We’ve been over all of these things multiple times before. The Green Bay Packers, under Ted Thompson, are always one of the youngest teams in the league. Cornerback Tramon Williams, despite having a killer finish to the season, is potentially on the chopping block.
That’s because Williams is 30 and set to make $7.5 million next season. And Thompson just doesn’t value veteran leadership. Charles Woodson can attest to that.
While he was cleaning out his locker on Monday, Williams spoke to that fact… while probably trying to save his job at the same time.
Drop your name on the way out of the building and it will stay in their minds.
“Even though we always say it’s a young league, yeah, it’s a young league, but it’s an old league, too, because the old guys make the league go,” Williams said. “That’s the guys who’ve been there before, who know how to prepare, who mold the young guys. That’s what they’re there for.”
“And I’m not that old,” Williams said. “It’s just one of those deals to where you don’t want to . . . we keep being young around here, but you don’t want to disvalue the veteran players, because they actually mold the younger players. I was with (Charles) Woodson and those guys, and those guys molded me. I know what it takes.”
Williams is both right and also sounds kind of desperate at the same time.
The Packers have lacked veteran leadership — and players — and that has been obvious at times this season. Under former general manager Ron Wolf, the Packers always had guys who had been around the game and could still make plays. And more importantly, guys who could provide leadership for the younger players on the roster.
You never heard the phrase “next man up” when Wolf ran the show because he didn’t rely on young and often, undrafted, guys to step in when a veteran went down. He relied largely on other proven veterans.
Think Keith Jackson, Andre Rison, Mike Prior, Jim McMahon, etc.
Thompson relies on the undrafted 23-year-old from Joe Bob State.
Williams, meanwhile, probably feels like the writing is on the wall. He’s due $7.5 million next season, which is the final year of his contract.
Is he worth that? If he plays like he did down the stretch of the season, when he was arguably the Packers’ best defender, then yes. Every bit of it.
It’s not that simple though.
The Packers need to re-sign Sam Shields, who’s 26 and the best cornerback on the team. They also have Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde, both of whom are more than capable.
Shields is going to get close to what Tramon is scheduled to make next season, per season. And because the Packers have already invested so much in Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, who can never stay healthy for a full season, it’s hard to see how they can pay four guys $7 million+ per season.
They can do that only if they stock the majority of their roster with a bunch of bargain-basement (and probably undrafted) guys. And we already know that plan works for shit.
That means the Packers will probably end up either, A. unceremoniously releasing Tramon like they did with Chuck, or B. asking him to take a pay cut.
If that pay cut comes with an extension, which is the smart offer, then Williams may well take it. Of course, at 30, and the way he played this year, the guy isn’t exactly washed up.
He might get more money on the open market and decide to force the Packers’ hand. If that happens, the Packers may well end up without one of their — let’s face it — only two good defenders from the 2013 campaign.
Maybe both of them if someone throws more money at Shields.
We’ve been critical of Tramon before, but the Packers need both him and Shields if they’re going to field a respectable secondary in 2014.
Those two guys were the only thing that stopped us from constantly pointing out what a pile of dogshit the Packers’ safeties were all season.
TW should re-do his deal for a few additional years and push some of the money out. If there’s enough sheckles left, maybe the Pack has a shot at Shields.
IF the PACK could lower his cap number by 2 mil by extending him for a couple more years to keep Shields then I would be a happy camper.
I have a feeling someone is going to throw stupid money at Shields though. I believe the Franchise tag for a corner is 11 million. That’s not gonna happen.
Hate to say it, but it looks like Ted made a mistake sending Woodson off. . ..
I think this next year we will find out whether we were a one trick wonder or if we realize the potential of Rodgers. I am far less optimistic than I once was.
you must be high. Woodson was pretty good against the run for a corner/safety, but as he got older he couldn’t cover anyone. He got slow and became a pass interference call waiting to happen. Be optimistic! We have a run game now!!
Well, Tramon is 100% correct. You must maintain a balance. Look at some of the big plays made by vets down the stretch (Tramon, Kuhn etc) Restructure and keep him around.
We have Clay Matthews on our D. What more do you need ?
Tramon! what are you doing?! Criticizing the allmighty Tightwad Ted? youre fucked man! the last thing ted likes to hear is that he or one of his coaches was wrong. Chuck undermined capers last season with the 49ers and scheme bullshit, and they were having none of it. you will see that here. there will not even be talks of a pay cut or extension. hes gonna get cut. and next year we’ll be stuck with another beyond sub-par dumb capers defense, and will again get bounced in the wild card round.
with the FAs we would potentially resign, and our cap space, i have a feeling our defense is going to be worse than it was last year. Jolly’s career is done, raji is probably gone…. our defense is going to be a laughing stock. and given Ted’s strength at drafting defensive players (or lack thereof)… shit. im going to vomit thinking about it…
Mathews always misses games each year re: the above comment. Ho hum.
Williams’ job seems safe for another year because a. Davon House isn’t very good and b. TT doesn’t do FA’s, but instead overpays his own—like mediocrities AJ Hawk, Pickett, Raji, B. Jones and Tramon Williams.
Well he is an “amazing man” according to unnamed Packer DB.
I’m not a wanting man BUT i could go without a few xmas’ IF a few things happen. A) let raji waddle his fat ass out the door B) resign Shields, Neal, jolly and maybe Jones C) draft a playmaker on defense whether its Clinton-dix, Mosley, an actual DL who can push the pocket AND stuff the run(like ngata or wilfork) or draft Ebron because he’s a damn good TE
Hard to say a wild card loss next year would be a disappointment. They’ve been getting slightly worse every year getting bounced a week or two earlier each year since 2010, a better coach in Detoilet might be the end of the playoff appearances for a while.
“And Thompson just doesn’t value veteran leadership. Charles Woodson can attest to that.”
There’s a difference between veteran leadership and geriatric leadership.
Move on — he was 36.
This is life after a franchise QB is signed.
There’s no money to sign free agents to fix three or four positions.
Plus, a franchise QB is going to win a few games on his own — making sure the team is borderline playoff material. Thus, insuring a perpetual late-round draft selection most every year.
Combine that with a few misses in the draft on defense.
Why the misses? Nobody plays Caper’s defense in college, so every pick is a gamble as far as can this guy play in our system.
Many selections involve a player converting to another position/role/duty.
All of the selections involve giving up one year for them to learn the system.
So it’s a season-after-season dice-roll as far as acquiring defensive talent.
IMO, the worst part of the D is rushing two light-weights and two fatties. The light-weights get driven up-field and out of the play; the fatties get tired/lazy and are effectively neutralized. The result: open lanes for scrambles or throws, plus extra time to survey options. The anemic pass rush exposes the secondary’s zone coverage concepts as well as the LBs tendencies to drift from the LOS, away from emerging TEs and RBs.
The team won’t be able to acquire contemporary versions of Woodson, Collins, Bishop, and Jenkins; the players that are experienced and knowledgeable and in the prime of their careers won’t be affordable.
How does 1265 Lombardi reconcile a GM-driven young roster approach with a “rocket science” defensive system with not so “right stuff” astronauts?
Something’s got to give.
His scheme really isnt that hard, Hell we ran it well while Chuck and Collins were here. We ran it pretty damn well last Sunday too, sans that awful miscommunication on the first drive that damn near gave Crabtree a TD. All defenses have communication breakdowns (cue the Zep), some more than others. Here’s a novel idea, draft (football) smarter or more talented players. The safeties are responsible for the vast majority of the breakdowns, the only one of them drafted relatively high, or at all in fact, is Burnett. The last time TT drafted a safety high before Burnett, we got Nick Collins. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll find another gem.
Nick Perry and Mike Neal are not lightweights, that’s part of what makes them poor in space vs. skill players. Our lightest LB is a perennial Pro-Bowler. 4-3’s put 4 “fatties” on the field, then 2 or 3 of those fatties have to play in most of other packages; 320 aint a whole lot different than 290-310 vis a vis conditioning.
No matter what you do, acquiring talent is always a dice roll (e.g. Brady, Sherman, Shields, Starr vs. Leaf, Russell, Mandarich, Marinovich), be it via free agency or the Draft; at least the draft doesn’t destroy your cap if you roll snake eyes.
GREAT POST, GBslacker.
Tramon be right. Tramon be worth $7.5 mill. Keep Tramon.
AGREED! Great freaking post. Dom Capers biggest sin is not adjusting to the skills and mental capacity of the players he has and instead staying with his super-intricate system. Players constantly blowing assignments can only be attributed to the player for so long. At some point the scheme must be adjusted if mistakes are continuous.
So many blown coverages.
Shields agent might high ball him right out of GB. Tramon could do a restructure for less cap hit and a few more years. He was lights out the last few weeks. Casey Hayward is the wildcard here. He can start on the outside. Hyde to safety maybe? That would mean House would have to get better in coverage. If we lose one of our CB’s we could still be OK. A better pass rush would certainly help our defensive backfield as well.
We might be okay, Hayward now has to prove he can stay healthy and possibly make two years’ worth of progress in one.
I’d rather they draft (or find a solid FA) a safety and keep Hyde in the slot; I guess we’ll see.
House finally made it through a full season healthy, he’s now effectively in his third year, if he wants to stay, next season is the time to make the jump; he sure has a lot to work on.
Agreed on the last. We get a lot of sacks, but usually only when we blitz or our coverage holds, we need to get more pressure with just 4 or 5.