Williams, Lee

ud93 lwilliamsCard: Upper Deck 1993
Acquired:  2014,  Albany Acquisition
Failure: TTM 2012, 2013, C/o Home

It appears that my namesake is a shaky TTM signer, and if you are lucky he signs about once a year- all in a batch. Well over a year passed between both my attempts, so I pretty much gave up on this one, and just took him out at auction. It’s a shame because he played for the Oilers, and has my same name, but those thoughts are not a realistic basis for disappointment.

Lee Williams had a pretty stellar career for the Chargers. There’s a lot of amazing talents from college who got to the pro level and fizzled out. Draft pundits now call it, ‘a lack of motivation’ or ‘takes off a few plays’. Williams was a great example of a player who had this knock on him, but did what he had to overcome that label. Coming out of Bethune-Cookman, the Chargers surrendered their 5th pick during the USFL/ NFL Supplemental draft to acquire Williams. It was a gamble at first, but Lee really paid off.  The defensive end came in his rookie season and intercepted a pass, returning it for 66 yards and atouchdown.  In 1986, he had a career high 15 sacks. He’d also hit double digits in 1988 (11) and 1989 (14), selected to the Pro Bowl in both of those seasons. Williams felt he got no respect however and wanted a raise and decided to hold out.

The Oilers were looking to get over a hump. Converting to the 4-3, defensive coordinator Jim Eddy preferred keeping the line fresh, subbing in and switching out players with extreme regularity to keep them fresh.  They just needed one more guy to do it, and with Sean Jones holding out every year or two for a new contract and putting the Oilers feet to the fire, Williams could just help this team get to the next level, while offsetting the future loss of Jones.  The Oilers finally bit on a trade. They offered a 1st and a 5th, but the Chargers settled for a 1st and wide receiver Shawn Jefferson instead. Williams was happy to join the Oilers, and the Chargers in exchange also decided not to go after Lee for the time he was not in camp.  At the time of the trade, Williams had 67.5 sacks, and needed just one more sack to become the Chargers’ All-Time sack leader. He joined the Oilers in 1991  -and promptly broke his forearm. Although he was able to rotate back into the lineup, eventually starting 5 games during the season, Williams had a paltry 3 sacks on the year. His lowest total since his rookie season. With a full 16 game slate under his belt in 1992 however, Williams was able to rack up 11 sacks as the team kicked him inside to defensive tackle. His 1993 season: Not so hot, as again Williams chipped in only 3 sacks, and had reconstructive knee surgery.  After the season with the salary cap looming, the Oilers were caught with their pants down. The salary cap hit them hard and the Oilers had to make hard and bitter decisions. They opted to cut Williams in the hope of resigning him at a reduced salary, but he failed his physical. Lee retired, and currently as of 2015 lives in South Carolina.

G/GS    140/107      TAC  N/a         SAC   82.5        FUM   7
INT 2       YDS  83      AVG 41.5     TD 1       LG   66t