Tramon Williams Deal Graded Positively
When the Cleveland Browns signed Tramon Williams some wondered if they overpaid for an aging veteran. Others saw a perfect fit across from Joe Haden in the Mike Pettine system. His long arms, strong upper body and veteran experience would give the Browns a player that could hold up against #2 receivers on the outside. He also won’t get rattled by being targeted a lot across from All Pro Joe.
Pro Football Focus (Insider, $), who have partnered with ESPN for some of their media coverage, graded the Williams deal and had positive thoughts about it for the Browns:
"Tramon Williams is one of those players who plays younger than he is. Williams, who signed with the Browns on his 32nd birthday, has still been producing at a high level, and gives the Browns another option to start opposite Joe Haden if they are not comfortable handing that job to 2014 first-rounder Justin Gilbert.Williams’ coverage numbers dipped a little in 2014 — he allowed a passer rating of 101.7 on balls thrown into his coverage, largely thanks to surrendering eight touchdowns — but his PFF coverage grade was still positive because he was making plays and overall was not being beaten badly down to down. Moreover, his average reception allowed was 11.8 yards."
The devil is truly in the details with Williams. With Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay Packers offense, teams were often throwing against the Pack’s defense. That put Williams and the rest of the secondary in a difficult position. The Pack also had some trouble getting to the passer, making Williams have to stand up in coverage a bit longer.
The PFF grades do show that Williams may be slowing down due to age but the Browns system can help overcome that. With Haden shutting down one side, Tashaun Gipson is able to shade over the other. That should help Williams not get beat for those big throws that PFF notes in their write-up. HC Mike Pettine also likes to have 3 safeties in the game and to get natural pressure without having to bring extra blitzers.
If the Browns can get pressure and provide some help in coverage, Williams has proven that he can excel. His numbers may not look at that great but that will mostly be due to team’s going away from Haden. Corners, especially in a league that values offense in it’s rules, are going to get beat. With the extra attempts thrown Williams way he is going to give up completions. His physicality should help in containing plays and making crisp, clean tackles.
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PFF gave the Tramon Williams signing a B-. He is getting paid a good chunk of money, estimated $10 million guaranteed, but he gives the Browns a sure fire starter in case Justin Gilbert, K’Waun Williams and Pierre Desir can’t step in this year. He should also be a good mentor, joining Haden and Donte Whitner, for all the young talent in the secondary. He also is a clear upgrade via PFF’s site over Buster Skrine.
How would you grade the Tramon Williams deal?