The Cleveland Browns released cornerback Tramon Williams in February, a move he now says he initiated to escape an unstable situation.
The Cleveland Browns released veteran cornerback Tramon Williams in February after two average seasons with the club.
The Browns signed Williams as a free agent from the Green Bay Packers prior to the 2015 season in an attempt to bring some stability to the secondary. Williams was not bad during his time with the Browns, but age clearly started to catch up with the 34-year-old last season as he appeared in just 12 games, making seven starts.
When the Browns released Williams it was seen as just the latest in the ongoing veteran purge that has left the roster with just four players over the age of 30.
But, at least according to Williams, he was the one who wanted out of town. Williams appeared on Movin’ the Chains on the Sirius/XM NFL Channel and said the lack of stability within the team made him seek his exit:
"“At the end of the day, those guys were just going in a different direction. From the start of training camp to the beginning of the season, they were going in a different direction. And it came a point during the season to where I wanted to be released. That’s why we got released because it wasn’t a stable spot. It’s not a stable spot. You don’t know who’s going to be the coaches from year to year, and I didn’t know that so I didn’t want to be one of those veterans who is stuck in a spot and at the end of the day, I’m not going to be able to get a job because I was on a bad team. That’s why I wanted to get out of there.”"
It is an interesting take from Williams and not entirely unsurprising. After all, he came to Cleveland from Green Bay, where he played for head coach Mike McCarthy for all eight seasons he was a Packer. In two years in Cleveland, Williams played for two head coaches – Mike Pettine and Hue Jackson – as well as two of the worst defensive coordinators in the league – Jim O’Neil and Ray Horton.
But it was just one year ago that Williams was singing the praises of Jackson, according to an article from June 14, 2016, on clevelandbrowns.com:
"“A lot of coaching staffs and coaches, some guys just don’t know how to get the best out of their players. And the way Hue has come in here, been positive, he acknowledges everybody on the team from the last guy to the best guy on the team. He’s going to give everybody compliments and he does it in an individual fashion that you won’t see around this league. So I really commend what’s he’s come in here and done so far.”"
So while it is understandable that Williams was not happy about the defensive coaching staff, he seemed to be buying into what Jackson is selling, which makes it a bit odd that he would be the one who initiated his exit from the Browns over a lack of “stability” in the coaching staff.
It seems more likely that Williams saw the writing on the wall and knew that his playing time would continue to dwindle, and that is why he wanted out. And it is worth noting that just like some of the veterans the Browns “lost” in the 2016 offseason, no one has rushed to give Williams a deal as he remains a free agent.
Williams was complimentary toward the Browns in the Sirius interview, thanking the team for his release, so he doesn’t appear to have hard feelings toward the club.
But we still wonder why he felt the need to throw the team under the bus like that, especially if they truly did him a favor by releasing him all the way back in February.