In essense..no one disagrees that Williams got an extreme premium for a dual back system HB. You cannot look at post Cam's season to make this judgement or you will easily say this contract is stupid.
After the Clausen season..Williams, is a free agent with significant interest from the Dolphins. Rookie Cam was drafted.
Cam was probally expected to have more a Mark Sanchez year 1 (possibly slightly better) type season than an Arron Rogers yr 1 starter season. A heavy reliance on the run game was expected and having Double Trouble could ease the rookie into year two when he will start to "get it" with a full camp and begining to understand a play call(sarcasam on understanding playcalls)
With the shortened seson, promises to veterans that they "will be taken care of" for their patience on the two years prior bc of the coming lock out..Having veteran Offensive players was at a premium.
Q: what would you say if Cam's season was more like Christian Ponder's and we let Williams go to Miami in free agency?
A: We might be welcoming our new rookie HB Trent Richardson to the Panthers right now.
Cam was Cam and it changed everything to where the HBs were a luxury and lessened the burden while giving Cam a ton of extended reps.
Cam's season makes the DeAngelo contract looked upon as overkill but retaining players on the worst team in the NFL takes some cash. No one wants to be with the ugly girl at the Prom.
IMO, DeAngelo, CJ, Beason, Td's contracts are also impact contracts that give the players on other teams some notice that the Panther's take care of their players to possibly entice some targeted impact free agents in the future.
This is a pretty big deal actually. When was the last time there was a contract dispute or hold out in Carolina? I can't remember (Peppers wasn't a dispute, he flat out did not want to play here). You play for the Panthers, you perform and you make what you deserve. Mike Tolbert is only the beginning, more and more role players are going to be coming to Carolina in the coming years for reduced deals.