Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams started some controversy earlier this week when he revealed the four NFL teams he would not consider signing with this season.
Currently a free agent, Williams is free to negotiate with any team he pleases but felt there were only "28 teams" he would be willing to work for. Among those teams named are the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, and Carolina Panthers. There are detailed reasons why Williams chose those four teams, but I want to suggest four more teams the running back should avoid in the near future.
The Cincinnati Bengals & Baltimore Ravens
Even Captain Obvious thought the first two teams on this list were Pittsburgh's AFC North division rivals, however, only one of those teams (Cleveland) made the cut. Yet, I'd make the argument to add both of these franchises to the "do not call" list. The Bengals have gone out of their way to permanently injure Le'Veon Bell on more than one occasion and have a stable of running backs already on their roster. Wearing tiger stripes would be a waste for Williams.
On the other hand, the Ravens might have an "in" with DeAngelo's former Panthers teammate Steve Smith Sr., who recently retired from football this offseason. Smith could pitch the environment as beneficial, considering the Ravens lack any real rushing threat after passing on the position in free agency and the draft.
Regardless, signing with either of these two teams would be a dagger in the heart of any Steelers fan. Seeing Williams on the opposite sideline in key division matchups is unacceptable.
The New England Patriots
Winning is a motivator for a player who has never hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy, which is along the lines of what Williams mentioned while revealing that the Patriots weren't on his short list of teams he wasn't willing to play for.
There wasn't a lot of hatred there. I will continue to speak on the side of being right. You look at all the championship rings that they have. You cannot deny the fact that they win. They continue to win on a consistent basis. I'm in the business of winning.
The only good reason I have for DeAngelo to avoid the Patriots is that Steelers Nation would turn on him like a cat asking to have its belly scratched. The claws would come out and a beloved player such as D-Will would become Public Enemy #1 overnight if he signed with New England.
Honestly, I can see DeAngelo's point: he's near the end of his career and the Patriots continue to play at a high level. There could be room in the typical Bill Belichick running back rotation for a veteran like Williams, which is evident from past Patriot acquisitions such as Curtis Martin and Corey Dillon.
However, I hope to never live to see the day where we see Williams in Patriots attire! Boycott this team too!
The Arizona Cardinals
Steer far, far away from the Pittsburgh Steelers graveyard otherwise known as the Arizona Cardinals.
Throughout the years the Cardinals have signed so many former Pittsburgh players that they have earned the nickname "Steelers West". Williams would be another in a long line of those athletes which include names such as LaMarr Woodley, Jarvis Jones, and Rashard Mendenhall. Almost none of the players brought into the desert via Pittsburgh have had their careers flourish, or extended, and thus, Williams would be earning a one-year paycheck out of the NFL: Arizona is literally the place former Steelers go to see their careers die.
Running backs don't fare much better either. Mendenhall flamed out after one season in Arizona. Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams, Andre Ellington, and Chris Johnson all found themselves injured and pretty much discarded by the Cardinals as well. Current rushing stud, David Johnson, literally had his wheels fall off after 370-plus touches in 2016: the back finished the final regular season game with a knee injury. Luckily, the injury didn't require surgery, but bad luck has followed Arizona running backs for years and Williams would be best suited to retire on a positive note... and in good health.