The NFL’s offseason purge has begun and in no place do they probably need to purge the entire roster (and fold up the franchise) than in Cleveland. As part of their purge, the Browns have released former Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams.
Williams just finished his second season in football purgatory after signing on as a free agent in 2015. This likely signals the end of the line for one of our favorite players.
Williams will be 34 next month. He went from starting 15 games in 2015 (69 tackles, 10 passes defended and one interception), to starting just seven in 2016 (36, five and one). What’s more, he was moved to safety during the season, which is usually the death knell for a cornerback that isn’t a Hall of Famer.
Williams was entering the final year of a three-year, $21 million deal. His 2017 cap number would have been $7.425 million. Cleveland will eat only $500,000 of that in dead money, so this was really inevitable.
We know you’re not stupid enough to think this would be a good idea, but there are people out there who are. The Packers should in no way consider bringing Tramon back. While he was once pretty awesome, those days have undoubtedly passed.
The Packers let Williams walk at exactly the right time.
Interestingly, the decisions made that offseason put the team in the very bind they found themselves in this season. That’s when the Packers let Williams and Davon House sign elsewhere in free agency. They then chose to use their first two draft picks on Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. After letting Casey Hayward stroll out of town during the 2016 offseason and deciding to count on the four-time concussed Sam Shields, the Packers found themselves with arguably the worst secondary in the league at the end of 2016.
Not that Williams would have helped, but House or Hayward may have. That said, with $9 million per season invested in Shields, the Packers just weren’t going to pay those other two guys. Especially when they could have several guys playing on dirt cheap rookie deals.
But let’s celebrate Tramon. Two of his biggest and most badass plays came in the 2010 playoff run. That’s what a defense with actual playmakers looks like, for those of you who don’t remember.
Perhaps my all-time favorite Tramon moment was against the Eagles. I vividly remember yelling after this pass was released, “You don’t fucking throw on Tramon!” He saved the game.
This one, the very next week, was nearly as big. It pretty much ended the Atlanta Falcons at halftime. The rout was on at that point.
And so long to Sam Shields as well.
An ode to Tramon:
Dearest Tramon, congratulations on an amazing NFL career. You clawed your way from an UFA cut by the Texans, to a pivotal piece on a Super Bowl team. Your knack foe the ball resulted in some of the sweetest interceptions I ever had the opportunity to watch. A fluid style and fearless tackling ability made you a pro bowler through and through. You were, unequivocally, my favorite player. The guy I could rely on to make the needed interceptions, the man who could start a gang tackle to stifle a first dowb. I’m proud to have cheered for you in Green and Gold, I hope you felt the same in donning the jersey 38 at Lambeau field. Had your draft been done over again you’d surely be a first round pick, I’m glad you stayed humble through the years, you made a connection with the fans who cheered you, I hope you retire in Green and Gold.
Sincerely your biggest fan, Phillthy.