Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams recently named the Carolina Panthers as one of the four teams he wouldn’t be willing to sign with but as of Monday afternoon, he has now removed then from his list.
Williams’ change of heart came almost immediately after the Panthers surprisingly decided to part ways with general manager Dave Gettleman, who had held that job since 2013. Williams was straight-forward on Twitter with how he feels about Gettleman as he called him a “snake.”
I want to publicly say @Panthers is off my list of teams I won't play for due to the firing of that snake Dave gettleman! ????✊?
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) July 17, 2017
“The Carolina Panthers would be team number two [I wouldn’t play for] and the reason being is because of the way they handled my exit. I had no problem with getting fired, but things went on there that I didn’t like,” Williams said last week during a podcast interview with Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The Panthers released Williams in 2015. They had originally drafted him in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Memphis. At the time of his release from the Panthers, Williams made it clear that he wasn’t happy that nobody from the organization had attended the recent funeral of his mother, other than one player.
“One player came,” Williams told WBTV at the time. “And there is nothing that he can say or do in my eyes that is bad. … Greg Hardy. All the players around the league, all the players in the locker room, they texted and called. But Greg Hardy showed up.”
Williams reportedly also said at the time that Gettleman and Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told him the decision to release him came down to not running the ball enough to keep him and fellow running back Jonathan Stewart on the roster. As part of Williams’ release, he had to wait until just after the start of the 2015 league year to officially become an unrestricted free agent as the Panthers wanted to designate him as a post June 1 cut in order to stretch out his dead money over two years. That probably didn’t sit well with Williams, either.
While Williams two season in Pittsburgh were productive, the team has decided against re-signing so far this offseason. While the 35-year-old running back has yet to find himself a new team to play for in 2017, he still maintains he will play during the upcoming season.
Now that he has removed the Panthers from the list of teams he won’t play for, it will be interesting to see if they have any interest in signing him in order to let him finish his NFL career where it started. The Panthers did, however, select former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey in the first-round if this year’s draft. Additionally, veteran running back Jonathan Stewart is still on the Panthers roster. In short, it would probably take an injury to one of those two players in order for Williams to be considered by the Panthers.