Originally posted on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 8/27/12

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 7: Cary Williams of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball after a fake punt against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on November 7, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Dolphins 26-10. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Cary Williams is betting a lot on good health and great play.

Football is not a game for the faint of heart. Not only is it physically dangerous and mentally taxing, the decisions players have to make to maximize income carry a high risk. The choice Ravens CB Cary Williams has made this season is a perfect example.

Cary could have signed a longer term contract with the Ravens to stay on with that awesome secondary of Ed Reed, Lardarius Webb and Bernard Pollard. But instead he chose to play out the remainder of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent in 2013. Why? Because if he has a good season this year the market will be much kinder next year than the Ravens would have been this year.

[To read more about Cary Williams contract potential click Read More]

There’s no doubting the accuracy of Cary’s logic. There’s also no doubting the risk. Cary has to both stay healthy (he had hip surgery not too long ago) AND play better than last year to maximize his income potential. And even then there’s a ceiling.

As the Baltimore Sun wrote:

Ideally, Williams would like to remain with the Ravens depending on the level of contract talks.

Although Williams is unlikely to command anywhere near the top end of the cornerback scale like Nnamdi Asomugha ($12 million annual average), Darrelle Revis ($11.5 million) or even teammate Lardarius Webb ($8.33 million), there’s a middle ground for starting cornerbacks above a $5 million average.

That includes the San Francisco 49ers’ Carlos Rogers ($7.32 million average), Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ike Taylor ($7 million), Minnesota Vikings’ Antoine Winfield ($6.9 million), Chicago Bears’ Charles Tillman ($6.1 million), Kansas City Chiefs’ Stanford Routt ($6 million), San Diego Chargers’ Quentin Jammer ($5.49 million), Cleveland Browns’ Dimitri Patterson ($5.3 million) and Miami Dolphins’ Richard Marshall ($5.3 million).

Check out the rest of the Sun article to get the full scoop on Cary and his determination to provide for his 2 year old daughter Amari.

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