Brian Gutekunst was named GM of the Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some bad. I’ve been listing his best moves over the course of the last few weeks. Here’s No. 3:
I implored former GM Ted Thompson to sign Tramon Williams in 2017. Gutekunst did just that a year later, inking the veteran defensive back to a 2-year deal worth $10 million. Williams was expected to add depth and leadership to a young secondary, but he wound up providing a lot more. He started the first 6 games at corner, moved to the slot around Halloween, and by Thanksgiving was taking snaps at safety following the trade of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Much to his credit, Williams did a solid job in all three roles.
Williams played even better last season. As the nickel back for all 16 games, he held opposing QBs to a passer rating of just 86.5. It was a good season for any cornerback and a remarkable one for a 36-year-old cornerback. And while Williams obviously doesn’t run as well as he did when he went to the Pro Bowl in 2010, he still possesses above-average short-area burst and acceleration – not to mention a whole lot of savvy.
Williams finds himself unsigned with training camp scheduled to begin in less than two weeks (fingers crossed), but it would be no surprise to see him brought back at some point. While Gutekunst wants to give Jackson, Chandon Sullivan, and Ka’dar Hollman every opportunity to prove they’re capable of being the No. 3 cornerback, there are serious questions surrounding each of the young players. Meanwhile, the only serious question surrounding Williams is how he’s been able to beat the crap out of Father Time for so long?
#12 – Sullivan Surpised In Secondary
#11 – Veldheer Saved The Days
#10 – Ervin Provided Positive Returns
#9 – Greene’s Injury Hurt Defense
#8 – Lewis Starred Off The Field
#7 – Amos Delivered As Expected
#6 – Lazard Leapt To Starting Job
#5 – Preston Smith Enjoyed Career Year
#4 – One Trade Filled Two Holes