CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Bengals have locked up the safety position for the foreseeable future.
After recently signing safety George Iloka to a five-year contract, the Bengals have now locked up Shawn Williams on a four-year deal.
Williams, a third round draft pick in 2013, was about to enter the final season of his rookie contract, but is now signed through the 2020 season.
Williams has played in all 51 possible regular and postseason games since entering the NFL and last season started to see his role grow as he started four games and finished 28 tackles and two interceptions - including a game-changing fourth quarter interception in the Bengals' win at Pittsburgh.
"Shawn is one of our bright young players and we're excited to have him as part of the team moving forward," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "He has been a physical player and he has increased his value as a playmaker on the ball. This is just one more part of our plan, which is to draft the right players, develop them and retain them."
Williams and Iloka are expected to be the Bengals starting safeties with Reggie Nelson leaving Cincinnati as a free agent.
"We see Shawn as an ascending player," said defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. "He's smart, he's tough and he's not limited in his role. He can do a lot of things well."