ROY WILLIAMS, Wide receiver
He entered the league with the Lions as a savior, was traded to the Cowboys as a star and now returns to the NFC North as a failed big-money player trying to revive his career. In 39 games with Dallas over the last two-plus seasons, Williams caught just 93 passes, and there were questions about his hands and his desire. Still, the Bears wanted to provide quarterback Jay Cutler the sort of big target he had in Denver with Brandon Marshall, so they signed the 6'3", 215-pound Williams to a one-year, $2.5 million deal in July after the Cowboys cut him. He didn't get off to the best start: The seventh pick out of Texas in 2004, Williams was made a starter on Day One of training camp, displacing third-year wideout Johnny Knox. But Williams's mediocre conditioning and persistent drops opened the door for Knox to win back his job.
Still, Williams will get more chances with coordinator Mike Martz, under whom he went to the Pro Bowl with the Lions. No Chicago receiver had more than 51 receptions in 2010, and the team was 30th in the NFL in total offense, defying the odds by making it to the NFC Championship Game. And Williams is playing for his future. There's much riding on the outcome of this shotgun marriage—along with improved play from the tackles, Williams's ability to connect with Cutler will determine whether the Bears will be in the playoff hunt again.