Have the Green Bay Packers Re-signed Tramon Williams Yet?

There's no such thing as too much cornerback depth, and given how good Tramon Williams was in 2019, it's time for the Green Bay Packers to bring him back.

There's no question that the Green Bay Packers have a young and talented group of players making up their cornerback unit. Jaire Alexander has All-Pro potential, and Kevin King had the second-most interceptions in the NFL last season.

Meanwhile, Chandon Sullivan was excellent when given the opportunities, and Ka'dar Hollman's athleticism and physicality make him a good fit for Mike Pettine's press-man scheme. Although Josh Jackson's career hasn't gone as hoped, he was a turnover machine at Iowa, and hopefully, in Year 3 and under the tutelage of Jerry Gray, we see him take a step forward. 

It's these reasons that the Packers haven't brought back Tramon Williams, who still remains a free agent. However, while there is plenty of promise and reasons to be excited about this young cornerback group, there are question marks as well outside of Alexander.

We saw a healthy and productive King in 2019, but prior to last season, he had played in only 15 of his first 32 NFL games. It's fair to wonder whether or not he can put together another healthy season in 2020. And as good as Sullivan was, it was a small sample size. So while many of us believe he is primed for a Year 3 leap, it still remains to be seen. 

Then there is the overall experience of the position or lack thereof. After making 10 starts as a rookie, Jackson saw just 102 total defensive snaps in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus, and has to earn back the trust of the coaching staff. Hollman essentially had a redshirt season in 2019 after being inactive for 14 games, Kabion Ento was on the practice squad, DeShaun Amos in the CFL, and Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Stanford Samuels, and Will Sunderland are all undrafted free agents. 

Add in the fact that we don't know how the coronavirus is going to affect teams this season and depth, perhaps even more so than what it normally is, is at a premium. So given the youth and the unusual season ahead, why haven't the Green Bay Packers re-signed Tramon Williams yet? 

As I mentioned already, my first guess is because they really like the group that they have. And I do as well. However, Williams wasn't just good in 2019, he was very good, and at a premier position such as cornerback, you can never have too many very good players. 

As Green Bay's primary nickel corner last season, Williams was targeted 63 times and came away with two interceptions, allowed only two touchdowns, totaled five pass breakups, and opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of just 86.5 when throwing his direction. The 0.92 yards per snap that Williams gave up ranked 15th out of 54 eligible slot corners, and his overall coverage grade from Pro Football Focus of 82.2 was the seventh-best among all cornerbacks who played at least 20 percent of their team's defensive snaps. Not too bad for a now 37-year-old.

Of course when discussing any free agent addition we always have to be mindful of the salary cap, especailly considering that the Green Bay Packers have five high-profile free agents of their own - Kenny Clark, David Bakhtiari, Kevin King, Aaron Jones, and Corey Linsley - to worry about next offseason. According to Spotrac, the Packers have just over $11.5 million in available cap space at the moment. However, as salary cap guru Ken Ingalls points outs, not all of that is spendable. Green Bay still has to pay the practice squad, the 52nd and 53rd players on the roster, as well as have money for in-season spending, such as signing a Jared Veldheer or a Tyler Ervin like they did a season ago. Not to mention that rolling over as much unused cap as possible is going to be important as well.

So with those additional costs baked in, Ken has Green Bay with just under $8.7 million in cap space remaining. While they certainly can't go out on a spending spree, adding Williams on a one-year deal worth a few million dollars isn't going to throw their salary cap situation all out of whack either. The benefit of having Williams on the roster outweighs the extra $2 million or $3 million it may cost to acquire him. 

Although there is certainly the possibility that Williams may regress this season, he provides the Green Bay Packers with experienced depth in the slot, out wide, or even at safety as we've seen in the past. And if Sullivan takes hold of the slot duties and never looks back while King stays healthy, at this stage in his career, Williams doesn't have to play in 73 percent of the defensive snaps as he did in 2019.

Who knows, maybe the Packers and Williams are already in discussions, but a likely scenario is that Green Bay could be waiting to see how training camp plays out with their young group of corners before deciding whether or not to give Williams a call. However, too much depth is never a bad thing, so regardless of how this unit performs this summer, I say it's time to re-sign Tramon. 

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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Comments (10)

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Jonathan Spader's picture

July 24, 2020 at 01:18 pm

Tramon can come in without a training camp just like James Jones did when we needed him. Other teams aren't signing him. What's the rush? Save your money and offer Tramon the veteran minimum with incentives.

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Ryan3468's picture

July 24, 2020 at 01:24 pm

I think if the Packers had more cap space it would be a no brainer brining in experience in to a locker room for a year like this. The youth on football teams will have less experience going in to the season. Less in general to get themselves ready as a team. Tramon is an absolute pro. He’s probably ready to play right now. Are all the young guys? Who knows. I think the advantage this year goes to teams with more veterans. Not only is Tramon good. He makes the players around him better.

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Bearmeat's picture

July 24, 2020 at 02:10 pm

I think this is a clear "We've got young guys we like who need to play" move by management. It sucks, because often those moves will be worse in the short term for the team. But it's seemed like GB is more about 2022 than 2020 for this whole offseason. As a matter of fact, I really do fail to see a coherent plan. That doesn't mean it's not there, but it's certainly not obvious.

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Guam's picture

July 25, 2020 at 07:35 am

IDK Bearmeat, I think the plan is there to see - don't like it, but it is there to see. When you spend your 1st and 4th round draft choices on a guy that won't play for two years; don't resign veterans like Bulaga, Williams and Veldheer; and know you don't have the money to resign several of your upcoming free agents; it certainly looks like a mini-rebuild. 2022 here we come.......

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nostradanus's picture

July 24, 2020 at 02:17 pm

The Packers are going to cut as much salary cap as possible this year as the want to extend as many of their stars as possible.

Add to this the uncertainty of the 2020 season and the fact the salary cap will probably go down next year.

Williams while still a good player at 38 is a “break glass in case of emergency option “ only.

As the old GM saying goes “its better to part ways with a player a year early than a year late”

Thanks for the memories Tramon, see you in the Packers HOF!

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Brad.S's picture

July 24, 2020 at 03:30 pm

If teams can only bring 80 players, vs the usual 90, to training camp, that makes it even harder to bring back Tramon. He was great last year, and probably doesn't even need training camp, if it turns out the Packers need him later.

There's a lot of talk about the Packers playing for 2022 and not 2020. When I look at the roster, most of it looks to be 27 years old or under. That sure looks like a team playing for 2020 and 2021. I wasn't that crazy about this year's draft, but even if you're going for it in 2020-2021, having a talented backup QB when your starter is 36 yo and has missed games is valuable when going for the Superbowl. If they'd had Jordan Love as a backup a few years ago instead of Brett Hundley when Aaron's collarbone was broken, they might have made a playoff run. Also, the Packers 2nd round pick was a RB, the position where rookies are most likely to contribute. Even in the 3rd round, the pick was a player filling a need more than one for long-term upside. So, while on the surface there's a lot about the draft that says "future," there's a lot that also says 2020-21.

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Guam's picture

July 25, 2020 at 07:27 am

I think your assumption that Jordan Love will be QB2 this year may be in error. Love has been described as "raw" even by Gute and the lack of a preseason this year is not going to help that. I expect Boyle will be #2 QB this year with Love brought along slowly.

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PhantomII's picture

July 25, 2020 at 09:31 pm

It's this year or not for a couple more.....Needed a bad ass DT instead of wasting money on Graham who was holding back younger TE's growth. We will lose a significant number of salty vets next year with no money to replace them. It could go 2 ways. Either NFL cuts back Cap # and teams unload vets and football quality in general goes down or if the NFL fears people watch NFL less they will temporarily increase the cap to keep up viewing numbers since stadiums are not making as much money. We don't know what the contract says with the broadcasters as far as money for maintaining a number of viewers which will correlate with putting out a quality product to the public. If viewing goes down NFL $ take may go down with it as well.

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mnbadger's picture

July 24, 2020 at 04:12 pm

The lack of a contract could also be a sign of building the roster with more tight ends, running backs, offensive linemen and linebackers. Less room for defensive backs and wide receivers? We'll know in the next couple of months. GPG

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Packers0808's picture

July 26, 2020 at 05:55 pm

Just common sense to bring Tramom back, at 38 he is still better than 1/2 of the NFL corners!

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