DeAngelo Williams uses release notice from Panthers as daily motivation

DeAngelo Williams shared a photo of the piece of paper he uses as motivation each day.
Evan Habeeb/Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, DeAngelo Williams played just six games with the Carolina Panthers due to an ankle injury. He finished the year with 219 rushing yards and career-lows with an average of 3.5 yards per carry and zero touchdowns.

It largely seemed as though his career was nearing an end after he was released by the team in March. But then he was given a second chance by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he made the most of the opportunity.

This season, he was 10th in the league in rushing with 907 yards despite making just 10 starts. He was also tied for the league lead with 11 rushing touchdowns. At the age of 32, Williams defied odds and proved to be one of the best signings of 2015.

Part of what motivated him to perform exceptionally well this past season is the "Notice of Termination" he was issued for his release from the Panthers. The reason he was cut, according to the document, was that his "skill or performance" had been "unsatisfactory" compared to his positional competition.

Needless to say, Williams proved to Carolina that he had plenty of gas left in the tank. However, it’s clear that the move worked out for both sides as the Panthers made it to the Super Bowl and Williams revived his career for the time being.

There’s no doubt he was one of the best stories in the NFL this season and has likely earned a roster spot in Pittsburgh again next season.