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Jonah Williams Ready To Team Up With Kyler Murray, Cardinals

Tackle will bookend with Paris Johnson Jr. on offensive line

New tackle Jonah Williams (right) meets GM Monti Ossenfort on Thursday after Williams signed his two-year free agent contract.
New tackle Jonah Williams (right) meets GM Monti Ossenfort on Thursday after Williams signed his two-year free agent contract.

When Jonah Williams was in high school, out in California, he paid attention via social media of Kyler Murray – the same age as Williams and eventually, in the same NFL draft class – doing his spectacular things out at Allen High School in Texas.

Now the offensive tackle, who was selected by Cincinnati 10 picks after the Cardinals made Murray No. 1 in 2019, will be teammates with the quarterback and trying to protect him.

"He's an electric playmaker, and there are only so many of those guys in the NFL," said Williams, who signed his two-year contract on Thursday and soon after got a chance to meet Murray, who was in the Dignity Health Training Center continuing his long-term rehab on his surgically repaired knee.

Whether it was Murray or that his offseason home is in San Diego, when the Cardinals showed free-agent interest – and there were a few teams that did – Williams made Arizona 'my No. 1.'"

"I think that the process is crazy," Williams said of his first free-agent attempt. "I knew it was going to be crazy but we had never experienced it before. It heated up and when my agent told me the Cardinals were interested, I felt like it was the right place and I was like, 'let's get this done.'

"I feel it's a team on an upward trajectory."

Williams' deal is reportedly worth up to $30 million and has $19M guaranteed. That's the business side. More importantly for the Cardinals (and Murray), Williams brings 58 starts in the NFL to bookend with Paris Johnson Jr. at tackle. It had been a 2024 hole since D.J. Humphries – since released – tore his ACL near the end of the 2023 season.

Williams acknowledged he didn't know much about the Cardinals' situation before he agreed to a deal. But the Cardinals must choose whether to play Williams on the right or left side, and whether Paris Johnson Jr. would move from right to left in his second season or stay put.

Williams came into the league as a left tackle and started there for three seasons with the Bengals before being moved to the right side last year after the acquisition of Orlando Brown. He immediately wasn't happy when he was told he'd be moved to the right and requested a trade that he quickly rescinded.

He realized he needed to approach the situation positively.

"I think it worked out well for me," Williams said. "I enjoyed playing right tackle and I think I had a good year."

Williams acknowledged he is "excited for the fresh start," noting he was in Cincinnati (five years) longer than he had been previous (three years in college at Alabama, two different high schools.) But he deferred to the coaches of whether he will play the right or left side (NFL Network reported Williams would be the right tackle, Johnson would move to left) and said his versatility can only help.

"At the end of the day it's just football, it's just O-line," Williams said. "By the second week of training camp (last year) it felt as good as left tackle ever did."

Williams doesn't know his offensive line teammates yet, but he does know fellow signee Mack Wilson Sr., the linebacker whom the Cardinals also signed as a free agent -- "Super dope to have a college teammate here," Wilson said.

Soon though, he plans on having that chemistry with Murray too as well as the offensive line.

"The O-line, it's kind of a chain," Williams said. "You can't have any weak links, physically, mentally. I like to think I'm a positive part of that."