Is Tramon Williams a Good Fit for the Cleveland Browns?
Well, Browns fans, looks like the Cleveland Browns finally took a big step forward and started spending some of the remaining $41.6 million in cap space. And they did it in a big way:
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 16, 2015
And Williams seems happy with the news as well:
“I know this is a good spot for me. It carries the same tradition Green Bay had. I’m just ready for a new chapter in my life.”
Browns GM Ray Farmer (so far better known for his inability to control his text messaging than his ability to put together a good team) finally has something to crow about, and he proceeded to do so calling Williams “a really good and consistent player” and “a pro’s pro who believes great preparation leads to great performance.”
As I mentioned previously, I thought it was a mistake letting Buster Skrine go to the New York Jets. In 2014, the Browns defense was first in opponents’ quarterback passer rating (74.1), completion percentage (57.1) and passes defended (99), second in interceptions (21) and tied for third in passing yards per attempt (6.4). It was, honestly, one of the few reliable bright spots on a team that was more known for Johnny Football’s off the field antics than its on the field play. So letting a key component of that secondary leave seemed like a real gamble, particularly since the Browns didn’t use any of that freed money to make any major improvements (and no, I don’t consider Josh McCown or Brian Hartline major improvements).
I understand that the anchor here is Pro Bowl corner Joe Haden, and that the Browns still believe in 2014 first round draft pick Justin Gilbert, but not having that second solid, consistent veteran presence in the secondary was a real concern. But acquiring Tramon Williams addresses that exactly and, in fact, improves the Browns defense. Take a look at the comparison:
Tramon Williams – 32 Years Old (actually, his birthday was yesterday, March 16)
- 5′ 11″, 182 lbs.
- 8 Seasons
- 3.5 Interceptions per regular season
- 14.25 Passes defended per regular season
- 49.4 Tackles per regular season
- 1 Fumble recovery per regular season
- 7 playoff appearances
- Only missed one regular season game
Buster Skrine – 25 Years Old
- 5′ 9″, 182 lbs.
- 4 Seasons
- 1.5 Interceptions per regular season
- 12.25 Passes defended per regular season
- 49 Tackles per regular season
- 0.25 Fumble recovery per regular season
- 0 Playoff appearances
- Never missed a regular season game
As you can see, both are reliable options, but Williams edges Skrine in almost every category, including significantly outpacing Skrine in takeaways per season (a combined 4.5 vs. 1.75). Yes, Williams is a bit older, but he’s also much more experienced, particularly in terms of playing in big games (i.e. the post season).
Honestly, with Skrine signing for a little over $6 million per year with the Jets, Williams at around $7 million per year is a steal. In effect, this was a good upgrade for a veteran player that, together with Haden, can help Gilbert reach his potential. After weeks of absolute junk, it looks like Browns fans finally have something to smile about. Particularly with this stat:
— Dan Murphy (@DMurph_BrownsPR) March 16, 2015
That is, until they remember who they have playing quarterback for them.