B.C. Lions quietly add former third-round NFL pick cut by Riders, defensive end Tim Williams

Courtesy: AP Photo/Nick Wass

The B.C. Lions have quietly added American defensive end Tim Williams, a former third-round NFL draft pick, ahead of the 2022 season.

According to the CFL’s transactions page, Williams was signed by the club on April 7 and he currently appears on the team’s online roster. However, the Lions have issued no formal announcement regarding the signing.

Co-general manager Neil McEvoy acknowledged that Williams would be one of many players under contract for the team’s rookie mini-camp on May 11, but provided no promises that he would be a part of the official training camp roster later in the week.

“I don’t want to speculate or put out anything, but if you saw the roster online, that just means we haven’t sent out the media release yet,” McEvoy said. “We have lots of guys that are going to come to training camp, that are coming to rookie camp, that we will be looking at. Once we get to the main camp on May 15, we’ll have a better idea of who’s on our main training camp roster and who will be competing for those spots.”

“Good player, but we’re excited about all the guys we’re bringing in and hopefully we can produce some good players to help us win some games in 2022.”

Williams spent the 2021 season as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but was on the injured list the entire year after suffering a torn Achilles in training camp. He was released by the Riders in February.

The 28-year-old was touted as a potential top-ten pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but fell in part due to concerns stemming from charges he faced for carrying an unlicensed firearm in September of the previous year. Williams was ultimately selected 78th overall in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens.

Williams played 20 games with Baltimore and recorded 18 tackles, two sacks, and one fumble recovery before being waived in October 2019. Green Bay claimed him and he played in one game with the Packers until his release following training camp in September 2020. He earned over $2.3 million USD playing in the NFL.

The six-foot-three, 244-pound defensive lineman produced his best NCAA season for the University of Alabama in 2016, recording 31 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, nine sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass knockdowns, and one fumble recovery which accounted for his one touchdown. The Crimson Tide narrowly lost to Clemson University in the National Championship, 35-31.

The Lions are in serious need of pass rush help, which a healthy Williams might provide. However, the team appears to be keeping expectations low for the high-profile signee as he works his way back from a lost season.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.