New Orleans Saints cornerback P.J. Williams pled guilty to a reduced charge of reckless operation of a motor vehicle on Tuesday after he was initially charged with driving while intoxicated in January, NOLA.com reported.
Williams was ordered to pay a $340 fine, according to the report.
However, the fifth-year cornerback could still face discipline from the NFL through its personal conduct policy. Although the incident took place in January, it’s not uncommon for the league to wait until a case like this is resolved in court.
“We have been monitoring developments in the matter,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
Williams appears set to begin the season as New Orleans’ primary nickel back after signing a fully-guaranteed one-year, $2.25 million deal to stay with the team in free agency.
A third-round draft pick out of Florida State in 2015, Williams battled injuries and inconsistency early in his career. But he had the best stretch of his career in that slot-cornerback role during the second half of last season after veteran Patrick Robinson broke his ankle.
Williams was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week for Week 8 after returning an interception for a touchdown and helping to force a fumble in the Saints’ 30-20 victory at Minnesota.
The Saints do have other options at nickel back if needed, though , including the now-healthy Robinson and rookie safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
Williams’ arrest came just three days after the Saints’ loss in the NFC Championship Game. He was stopped after driving 80 mph in a 50 mph zone along the Crescent City Connection Bridge and refused a breath test, according to the New Orleans Police Department. He was booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center for DWI, speeding, improper lane usage and failure to use a turn signal.
Williams also was arrested for DUI shortly before the 2015 draft, though charges were later dropped. And he was involved in a 2014 car accident at Florida State, where he initially left the scene before returning 20 minutes later. He was only ticketed for failing to yield and driving with a suspended license in that incident, and police noted no suspicion of him being impaired.