Tramon Williams might still write his “final chapter” with the Green Bay Packers.
Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine addressed the 37-year-old cornerback’s status as an unrestricted free agent during a video conference call on Friday, revealing the team has discussed the possibility of bringing back Williams for the 2020 season but that his future remains “up in the air.”
“We don’t know how his final chapter is going to be written, whether it’s gonna be here, whether it’s gonna be with another team or whether he decides to retire” Pettine said.
Pettine didn’t hold back when describing Williams’ value to the Packers in 2019, which marked his 13th season in the NFL. Williams played every game, starting in seven of them, and finished the year with 39 tackles, eight pass breakups and two interceptions that proved valuable in a rotation with starting cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Kevin King.
“He was highly effective for us,” Pettine said. “He’s just that rare player that continues to play at a high level at a position where you wouldn’t expect somebody to play deep into their 30s, one that requires so much of their legs. And obviously, we think very highly of T, but we also understand the big-picture part of it, the business side of it.”
The Packers currently have all 90 spots filled on their 2020 offseason roster, but it would be rather easy for them to clear space if Williams did indeed return for next season. Back in March after the beginning of free agency, Williams told ESPN’s Josina Anderson he was making the Packers his “priority” but also keeping his options open with other teams.
On the flip side, the Packers already have 10 cornerbacks signed to their offseason roster, including several who have at least a year of experience in the system. Chandon Sullivan projects to plug in as the CB3 after a strong showing in 2019, while Josh Jackson and Ka’dar Hollman are also expected to push for more playing time in 2020 without Williams around.
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Williams Might Cost Too Much to Re-Sign
There are optimists who might think Williams — who has spent 10 of his 13 NFL seasons with the Packers — would be interested in taking a team-friendly deal in order to finish out his career in Green Bay, but his exact price point could be one of the reasons why the Packers have not yet inked him to a new deal.
Williams was a rare castaway who the Packers elected to bring back after he spent two seasons in Cleveland (with Pettine as the head coach) and one more in Arizona. He was re-signed for his second stint with the Packers in 2018 on a two-year, $10 million deal. The reinvestment proved worthwhile, as Williams exceeded expectations, but paying similar money to bring him back again seems less appealing with more young talent currently filling out the position.
Beyond their returning cornerbacks, the Packers also signed three undrafted free agents as well as former CFL talent DaShaun Amos, who was new wideout Reggie Begelton’s teammate with the Calgary Stampeders for the past two years. Williams would certainly add more competition to the position group, but he would do little to solve the looming needs at the position with King’s contract set to expire in 2021.