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GREEN BAY – Now that the free-agent market has been picked clean of the top available cornerbacks, the Green Bay Packers are looking for good fits with their defensive system and locker room.
Tramon Williams, who played nine seasons with the Packers and was a major player in their sweep through the postseason in 2010, is apparently one of those guys.
According to former teammate James Jones, an analyst for NFL Network, Williams has agreed to a two-year contract with the Packers. A source familiar with Williams’ contact with the Packers said that Williams was on his way to Green Bay. He did not confirm that a deal had been reached.
It’s possible the Packers want to visit with the 35-year-old Williams and conduct a physical to make sure he doesn’t have any lingering injuries. Williams played for the Arizona Cardinals in 2017, starting nine of the 13 games in which he appeared.
Prior to that, Williams played for two seasons in Cleveland, where current Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine served as head coach. Williams started 22 of 27 games in which he appeared with the Browns.
The 6-foot, 192-pound Williams had a bounce-back year for the Cardinals last season. He signed with the team four months after the Browns released him and was inactive for one game and a backup for five games before replacing Justin Bethel in the starting lineup.
Williams played a heavy dose of press coverage during his years in Green Bay, six under defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Last season, he played in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s blitz-heavy system and was credited with solidifying the secondary.
Pro Bowl corner Patrick Peterson covered the opposing team’s best receiver, but Williams was left to cover the No. 2. He totaled 41 tackles, 12 pass breakups and two interceptions in the games he played.
The Packers are perilously thin at the corner position after trading 2015 first-round pick Damarious Randall to the Browns. Rookie starter Kevin King is coming off shoulder surgery and veteran starter Davon House is a free agent.
The Packers are expected to address the corner position in the draft and may have one of the youngest cornerback corps in the NFL this season. Williams is a high character person who had a good influence on younger players during his latter years with the Packers.
Williams was an integral part of the Packers' defense starting in 2008. He was signed to the practice squad in 2006 after the Houston Texans, who had signed him as an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech, cut him.
After a year of playing mostly special team, Williams earned a spot in the nickel along side Charles Woodson and Al Harris in '08 and took over Harris' starting position in '09 after Harris injured his knee. Williams blossomed at the end of 2010, coming up with three interceptions on the Packers' post-season run to a Super Bowl XLV championship.
From 2010-'14, Williams started every regular-season game except one. He totaled 18 interceptions during that span and finished his Packers career with 32, including playoffs.
In the NFC Championship Game during the 2014 season, Williams gave up the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Seattle Seahawks. The Packers did not make a huge effort to re-sign Williams, who became a free agent in the off-season and he wound up signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the Browns.