Williams would give the Steelers a proven back to pair with Le'Veon Bell -- and a potential starter for the beginning of next season.
Bell, who led the AFC with 1,361 rushing yards last season, is expected to miss the first two games of 2015 stemming from his arrest last August for marijuana possession and driving under the influence.
Bell received 15 months probation after entering a program for first-time offenders, and his record will be cleared if he stays out of trouble during that time.
The 2014 All-Pro selection will be disciplined by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, which is why the Steelers are looking for veteran help at running back.
Williams offers a contrast to the two, as the former first-round draft pick played nine seasons for Carolina before the Panthers released him Tuesday.
Williams, who turns 32 next month, is the Panthers’ all-time leader in rushing yards (6,846) and rushing touchdowns (46). He is also averaging 4.8 yards per carry for his career.
Williams has a tie to the Steelers. He starred at running back for Memphis while Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner served as the offensive coordinator there.
Williams made a base salary of $6 million in 2014, according to ESPN Roster Management. The 5-foot-9, 215-pounder would have to accept a significant pay cut to sign with the Steelers.