Bryce Williams refuses to give up on his goal of playing in the National Football League.
The former North Davidson and East Carolina standout recently signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals last Wednesday.
"Super excited and grateful," Williams said. "It's been a long seven months. I've kept at it. It's a chance to make it in the NFL and I plan to make the most of it."
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight end was cut by Carolina Panthers, the fourth NFL team he had spent time with, on Sept. 1, 2017, right before the end of training camp.
Williams has yet to play in an NFL game or make a team's active roster coming out of training camp. But he intends to keep trying.
"I guess it's the drive in knowing I can do this and that God gave me the ability to play this game at a high level," Williams said. "I'm going to make the most of this opportunity they've given me. I have a go get it attitude."
His chances of sticking with the Cardinals might be better than the odds he faced in making Carolina's roster last season. The Cardinals return Jermaine Greshman and Ricky Seals-Jones but they lost Troy Niklas to free agency. In addition, Gresham suffered a torn Achilles in last season's regular season finale and when he returns is uncertain. Williams is also familiar with new Cardinals coach Steve Wilks, who spent the previous six seasons on Ron Rivera's staff at Carolina.
That's in contrast to what Williams had to contend with last summer in Charlotte. The Panthers were pretty much set at tight end and Williams had little chance of surviving the final cuts.
Williams put himself on the NFL radar with a stellar senior season at ECU in 2015 when he caught 58 passes for 583 yards and 4 touchdowns. That earned him first-team all-AAC conference honors.
Though he went undrafted, Williams was signed as a free agent by the New England Patriots. Williams was cut by the Patriots near the end of traning camp in 2016. He was then signed by the Los Angeles Rams and spent the 2016 season on their practice squad.
Williams was waived by the Rams on May 4, 2017 and signed by the Seattle Seahawks a week later. But the Seahawks released him less than a month later. The Panthers signed Williams on Aug. 3, 2017.
Williams doesn't have a timetable with regard to his attempts to play in the NFL.
"Just until, I guess, something stops me or something better comes along," he said.
The Cardinals will hold a mini-camp Tuesday through Thursday.
Mike Duprez can be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mike on Twitter@LexDispatch_md.