Four Reasons the Packers Should Bring Back Tramon Williams in 2020

Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams has not signed a contract with the Packers for the 2020 season. The 37-year-old former Louisiana Tech star said he was “90 percent sure” he would play this season but as the Packers report to training camp this week, Williams is still not on the roster.

Prior to the draft in April, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst indicated that the team would wait and see until after the draft when it came to deciding on Williams’ future.

“We're going to kind of wait till after the draft to kind of see where we're at, at that point. ... obviously, what Tramon has meant to not only our current team but several teams of the past – he's an all-time Packer – if that fits once we get out of the draft then we'll certainly make it happen if we can,” Gutekunst told reporters during his pre-draft conference call.

Now the draft has come and gone and the Packers did not select a cornerback at all. The only defensive back selected was safety Vernon Scott of TCU who the Pack added in the seventh round.

So, what should the Packers do about Williams? Here are four reasons the Packers should re-sign Tramon Williams for the 2020 season:

1. He Remains an Effective Player

Although he was the oldest cornerback in the NFL in 2019, Williams had a good year as Green Bay’s nickel corner. He was credited with 39 total tackles and made two interceptions. Opposing quarterbacks completed just 57.9 percent of their passes when throwing at Williams and their quarterback rating was just 79.3 according to pro-football-reference.com.

The numbers show that Williams can still get the job done while his potential replacements are unproven.

Williams was on the field for 73 percent of the Packers defensive snaps in 2019, an extremely high number for a player who wasn’t considered a starter. He did not wear down as the season continued and still was effective in the postseason.

The veteran takes good care of himself and has proven to be remarkably durable throughout his career. He has never played fewer than 12 games in any of his 13 NFL seasons and played in all 16 games for the Packers both years since returning as a free agent in 2018.

2. He Adds Leadership

Williams has been through just about everything an NFL player can experience during his career. He’s played 13 seasons in the NFL, won a Super Bowl, made a Pro Bowl and played in 199 career regular season games and 15 postseason contests. There is nothing Williams hasn’t seen on the football field.

One of the reasons he’s still a successful player at his advanced age is because he prepares as well as anybody in the league. Williams leads by example. Younger players can learn a lot from just watching the way Williams goes about his business on the field, watching film and studying his playbook.

Aaron Rodgers knows what Williams adds to the locker room. When the Packers re-signed Williams in 2018, he told reporters, “Tramon, I can't say enough about him,” Rodgers said. “Not only is he a fantastic player…but he's also a fantastic locker room guy. You can't have enough great leaders like Tramon Williams.”

3. He Won’t Cost a Lot

The Packers should be able to sign Williams for at or close to the veteran minimum. While the Packers are tight against the cap, they should be able to work out a deal that won’t break the bank to bring back their veteran corner.

Going with younger players at cornerback may save the Packers a few dollars initially, but Williams savvy and experience could help the team win an extra game or two and that could affect whether the team wins the division, what playoff seed they get or even how far they go in the playoffs. The difference between victory and defeat in the NFL is often a fine line and Williams could make the difference for the Packers.

4. The Packers Would Have Excellent Depth at DB

While the Packers have several candidates with the potential to replace Williams as the slot cornerback, having Williams on the team would give Green Bay superb depth at the position.

Chandon Sullivan would have one more season as the dime back and could learn more from Williams. It would give Sullivan a chance to prove that his strong performance in 2019 was no fluke.

Ka’Dar Hollman and Josh Jackson would be able to learn and would not necessarily be relied upon on a regular basis.

More importantly, during a season with so much uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Packers would have outstanding depth at the position. That will be vital for all NFL teams in case injuries and/or illness strikes the roster. To have a player like Williams available would give the Packers a strong group of cornerbacks that goes at least four deep with Jackson, Hollman and other younger players eager to make it five or more if they can prove they are up to the task.

Overall, the plusses far outweight the drawbacks and the Packers should sign Williams for one more season.
 

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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Comments (30)

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Crazytim87's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Good points! GO PACK GO

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Thanks and thanks for commenting, Crazytim87.

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mamasboy's picture

July 30, 2020 at 02:50 pm

He's better than Josh Jackson if he was playing with one hand tied behind his back.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 30, 2020 at 03:19 pm

If that were true, then why aren’t the professionals at 1265 aware of that? Are they just not as astute as you?

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Coldworld's picture

July 30, 2020 at 04:38 pm

In fairness, if Jackson reaches the heights Tramon has in his career then he and his team should be delighted. However, even Tramon is human, there comes a point where he is going to decline too far. Jackson maybe the future. Williams may still be the present.

That said, with all the roster questions posed by Covid, I’m not sure they bring anyone in non essential because of the likely need to draft in cover for multiple positions. At the moment, for example, I believe we have no kicker active among the 90.

Aside from that, there seem real candidates to step up as Sullivan does. Absent injury, let them practice. Williams is a fitness machine who doesn’t need the practice season and can sit safely at home. Is the risk of losing him that big a deal that we need to spend sparse cap and take focus off the young potential? I don’t think so.

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GilMartin's picture

July 31, 2020 at 08:10 pm

I does make sense that they could bring Williams back closer to the start of the regular season. It's going to be a strange training camp, that's for sure. Thanks for the comment, Coldworld.

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 06:52 pm

Jackson has a lot to prove this season, no doubt. If he doesn't show something he could be in danger of losing his spot on the team. Thanks for commenting, mamasboy.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:10 pm

In a normal year you might rely more on rookie FAs and younger players making a jump, but this isn’t a normal year. Veteran leadership is going to be more important than ever with limited camp reps and lack of preseason games. They may just be waiting to see if we even have a season at all before resigning him.

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:53 pm

I agree. A player like Williams won't need as much time in camp, although I think it would help the younger players to see him out there during camp. This year especially, it does make sense to re-sign him. Thanks for the comment, Irish_Cheesehead.

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Packers0808's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Tramon Williams reminds of the Larry Fitzgerald of defense! Knows what, where and how to do it!

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Good point, Packers0808. He may not be as fast as he was 10 years ago, but he knows what's going to happen and uses that knowledge to be in the right place to make plays. Thanks for the comment.

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Packers0808's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Tramon Williams reminds of the Larry Fitzgerald of defense! Knows what, where and how to do it!

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gkarl's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Gil,

No doubt Tramon helps the team, no arguments with 1,2 and 4. I think it really boils down to #3. Gute might be able to this done at vet minimum plus some incentive on games played but still doubt they'll invest much more than 2M total for the season. If that is enough great if not well there is point #4, he would be a luxury we can probably do without.

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:55 pm

gkarl, I think you're right. The team is tight in cap space and Williams is not going to sign a multi-year deal that they can stretch out the cap hit on. I think he'll come at or close to the veteran minimum but obviously, we shall see. I hope they can bring him back. Thanks, as always, for commenting.

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Lphill's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Maybe as a coach , many here complained that 32 was too old as in Everson Griffen.

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 12:56 pm

Not sure if he wants to coach, but if he's open to it, it sounds like a possibility. His age was a concern 2 years ago when they signed him again but he showed the doubters wrong. Thanks for the comment, Lphill.

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stockholder's picture

July 30, 2020 at 02:20 pm

1. Effective 2. Leadership 3. Cost 4. Depth. Excellent points! Drawbacks: 1. Age. 2. Development 3. Cap 4. Other Needs. Overall- we just can't keep going backwards. I'm sure Williams is an insurance policy. But I'm not one who believes in being insurance poor. Gutey made the move to the future his last draft. His last draft showed us; reloading the offense was more important then the defense. If history taught us anything after the Lombardi years. Development must be the answer. Not Turn-Over. IMO. Gutey changed the time line to win the super-bowl. And he's about to destroy any chances of a good defense, if he doesn't sign King and Clark first.

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 06:54 pm

I know Clark is a top priority for the Packers and King will be if he stays healthy and plays well this year. Obviously, Bakhtairi is also vital. The cap situation is an issue since there will be reduced revenue this year because of the pandemic. Once that settles down and they know what next year's cap looks like, I think teams will start to sign players to longer term deals. Thanks for the comment, stockholder.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 30, 2020 at 02:59 pm

He doesn’t cover as well as he used to, and he never was a very strong player in run support. He’s not one of our top three corners or safeties and we usually only suit up 9 DBs on gameday.

Amos, Savage, Greene, Alexander, King, Sullivan, Redmond and Jackson all look to be ahead of him right now.

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13TimeChamps's picture

July 30, 2020 at 05:21 pm

Has hell officially frozen over? You've actually posted a (somewhat) negative comment about a Packer player. I thought that wasn't ever allowed.

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 06:56 pm

Well, if you want to get technical, Williams isn't under contract right now, so...lol

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Leatherhead's picture

July 30, 2020 at 07:55 pm

Nothing negative, my nitwitted friend. A simple acknowledgement that we have other, better options. Tramon has always been a favorite of mine.

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13TimeChamps's picture

July 30, 2020 at 09:00 pm

I'm not your friend, nitwitted or otherwise.

And unless you actually served in the Corps like myself, I'd appreciate if you stop using Leatherhead as your screen name. Way too close to the Marine Corp. moniker 'Leatherneck'. Very disrespectful.

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GilMartin's picture

July 30, 2020 at 06:56 pm

Not sure if Jackson would be considered ahead of him on the depth chart if he signed but the Packers have to hope he can be soon or he is going to be considered a bust. Thanks as always for commenting, Leatherhead.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 30, 2020 at 07:58 pm

Well, they haven’t released Jackson, and they haven’t signed Williams. What do you think is the reasonable conclusion to draw from that?

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blacke00's picture

July 31, 2020 at 08:09 am

No, do not sign him. We need the younger players on the field, how else are they going to learn? Heck, we always this excuse for QBs why not DBs?

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GilMartin's picture

July 31, 2020 at 08:12 pm

It's a fair argument to say they should see what they have in the younger players on the roster. They can always bring Tramon back in a few weeks if the younger players aren't up to par. Thanks for the comment, blacke00.

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PF4L's picture

July 31, 2020 at 03:47 pm

After spending so many high draft picks on Def. backs. I don't get why they would keep T Willy for 2 years at 10 million. But they couldn't keep a TD catching machine like Jordy Nelson for 5 million/year back in 2018?

Now here we sit in 2020....After Adams...our receiving and tight end group, one of the worst in the league. But lets look on the bright side.....
Gute has two first round picks helping out....keeping the bench warm.

The Packers..as you know them with Aaron Rodgers, is over. Gute has been loud and clear there.

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GilMartin's picture

July 31, 2020 at 08:16 pm

Rodgers is QB1 for this season. After that it's more up in the air. If I had to predict, he remains the QB until after the 2021 or 2022 season but we'll see. I can feel your frustration with Gute, PF4L. Thanks for commenting.

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PF4L's picture

August 01, 2020 at 08:58 am

Yea, i agree....if we have a season this year, it might be that the Packers trade Rodgers and deal with the dead money, otherwise with no season, probably keep him around through 2022. If the latter is the case, Gute may get a 1 or 2 year extension to see his Jordon Love pick through.
Good to meet you Gil.....PackerFan4Life = PF4L

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