The saga is over. From first round draft pick to occasional starter. From competing for the starting left tackle job to the street in less than 3 short months. That’s how the Chris Williams era ends in Chicago, as the Bears cut ties with their former first round draft pick leaving only Gabe Carimi as Jerry Angelo’s lone first round draft pick on the current roster.
The Bears on Tuesday terminated the contract of offensive lineman Chris Williams.
After failing to unseat starting left tackle J’Marcus Webb in training camp, Williams appeared in the first three games of the season as a reserve. He was then deactivated against the Cowboys and Jaguars after being supplanted as the No. 3 tackle by veteran free agent acquisition Jonathan Scott.
The Williams saga took many twists and turns along the way, from a back injury that came to light just as he was set to open his first training camp to his eventual release today. Here’s a timeline that looks at Williams’ journey with the Chicago Bears.
- April 26, 2008 – Chris Williams selected 14th overall out of Vanderbilt to play left tackle by the Chicago Bears.
- July 23, 2008 – Chris Williams signs a 5-year contract worth up to $16 million including $9.2 million in bonus money
- August 7, 2008 – Chris Williams has back surgery to repair a herniated disc. He suffered a minor back injury early in his first training camp.
- November 2, 2008 – Chris Williams makes his professional debut in the Bears’ 27-23 win over the Detroit Lions, blocking on extra points and special teams.
- September 13, 2009 – Chris Williams makes his starting debut as the Bears’ starting right tackle. He’s moved over to the right side to accommodate veteran Orlando Pace, who was brought in to play left tackle.
- November 29, 2009 - Pace suffered a groin injury and Williams shifted over to left tackle to finish out the season.
- September 12, 2010 – Chris Williams opens the 2010 season as starting left tackle for the Bears.
- September 19, 2010 – Williams’ stint as starting left tackle is short-lived, as he suffers a hamstring injury in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys. After missing three games, Williams returns to the starting lineup at left guard alongside left tackle Frank Omiyale.
- September 11, 2011 – Chris Williams continues his run as the starting left guard to open the 2011 season.
- November 13, 2011 – Chris Williams suffers a season-ending wrist injury that required surgery in the Bears’ 37-13 win over the Detroit Lions.
- July 26, 2012 – Chris Williams shares first team reps with J’Marcus Webb for the starting left tackle spot.
- August 1, 2012 – Chris Williams unofficially loses the left tackle job to J’Marcus Webb and becomes the Bears’ swing tackle.
- September 10, 2012 – the Bears sign Jonathan Scott. No, not the former Blackhawks goon; it’s a journeyman tackle and former starting tackle for the Steelers.
- October 2, 2012 – Chris Williams is inactive for the Bears’ 34-18 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
- October 16, 2012 – Chris Williams’ contract is terminated by the Chicago Bears.
Williams started 38 of 50 games played for the Bears between 2008 and 2012. He started 20 games at left guard, 11 games at right tackle and 7 at left tackle, the position he was originally drafted to play. Doesn’t that in and of itself suggest he was a bust?
What do you think? Are you surprised by the move? How will Williams best be remembered? Can he be considered anything more than a bust.