Broncos Should Trade for 24-Year-Old Browns Starting CB

Greedy Williams

Getty Images Browns players react after a play against the Arizona Cardinals.

Other than Patrick Surtain II, the Denver Broncos don’t have a long-term solution at cornerback.

Cornerback Ronald Darby is under contract through 2023 and posted 47 tackles and six pass breakups in 2021. But he missed six games last season and has yet to play an entire season in his seven-year career. Denver could part ways with Darby after the 2022 season due to an out in his contract. K’Waun Williams signed a two-year deal and will be the slot cornerback with the free-agent departure of Bryce Callahan.

That means Denver could be on the prowl to find a young and capable outside cornerback opposite Surtain for not only 2022, but also beyond.

And that could be Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report suggested that Williams is one of the three prime trade candidates on Cleveland’s roster, along with quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Kareem Hunt. Mayfield has since been traded to the Carolina Panthers for a 2024 fifth-round conditional pick.

As for Williams, he played in 16 games last season after missing the whole 2020 season with a shoulder injury. The LSU product garnered 41 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble per Pro Football Reference. He also allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a passer rating of just 74.0.

Williams Wouldn’t Be Costly

The Broncos have just five picks in the 2023 NFL draft due to trading their first and second-round picks in the Russell Wilson trade.

Despite less-than-ideal draft capital, Knox thinks landing Williams would take at least a mid-round draft choice.

A team with playoff aspirations can never have too many good cornerbacks. This is why the Browns should only consider moving Greedy Williams at a high price point—ideally a third- or fourth-round pick at a minimum.

Williams is also entering the final year of his rookie contract, and the Browns have spent several seasons stockpiling corners. Former first-round picks Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II lock down the perimeter, and Cleveland added third-round pick Martin Emerson Jr. to the mix this offseason.

Barring a tremendous 2021 campaign, the Browns appear unlikely to offer Williams a lucrative contract. There’s a real chance that he’ll depart in 2023 free agency with the possibility of a compensatory pick as Cleveland’s only return.

If a cornerback-needy team is willing to offer fair market value for Williams, Cleveland would have to consider it.

Here are the Broncos’ draft choices in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Round 3: own pick
  • Round 3: via Colts (2022 draft trade)
  • Round 4: own pick
  • Round 5: own pick
  • Round 7: via Vikings (Stephen Weatherly trade)

Denver could send one of their third-round choices to Cleveland for the 24-year-old cornerback. Williams has a cap hit of $2 million, which can easily fit under the Broncos’ 90-man roster cap space of approximately $9.5 million, according to the NFL Players Association.

Could Browns Deal Williams?

The Browns have a knack for stockpiling cornerback depth in recent memory and this year shouldn’t be any different. Denzel Ward dealt with a foot injury during mandatory minicamp in June and the Browns haven’t told the public that Williams is available in trade talks.

Williams has already dealt with an injury during minicamp as well. It’s already unlikely to see the Browns getting a package that would be over-the-top.

However, it’s likely that the Browns will let Williams walk after the season. General manager Andrew Berry and his team could opt to get a future asset, especially knowing that Williams might not repeat another 16-game season with his injury history.

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