Time to Get Over the Cary Williams’ Remarks

Eagles CB Cary Williams has taken some heat for missing OTA's.

Eagles CB Cary Williams has taken some heat for missing OTA’s.

New Eagles’ cornerback Cary Williams has made some interesting remarks regarding his absences from the Eagles’ OTA sessions. Williams missed at least three OTA’s which did not sit well with some pundits and fans throughout the city. Under the most recent collective bargaining agreement, OTA’s are voluntary team activities. Players are not obligated to attend and teams can not reprimand players for not showing up. Williams took advantage of that fact but his reasons for doing so do not seem to be satisfying critics.

It’s time to just get over it.

Williams’ excuses centered on three things. First Williams’ missed some time due to his wedding and his honeymoon. He also missed some time to oversee some renovations to his home and to pick out the fireplace details and the sconces. Williams’ also took leave to spend time with his three-year old daughter and to attend her dance recital.

A sconce is a light fixture fixed to a wall that does not use the ground for support.

A sconce is a light fixture fixed to a wall that does not use the ground for support.

All of these excuses as a whole are not sitting too well with a majority of the fan-base and some local sports journalists who have voiced the opinion that Williams’ is here to do a job and that that job should come first. I have to say, I disagree with those sentiments. Opinions like that coming from the media can often time unfairly turn the fan base against a player by painting them as a bad guy.

From one man to another, what right do I have to tell Williams’ what should come first in his life? The marriage was something that should have taken precedence over voluntary minicamp. His daughter will only be three once and Williams made it clear that he missed his daughter’s first steps and words for football. As for the sconces, I don’t know. They can’t pick themselves.

The point is, I’m happy to see an NFL player with some perspective as to what life is really all about. I for one am happy to see a multi-million dollar athlete who still understands that family comes before work. Williams sounds like a man who will do anything to be there for his family and that sounds like the type of character guy you want in your organization. It is a far reach to claim Williams is not a team guy because he missed a few days of OTA’s. If Williams suffers a career-ending injury the media and the fans will forget him in a heartbeat but his family will be there forever.

Chip Kelly has voiced no displeasure with Williams' absences.

Chip Kelly has voiced no displeasure with Williams’ absences.

I understand the gripe that Philadelphians have with Williams. This is a blue-collar town by nature and skipping work to go pick out sconces does not exactly seem to fit the rhetoric. However, should we as observers fault William’s for taking advantage of the time at his disposal. OTA’s are voluntary. Everything that Williams has been obligated to attend, he has attended. Come Training Camp and the regular season, Williams will get no days off just like any other football player. Therefore, what is Williams doing wrong by taking off on voluntary days?

That is just like any 9-5 worker taking advantage of their vacation days or choosing not to attend a voluntary Saturday morning seminar to go watch their kid play t-ball.

In the grand scheme of things, Williams is doing everything that he is contractually obligated to do for the Eagles. If he shows up Week 1 ready to go, what will it matter that he missed a few OTA sessions? In an era where athletes are getting arrested and committing crimes every time you turn on SportsCenter, it saddens me that we are vilifying a man for spending time with his family.

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