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Sylvester Williams | Defensive Lineman

Team: Detroit Lions
Age / DOB:  (29) / 11/21/1988
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 313
College: North Carolina
Drafted: 2013 / Rd. 1 (28) / DEN
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

Lions signed NT Sylvester Williams, formerly of the Titans.
Williams was cut by the Titans this past weekend and quickly lands on his feet in Detroit where he figures to play the old Alan Branch role in new coach Matt Patricia's defense as an early-down run stopper. Williams turns 30 later this year. Mar 21 - 3:36 PM

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Player News


Free agent NT Sylvester Williams is visiting the Redskins on Tuesday.

Williams was released by the Titans over the weekend, but that had more to do with his salary than level of play. In desperate need of a real nose tackle, Williams would be a good get for Washington.
Mar 20 - 9:30 AM

Titans released DT Sylvester Williams.

Williams signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal last March. He was due a $2.5 million roster bonus coming off a middling first season in Tennessee, so the Titans are moving on. Releasing Williams saves just over $3 million in cap space. Williams should resurface as a nose tackle in 3-4 schemes.
Mar 17 - 12:37 PM

Titans declared DT Sylvester Williams, WR Corey Davis, WR Darius Jennings, SS Johnathan Cyprien, CB Kalan Reed, OG Corey Levin, and OLB Kevin Dodd inactive for Week 6 against the Colts.

Williams signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal in the offseason and is now a healthy scratch. 2016 second-rounder Dodd also joins him on that list.
Mon, Oct 16, 2017 07:07:00 PM

Titans signed NT Sylvester Williams, formerly of the Broncos, to a three-year contract.

The 28-year-old has three years of starting experience, but was a liability against the run last season. Williams gets a fresh start in Tennessee, where he'll compete with Austin Johnson to replace Al Woods at nose tackle
Fri, Mar 10, 2017 09:19:00 PM

The Broncos are expected to move on from free agent NT Sylvester Williams.

Williams has anchored the Broncos’ line the last three seasons. He was a big part of Denver’s struggles against the run, grading near the bottom of PFF’s ratings. Williams has potential to get overpaid in free agency.
Source: Denver Post
Sat, Feb 11, 2017 03:14:00 PM

The Broncos will not exercise NT Sylvester Williams' fifth-year option for 2017.

The move is a bit surprising for a key member of Denver's front seven. Per beat writer Mike Klis, GM John Elway was unwilling to put himself on the hook for Williams' $6.757 million option because the Broncos want to extend Williams, but "did not want contract negotiations to have a $6.757 million-a-year starting point." The going rate for nose tackles is closer to $5 million a year.
Mon, May 2, 2016 03:44:00 PM

Broncos NT Sylvester Williams (ankle) is considered day to day.

Williams was carted off in Sunday's win over the Patriots, but has avoided major injury. Playing roughly 40-45 snaps per week, Williams has been one of the weaker links in Denver's elite defense. He won't be rushed back.
Mon, Nov 30, 2015 02:12:00 PM

Broncos DC Wade Phillips said Sylvester Williams has "taken over" the nose tackle position.

"Sly has been exceptional," Phillips said. "I'm really pleased with where he is." A first-round pick in 2013, Williams struggled to find a role in the Broncos' old 4-3 and was eventually benched in favor Malik Jackson. Though Williams is not the prototypical 3-4 nose tackle at 6'2/313, he is a nice fit in Phillips' less traditional one-gap scheme. Williams could be ready for a breakout season.
Sat, Jul 4, 2015 10:33:00 AM

Sylvester Williams is expected to take over as the Broncos' starting nose tackle.

It's Williams' job to lose with Terrance Knighton now a Redskin. With the Broncos switching to a 3-4 front under new DC Wade Phillips, Williams will be faced with more double-teams. But the scheme should suit him well. Phillips has gotten by with undersized nose tackles in the past, and Williams isn't your prototypical space-eater at 6'2/313. He'll still have opportunities to rush the passer.
Source: Denver Post
Wed, May 6, 2015 03:43:00 PM

The Broncos are counting on a second-year leap from DT Sylvester Williams.

Williams appeared in 13 games (four starts) as a rookie, but didn't see regular playing time until the second half. He had both of his sacks and nine of his 19 tackles in Denver's final three games. Williams should get the majority of snaps over Kevin Vickerson at three-technique this year, with Terrance Knighton returning at nose tackle.
Source: Denver Post
Sat, Jul 19, 2014 08:18:00 PM

Broncos signed No. 28 overall pick DT Sylvester Williams to a four-year, $7.6 million contract.

Williams was one of just a handful of first-rounders yet to sign. The former North Carolina Tar Heel has been described as a "hard hat, lunch-pail guy" by's Bucky Brooks, and he'll slide right into the mix at defensive tackle with veterans Kevin Vickerson and Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton.
Thu, Jul 25, 2013 02:27:00 PM

The Denver Post doesn't expect No. 28 overall pick DT Sylvester Williams to open the season as a starter.

The Broncos think Williams can work his way into a starter's role by Week 1, but beat writer Mike Klis expects it to be difficult for Williams to leapfrog Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton over the summer. Vickerson proved to be a solid run stopper, while "Pot Roast" Knighton has good pocket-pushing skills. No matter who the "starters" are, all three players will see significant snaps.
Source: Denver Post
Mon, May 6, 2013 06:13:00 PM

Broncos VP of Football Operations John Elway envisions No. 28 overall pick Sylvester Williams as a better version of Trevor Pryce.

Pryce was a four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle and end with whom Elway played in Denver. "This guy is a little better than Trevor," Elway said. "I tell you: I hope he has the career that Trevor had." As a rookie, expect Williams to start at three-technique tackle alongside new nose anchor Terrance Knighton.
Source: Denver Post
Fri, Apr 26, 2013 02:18:00 PM

Broncos selected North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams with the No. 28 overall pick.

Williams (6-foot-2 5/8, 313) transferred from JUCO to play two years with the Tar Heels, starting all 25 games of his career. He logged 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks as a senior. Described as a "hard hat, lunch-pail guy" by's Bucky Brooks, Williams shows great burst off the line on tape. He ran a 5.03 forty at the Combine with a 1.72 ten-yard split and 30 reps on the bench. Williams will slide right in as a rotational tackle along with Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton. It's a nice value pick at a position of need for the Broncos.
Thu, Apr 25, 2013 11:16:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
DE1Ezekiel Ansah
2Kerry Hyder
3Anthony Zettel
4Cornelius Washington
5Alex Barrett
DT1A'Shawn Robinson
2Akeem Spence
3Sylvester Williams
4Jeremiah Ledbetter
5Christian Ringo
MLB1Jarrad Davis
2Nick Bellore
3Brandon Chubb
WLB1Christian Jones
2Jalen Reeves-Maybin
SLB1Devon Kennard
2Jonathan Freeny
3Steve Longa
CB1Darius Slay
2Nevin Lawson
3Teez Tabor
4Deshawn Shead
5Jamal Agnew
FS1Glover Quin
2Tavon Wilson
3Charles Washington
4Stefan McClure
SS1Quandre Diggs
2Miles Killebrew
3Rolan Milligan
P1Sam Martin