Williams back in the fold

Williams back in the fold

The Steelers finally made their first move of free agency, re-signing cornerback Willie Williams to a new two-year deal for the veteran minimum.

The move was not unexpected, as the Steelers had been negotiating on a new deal with Williams for the past several weeks. The only sticking point to the deal was its length and some of the incentives.

A 12-year NFL veteran, Williams started the final 10 regular-season games and both playoff games in 2004 after starting cornerback Chad Scott was injured on Oct. 17 at Dallas.

Williams remained a starter after Scott returned, and finished the season with 57 tackles, one sack, an interception and seven defensed passes.

Though Williams' deal is worth $2.5 million over two years, he will earn a base salary of $760,000 this season, but will count just $450,000 against the Steelers' salary cap provided he makes the team. He also received signing bonus of $500,000.

The Steelers will give Ricardo Colclough and Ike Taylor the first opportunity to win the starting job Williams held down last season and are also likely to select a cornerback at some point in the draft. That would leave Williams battling with veteran Chidi Iwuoma for a roster spot.

Williams is the only member of the current Steelers roster to have played with the team in Super Bowl XXX after originally being drafted by the Pittsburgh in the sixth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an unrestricted free agent after the 1996 season, but re-signed with the Steelers after being released by the Seahawks.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Plaxico Burress was in New York Monday speaking with Giants' brass. New York is reportedly offering Burress a six-year deal worth $20 million with a signing bonus of just $4 million. If that is indeed the case, the Steelers may be inclined to get into the bidding for Burress, the team's No. 1 draft choice in 2000.

While they won't be used as a pawn to drive up the price for Burress, he may choose to stay in Pittsburgh if the Steelers offer a deal close to what New York is offering rather than play for noted taskmaster Tom Coughlin.

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