By Adam Aniba
The Browns reportedly have a few players on the trading block, ahead of the Tuesday NFL trade deadline. Browns CB Greedy Williams, who was drafted 46th overall in the '19 draft. The young corner has tremendous length (6'2" 31 1/2" arms) and teams reportedly have been inquiring about his availability.
Williams started the season on injured reserve, dealing with a hamstring injury and made his season debut on Oct. 16th vs the Patriots. The former LSU star has 74 solo tackles, 12 passes defended and 2 int in 30 career games (20 starts). Williams had a $2.05 million cap number coming into this season and is a free agent in '23.
If the Browns moved on from Williams, it wouldn't be a cap motivated move, since the Browns have nearly $34 million in available cap space. Although Williams is scheme versatile, it was believed that when he was drafted his long arms and overall length would make him ideal in man/press coverage.
The Browns have moved to a more man coverage game plan over the last few weeks, it's rumored that team officials believe Williams is no longer a good fit and aren't willing to bring him back in '23.
It's been mentioned that Washington wants to trade one of their own corners in William Jackson III, after being considered a bad fit for Jack Del Rio's zone heavy scheme. Although WJ3 has been dealing with a back pain over the last few weeks causing him to miss time, it's believed he could be ready to play shortly.
Coaches were likely leaning towards benching Jackson regardless of the back issues, based on some of Rivera's and Del Rio's cryptic press conference comments. Nonetheless, the defense has looked better and improved with him out of the lineup.
A strait up player swap trade proposal involving Jackson seems unlikely for the younger Williams, but Jackson fits a Browns defense looking to improve on their 2-5 record. With the Ravens and Bengals sitting at 4-3, the AFC North title isn't far fetched for Cleveland with Deshaun Watson returning from his 11 game suspension in a few weeks.
The Trade Makes Sense
Williams displays disciplined eyes, route recognition and understands how to attack angles. These traits make him ideal in zone coverage, where he can be the most disruptive. Adding Williams would allow the Commanders to move Kendall Fuller to the slot, where he would be best utilized.
Although the Browns could hold onto Williams and receive a 3rd round supplemental draft pick when he departs in '23, WJ3 is signed through next season and fits a need for the Browns. Compensation wise, Washington could include Jackson, propose a conditional 5th round draft pick, that could escalate to a 4th rounder (based on performance marks) and a 5th round selection in '24.
It's understandable that fans might be skeptical about acquiring a cornerback on the final year of his deal, especially when early day 3 draft draft picks are coveted. The bottom line is Washington's defense has improved, but their depth is a serious concern. If either St-Juste or Fuller go down, they could start giving up 30+ points a game on a regular basis.
Williams is a young corner with tremendous upside and would immediately upgrade a Washington defensive backfield, which has played better as of late. It seemed the Commanders were out of playoff contention only a few weeks ago after a horrible start. Backup QB Taylor Heinicke, a renewed dedication to the run game and the front four on defens have given the team new life.
The return of Chase Young in a few weeks, coupled with a potential acquisition of Greedy, could dramatically improve the defense and the team's chances for a potential run towards a wildcard berth.
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