Released Browns CB calls Cleveland unstable, glad he's not stuck 'on bad team'
The 34-year-old Tramon Williams wants to continue his NFL career anywhere but Cleveland
When the Browns signed Tramon Williams in March 2015, the team was coming off an encouraging season; they had just finished 7-9 -- their best record since 2007 -- and more than that, in early November they were 6-3 and led the AFC North before a 1-6 finished torpedoed any playoff chances.
The addition of Williams, who had started all but one game as a member of the Packers from 2010-14 and signed a three-year, $21 million deal with Cleveland, was to bolster a young secondary. In his first season with the Browns, Williams ranked 54th among all cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus, which was a replacement-level performance. By 2016 he had slipped to 96th, and this February the Browns dumped him with a year left on his contract.
During Williams' two seasons, Cleveland won just four times. And while the organization had final say on whether he stayed, the 34-year-old cornerback is happy to move on.
"At the end of the day, those guys were just going in a different direction," Williams told Sirius XM NFL Radio recently. "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."
Perhaps more than any other time since returning to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns organization looks to have a plan. That started after the 2015 season, when owner Jimmy Haslam cleaned house and hired coach Hue Jackson as well as a new front office. Of course, dysfunction abounded when Williams arrived; coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer weren't fired until January 2016, and Johnny Manziel wasn't released until two months later.
The Browns remain a bad team, but they've used the last two drafts to restock a roster that was among the worst in the league. Meanwhile Williams, who was an undrafted free agent when he signed with the Packers back in 2006, wants to continue his career.
"I'm ready to get to one of these teams and help out," he said. "And the team that I'm look for is going to be a team, obviously, that is stable and wants to win, so that's kind of what I'm looking for at this point."
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