and technically was not under contract.
"There are decisions you make in this league that are business-oriented," head coach Dave McGinnis said. "But these guys aren't numbers on a balance sheet to me.
"The deal that was worked out is going to be mutually beneficial for both parties, and that's what a deal is."
McGinnis was sad to see Williams go.
"I'll tell you where he ranks with the players I've been around," McGinnis said. "That's right at the top."