Williams recovered from ankle injury


Unrestricted defensive tackle Tony Williams, whose 2004 season was prematurely ended when he suffered an ankle injury on a block that is now illegal, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday.

The two-year contract is worth $2.5 million and includes a $500,000 signing bonus.

Williams, 29, bolsters the Jaguars' depth chart, which includes starters Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, both of whom were Pro Bowl performers in 2004 and are regarded around the league as the best young tandem. Williams is also an insurance policy if Stroud does not report for training camp.

Stroud, who is entering the final season of his contract, did not report earlier this week for the beginning of the team's offseason voluntary workouts, despite stop-and-start discussions on an extension. The former University of Georgia standout has indicated he is seeking a deal that would make him one of the NFL's highest paid players at the position.

While a bit undersized, at 6-feet-2 and 295 pounds, Williams is an active inside player whose NFL resume includes 101 appearances and 87 starts. He has started double-digit games five times in his eight-year career.

His 2004 season was cut short when he sustained a broken left ankle on a block from behind by Denver Broncos offensive tackle George Foster on Oct. 6. The play, which occurred away from the ball, renewed protests against the Broncos' trademark cut-block scheme. Such blocks were deemed illegal at last month's annual league meetings in Maui and will now be ruled a personal foul.

Originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 1997 draft, Williams played four seasons with the Vikings before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001.

The former University of Memphis standout has 326 tackles, 22 sacks, two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career. Between 1999-2002, Williams was one of the league's best inside pass rushers and recorded at least four sacks in each of those seasons.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.