Green Bay Packers top personnel executive Brian Gutekunst finally signed a free agent cornerback. It isn’t one of the big names that most Packers fans were hoping for, but he is a player that Packers fans know so well. Former Green Bay Packer, is now current Green Bay Packer Tramon Williams.
Williams signed a two-year deal to return to the place he started his career. Williams joined the Packers back in 2006 when he was signed off of the Houston Texans practice squad. Williams worked his way up from being a special teams player to the Packers nickel back and then took over as one of the starting cornerbacks from Al Harris and started opposite Charles Woodson. During his time with the Packers, which ended after the 2014 season when he signed a free agent deal with the Cleveland Browns, he had 28 interceptions along with four and a half sacks. Williams played two seasons in Cleveland with crossing paths with the Packers new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine who was the head coach of the Browns during Williams time there.
After being released by the Browns following the 2016 season, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals last season. He started nine games for the Cardinals and had a very strong season starting opposite of Cardinals standout cornerback Patrick Peterson, notching two interceptions. Zachary Jacobson of CheeseheadTV.com pointed out, that to go along with those two picks, he had a very impressive passer rating allowed last season.
The Packers have to be hoping that the signing of this former Packer turns out a lot better than when they did it last off-season. Davon House signed a one year deal last off-season with the Packers, but struggled with injuries last season. House could still return to Green Bay, but with the signing of Williams, the chances are lower.
Williams isn’t seen as a long-term answer at cornerback, with being 35 years old, but his experience playing under Pettine and knowing his defensive scheme, should help the Packers. Williams most likely will be asked to mentor last year’s top draft pick Kevin King, who is coming off-season ending shoulder surgery from last season.
It appears that the Packers and Gutekunst might not be done looking for cornerback help. It was reported that former New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux will be coming to Green Bay for a visit. Breaux would be another low-budget cornerback, but does bring some size and experience to the position.
Gutekunst and the Packers are taking the inexpensive route to fill the depth at the cornerback position, something that could seriously blow up in their faces. But if Williams appears to have fuel left in the tank, it could be quite a bargain for the Packers.
Cornerback is still expected to be a priority in the NFL draft, but with Williams and possibly Breaux coming in, it might not be the priority it looked to be at one time. Still, expect Gutekunst and the Packers to once again deal with the position early in the draft.