The Monday signing of Tramon Williams to the Cleveland Browns marks the end of his impactful, eight-year run in Green Bay. Over that span, the Packers made seven post season appearances and won Super Bowl XLV at the end of the 2010 season – something that Williams had a big part in.
After being signed by the Packers in November of 2006, Williams started 19 of the team’s 48 regular season games between 2007 and 2009. In November of 2009, Williams took over a starting cornerback spot after Al Harris suffered an ACL injury that ended his season, and eventually his career.
Williams broke onto the scene during the 2010 season with 57 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and six interceptions. He followed up his spectacular regular season with an even better post-season. His last-minute interception of Michael Vick in the endzone sealed the Packers’ Wild Card win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He then followed up with two interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons the team’s next game – the first a touchdown-saving pick in the endzone, and the second a 70-yard pick six with under a minute to play in the first half. This was Williams’ first interception return for touchdown in his career. He also broke up a late-game Ben Roethlisberger pass in Super Bowl XLV to seal the win for the Pack.
Williams’ play in 2010 earned him both a Pro Bowl nod and a new, $33 million contract.
For his career with the Packers, Williams only missed one game in 2011. In total, Williams tallied these regular season numbers: 465 combined tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 7 fumble recoveries, 115 pass break ups, 28 interceptions and one touchdown.
Unfortunately, Williams’ impact slowed during his last, few seasons with the Packers. He also unfortunately happened to be the player that got beat for the overtime touchdown in the NFC Championship in Seattle last season.
With the departure of both Williams to the Browns and fellow cornerback Davon House to the Jaguars, the Packers are now left pretty thin at cornerback. The Packers offered hard, unwavering numbers to both players, and were simply outbid by Cleveland (3-year, $21 million for Williams) and Jacksonville ($6.25 a year for House). As a result, look for the Packers to address their cornerback situation early in the draft.