Around this time last year, things were looking up for Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams.
He was coming off a relatively healthy season after missing all of 2020 with a nerve issue in his shoulder.
With 10 passes defended and his first 2 career interceptions, it appeared Williams won a role in the future of the Browns.
When Andrew Berry used his first 2022 NFL draft pick on another cornerback, the 3rd-rounder didn’t raise many eyebrows.
Derek Carr hits Greedy Williams in stride 🙌pic.twitter.com/FePK3EfCHv
— PFF (@PFF) December 21, 2021
After all, Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski often say they can never have enough good corners.
But Williams opened the 2022 season back on injured reserve, returning in October to a much-reduced role.
Martin Emerson, 2021 draft pick Greg Newsome, and Denzel Ward made it difficult to get on the field.
That didn’t totally explain why a healthy Williams stayed on the sidelines for the team’s final 4 games.
Have The Browns Already Moved On?
Cleveland might have decided early that they would not pay what Williams could command as a 2023 free agent.
And with their postseason fate all but decided, it made sense to give their returning corners some experience.
AJ Green, an exclusive rights free agent again this year and a UDFA in 2020, got into the final 2 games.
Williams did not get the call even after Ward left for a while with an injury.
Deshaun Watson deep to Amari Cooper, but broken up by Greedy Williams. #Browns pic.twitter.com/ELFasoVbIh
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) August 1, 2022
Cleveland’s starting trio of Ward, Newsome, and Emerson is certainly a strength.
And they apparently have some faith in Green as well.
Berry has some work to do in order to free up cap space for any free-agent depth.
With multiple needs and only a pair of top-100 picks, it seems unlikely he’ll draft another impact corner.
Should The Browns Re-Sign Williams?
Given the injury history of Ward and Newsome, re-signing a decent-quality corner like Williams makes sense.
Except that the pending unrestricted free agent’s own injuries make him as unreliable as anybody.
With plenty of time for teams to re-sign their own free agents, it is unclear how many proven corners will be available.
And Williams’ agent will undoubtedly hold up his 2021 season as what suitors can expect.
Greedy Williams INT! pic.twitter.com/ijqrtCPpix
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) August 9, 2019
Certainly, he is hoping for a decent payday based on that effort, a price that cancels any consideration from Cleveland.
But Joe Woods put Williams on the field for just 105 defensive plays in 2022, and that could make him more affordable.
What if Williams is reduced to taking a cheap, one-year prove-it deal in a bid for better offers down the road?
Even in that case, this non-Berry former 2nd-round draft pick is probably destined to make his case elsewhere.
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