Report: Ex-Bears OT Williams joins Rams

CHICAGO -- Former Chicago Bears first-round pick Chris Williams has signed with the St. Louis Rams, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Bears released Williams during their bye week after the offensive lineman had been a healthy inactive in the club's last two wins over the Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars.

He reportedly visited the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Rams before joining the Rams.

Williams started 38 games over five seasons after the Bears selected him with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Williams bounced around the offensive line where he spent time at left tackle, right tackle and left guard. The veteran began the 2012 preseason in competition for the Bears' starting left tackle position but ultimately lost out to current starter J'Marcus Webb.

"Chris is a great guy and we had a great talk after we released him," Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice said. "He's had some bad breaks; he's had some bad injury breaks. We tried to move him inside (to guard) a little bit, and just as things were going last year he got dinged up a little bit and lost some time. Right now, I just think the organization felt it would be good for him to maybe get a fresh start.

"We have some young guys that we like [practice squad offensive linemen James Brown and Cory Brandon] so that's part of the thing. We brought Jonathan [Scott] in, and Jonathan has been a starter in this league; although a backup starter, he's been a starter in this league. It's unfortunate. Chris is a great guy and he did everything we asked him to do. I wish him the best of luck and he knows that."