GREEN BAY, Wis. – With their season having ended on Saturday, the Baltimore Ravens made the unusual decision to release cornerback Tramon Williams and quarterback Robert Griffin III on Monday.
It didn’t take long for the Packers to express interest on Williams. According to ESPN.com’s Field Yates, he was in Green Bay for a visit on Wednesday. Given his history with the team and that he’s in top shape, the presumption is that he will re-join the team for which he intercepted 27 passes from 2008 through 2014.
Before practice on Thursday, coach Matt LaFleur confirmed Williams was in the building and, pending COVID-19 testing results, he would be added to the practice squad. Sure enough, at practice, he was wearing his customary No. 38.
“It’s great to have him back in the building,” LaFleur said. “He’s such a great veteran leader. Obviously, he’s played a lot of ball. It’s great to have him in a Green Bay Packer uniform, that’s for sure. We’ll take it through the week and we’ll see where it goes.”
The 37-year-old Williams, who played 159 games and started 122 times for the Packers from 2007 through 2014 and 2018 through 2019, played in six late-season games for Baltimore. He broke up one pass during the regular season, when he allowed 12-of-16 passing for 106 yards and one pass breakup, according to Pro Football Focus. He logged 12 snaps in the playoff loss at Buffalo.
Williams played so well last season that he received an All-Pro vote. Playing mostly from the slot but showing the ability to play outside when needed, Williams intercepted two passes and finished third on the team with 11 passes defensed, according to the coaches’ count. He added one forced fumble. According to PFF, Williams allowed 40-of-63 (63.5 percent) passing and two touchdowns. Of 81 corners to play 350 coverage snaps, he ranked 22nd with 1.01 yards per coverage snap, according to PFF. By its count, Williams gave up less than 20 receiving yards in eight of 18 games.
“We all know what Tramon has meant to the organization,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said during training camp. “When we went back and looked at last year’s tape, he was highly effective for us. He’s just that rare player who continues to play at a high level at a position you wouldn’t expect somebody to play even in their 30s, one that requires so much of their legs.”
Among active players, only Richard Sherman (36) has more career interceptions than Williams (34).
For Green Bay’s playoff game against the Rams, former draft picks Josh Jackson (second round, 2018) and Ka’dar Hollman (sixth round, 2019) were inactive in favor of practice squad player KeiVarae Russell.
“I feel like I’m playing solid,” he said late last season. “I don’t like to put too much into it. I just like to get my job done. I feel like as long I’m playing winning football and doing what I need to do, that’s good enough for me. Whether the stats show it or not or things of that nature, it doesn’t really matter. Obviously, everybody wants to get their stats and to be recognized – which is a great thing and I’m no different – but I’m in the business of winning right now in my career. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
A star on the 2010 Super Bowl champions, a return to Green Bay would get him two victories away from winning it all.