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Random way his friend died stuns Paymah

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  • Random way his friend died stuns Paymah

    They shared a flight, a position and dreams.
    In April 2005, Darrent Williams and Karl Paymah were the first two draft picks selected by the Broncos. They also were strangers, traveling on the same plane to their introductory news conference in Denver.

    "We were just talking about how we didn't know what to expect," Paymah said Monday, hours after Williams was shot to death after leaving a nightclub in a rented limousine on Speer Boulevard.

    "But even on the plane, we were talking about what we were going to do. We were going to be the class to remember."

    Along with Domonique Foxworth, the Broncos took three cornerbacks that spring on the first day of the draft, a resounding answer to a couple of blowout losses in the postseason that had exposed a weak secondary. Those three players would be inextricably linked because of those circumstances.

    Paymah eventually would settle into a role as Williams' backup. And on Sunday afternoon, with Williams reaggravating a left shoulder separation during a 6-23 loss against the San Francisco 49ers that ended the Broncos' season, Paymah replaced "D-Will," as he was affectionately known, in a game for the final time.

    Williams approached Paymah on the sideline during the second half and reportedly told him to get ready because he physically couldn't continue playing.

    "You would think people in our positions wouldn't be thinking about each other. But he cheered me on the whole game," Paymah said. "He just kept telling me, 'Keep balling.' "

    Yet that was the type of support there always had been between the competing players, "which was kind of unusual," he added.

    A week earlier, Williams proudly had talked about how the young cornerbacks were living out their promise in a win against the Cincinnati Bengals that had kept the Broncos' playoff hopes alive for another weekend.

    "He was like, 'That's why they brought the three of us in,' " Paymah said.

    Williams, 24. was the most outwardly brash of the trio. His smile was omnipresent and he liked to talk the talk. Foxworth, on the other hand, always appeared to be the intellectual of the group, with Paymah the quiet type.

    Paymah related Monday he always knew Williams' driving force was to "prove everybody wrong," even if his friend didn't discuss it much.

    Williams' persona, playing and media style were one and the same because of that mind-set.

    "He wasn't going to hold back in anything in his whole life," Paymah said.

    The last time Paymah would chat with Williams came in the locker room Sunday night.

    The topic was about the plans for the evening, and specifically, how Paymah could secure a limousine to get to the party Williams was later leaving when he was shot.

    "I was actually thinking about riding with him," Paymah said.

    Instead, Paymah secured his own transportation, taking a limo to the party with receiver Javon Walker, who later was in Williams' vehicle when the player was gunned down.

    "It's just crazy how everything unfolded," Paymah said, shocked by the randomness of it all. "It can happen to anybody. We took a limo there ourselves, and when you're in a limo you're not really cognizant of what's going on outside.

    "It's hard to even think about a situation like that, what goes through your mind.",00.html

  • #2
    Just goes to show you again how great he was, and how much he will be missed. I'm also glad that Paymah decided to take another limo he could've been hurt too.

    R.I.P Darrent Williams

    R.I.P Damien Nash


    • #3
      Wow. That just makes it seem more unlucky. Imagine what Paymeh's going through right now.


      • #4
        I'm just glad Javon Walker wasn't hit too! He had blood stains on his shirt when he went to the Broncos facility the next day. Darrent died right next to him and the bullet that killed Darrent could easily have hit Walker.

        It's also good that the other people in the limo weren't more seriously injured. One wounded victim has already been released and the other will soon be released from the hospital.


        • #5
          Thanka for posting this, great read.
          ...capture it...remember it...