Tramon Can Still Play
After ex-Packer Tramon Williams was released by the Cleveland Browns earlier this month, I spent a few days analyzing the 33-year-old’s play in 2016. I was fully expecting to see a dottering old man barely able to keep up with young wide receivers. Instead, what I saw was a still capable defensive back.
While Williams isn’t close to the Pro Bowl corner who helped Green Bay win a Super Bowl six years ago, he’s still good enough to contribute to a defense. The former Louisiana Tech star played all over for Cleveland last season. He lined up outside, in the slot and even at safety – where, by the way, he looked very impressive.
Williams wasn’t released on February 7 because he can’t play. He was released because the 1-15 Browns had no interest in paying a $1.225 million roster bonus that was due on March 11 and wanted to give the highly respected veteran a better chance to catch on with another team before free agency begins next month.
Could Green Bay be that team? Based on Ted Thompson’s track record, the answer is likely no. The set in his ways GM has never shown much interest in adding veterans to the roster, and he’s shown even less interest in bringing back former players. But the Packers certainly could use help in the secondary, so you never know.
Thompson – one would think – can’t go into next season with Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, LaDarius Gunter and a draft pick atop the depth chart at cornerback. Williams would provide insurance in case injuries weren’t the only reason Randall and Rollins looked like Ahmad Carroll and Joey Thomas in 2016. He’d also provide depth at safety, which could be needed if top backup Micah Hyde leaves in free agency.
If I were the GM, Pro Bowl inside linebacker Zach Brown would’ve been starting for the Packers all of last season I’d much rather pay Williams around $2M in 2017 than spend at least twice that amount to re-sign Hyde, a younger (turned 26 in December) but not significantly better player. I’d also prefer Williams – even at his advanced age – to Davon House, another ex-Packer who might find himself on the chopping block in Jacksonville.