Greedy Williams

Greedy Williams Receives Full Clearance

For the first time in nearly a year, Greedy Williams was a full practice participant. The Browns began their 11-on-11 drills without Williams on Tuesday. A day later, the former second-round pick was full-go, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal notes.

The third-year cornerback is officially off the Browns’ active/PUP list and will attempt to return to Cleveland’s starting lineup. A shoulder nerve issue sidelined Williams during training camp last year — on the same day ex-Williams LSU teammate Grant Delpit suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon — and he went on IR in October. Neither Williams nor Delpit played last season.

The Browns have eased Delpit back into action, but Williams can begin making a legitimate attempt to recapture his starting job. A second-round pick during John Dorsey‘s GM regime, Williams started 12 games as a rookie. While Williams will face stiffer competition for a first-string job this year, he lined up with the Browns’ starting defense during OTAs and was back in that role Wednesday

After using stopgap solutions alongside Denzel Ward in 2020, the Browns were active in bolstering their cornerback group this offseason. Cleveland signed Troy Hill and drafted Greg Newsome in the first round. Williams’ return gives the team interesting depth. The Browns have made extensive outside investments on defense this year, after ranking 25th in DVOA on that side of the ball last season. But the returns of Williams and Delpit also stand to strengthen the unit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns CB Greedy Williams Participating In OTAs

Greedy Williams is on the comeback trail. After missing the entire 2020 season, the Browns cornerback has been participating in organized team activities, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

“It’s a great feeling,’’ Williams said. “Just being reunited with the team, going through the drills with them and things like that, it gives you the happiest moments.”

As Cabot notes, Williams hasn’t participated in football drills since he tried to overcome his shoulder injury in September. That experiment didn’t work, resulting in the defensive back being placed on IR in October. While Williams didn’t participate in 11-on-11 work during this week’s OTAs, he was still able to take part in defensive drills.

Williams was a standout during his time at LSU, earning a pair of first-team All-SEC nods. The Browns used a 2019 second-round pick (No. 46) on the cornerback, and he ended up starting 12 games during his rookie campaign. He finished that season with 47 tackles and a pair of passes defended.

The 23-year-old won’t necessarily regain his starting gig. Denzel Ward has solidified one of the starting spots, and Williams will see plenty of competition from first-round rookie Greg Newsome II. However, Williams encourages the extra depth, and he believes the trio of cornerbacks will all have opportunities to contribute.

“We’re just going to do what we do,’’ Williams said. “Greg is a great kid, nice footwork and smart. I’m happy for him. First round, came here and came to an up-and-coming franchise. I’m happy for him. I am happy for this team and happy for the organization. I am just ready to get to work with my brothers and put the work in.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Place Greedy Williams On IR

Browns cornerback Greedy Williams will be placed on injured reserve, per a club announcement. While he won’t require surgery, head coach Kevin Stefanski says he’ll need additional time to heal up from a nerve issue in his shoulder. 

[RELATED: Browns Place Nick Chubb On IR]

Williams was absent from the Browns’ first five games. Now that he’s on IR, he’ll miss at least another three. In a best case scenario, Williams will be eligible to return for the Browns’ Nov. 15 game against the Texans.

Williams, a 2019 second-round pick, registered 47 stops as a rookie. The LSU product missed a quarter the season due to hamstring issues and he once again finds himself sidelined. At best, Williams will finish his second pro season with just 20 regular season games played in total.

On the plus side, the Browns beat the Colts on Sunday with Terrence Mitchell, Denzel Ward, and Kevin Johnson as their top trio of cornerbacks. With that, they advanced to 3-1 on the season, though they’ll have to push for separation in the sardine-packed AFC North. Next up, a pivotal matchup against the 4-0 Steelers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Bullock, Hunt, Browns

The Bengals claimed K Austin Seibert off waivers from the Browns, and when that happened, most assumed that incumbent Randy Bullock would be placed on IR, or perhaps even released. However, head coach Zac Taylor said he expects Bullock to stay right where he is. “Randy’s our kicker,” Taylor said. (Twitter link via Ben Baby of ESPN.com).

Cincinnati suffered a difficult Week 1 loss against the Chargers, and Bullock shanked a 31-yard field goal try that would have sent the game to overtime. He also appeared to injure his left calf on the kick — though some are skeptical — but Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported that the injury isn’t serious (Twitter link). In fairness to Bullock, he did make a 50-yarder and a 43-yarder earlier in the game, and he converted his only PAT.

The Bengals take on Seibert’s former employer in a divisional battle tomorrow night.

Now for more from the AFC North:

  • The Browns recently handed running back Kareem Hunt a two-year extension, and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com has a few details. As previously reported, the new money can max out at $13.25MM, and Hunt will take home base salaries of $4MM, $1.3MM, and $1.35MM over the next three seasons. The remaining money will come via roster bonuses designed to make sure that Hunt keeps himself out of trouble. One is tied to his making it to training camp without incident, one is tied to his making it to Week 1 without incident, and one is tied to his making it to the end of the season without incident. He will also receive weekly 53-man roster bonuses.
  • In the same piece linked above, Cabot reports that the Browns were indeed the team that would have been involved in a Jadeveon Clowney sign-and-trade with the Saints. In the proposed deal, which the NFL nixed, Cleveland would have signed Clowney to a one-year, $15MM contract, including a $5MM signing bonus. The team would have then shipped Clowney to New Orleans in exchange for a second-round pick and a player.
  • Cabot further notes that the Browns should be getting CB Greedy Williams back soon. Williams missed the team’s Week 1 loss to the Ravens with a shoulder injury but is not expected to land on IR.
  • The Steelers placed right tackle Zach Banner on IR yesterday.

AFC North Notes: Green, Browns, Ravens

In addition to the lengthy foot rehab in which A.J. Green participated recently, the veteran Bengals wide receiver missed more than a week of training camp because of a hamstring issue. Green entered Wednesday having not practice since August 17, but the 10th-year receiver was back in action this afternoon, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon (on Twitter). While Green was wearing a sleeve on his left leg, he was working in pads for the Bengals for the first time since last year. The 32-year-old wideout missed all of last year but did practice at points during the season. The Bengals placed the franchise tag on their longtime standout, who is set to play the 2020 season on a $17.9MM salary.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Already down rookie safety Grant Delpit for the season, the Browns will be without their other LSU cog in the secondary for an undetermined time frame. Greedy Williams is dealing with a shoulder injury, and new Browns HC Kevin Stefanski has yet to indicate that the first-string cornerback will be able to return soon, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. Williams missed four games last season but started all 12 in which he played.
  • The Browns should be expected to explore an Earl Thomas addition, per Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson (on Twitter), but the team may not be a frontrunner. Cleveland lost Delpit but has offseason acquisitions Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo in the fold.
  • On the subject of Thomas, his subtraction from the Ravens secondary will indeed bump third-year safety DeShon Elliott into the starting lineup. John Harbaugh confirmed the former sixth-round pick will receive the first crack at replacing Thomas alongside Chuck Clark, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). This will be an interesting promotion, with Elliott having only played in six games during his two-year career. Elliott landed on Baltimore’s IR in both 2018 and ’19, missing all of his rookie season and the latter portion of last season.
  • The quartet of kickers the Browns worked out last week does not represent an immediate threat to Austin Seibert‘s job. Instead, the team is forming an emergency list due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Of course, other teams can and have adjusted this list. The Patriots signed one of the kickers the Browns previously brought in, Nick Folk, earlier this week. The Browns also worked out Cody Parkey, Kai Forbath and Matthew McCrane.

Extra Points: Ramsey, Badet, Browns

Jalen Ramsey caused a stir yet again Sunday, even though he wasn’t playing. Ramsey missed the Jaguars’ loss to the Panthers with his back issue, but he surprisingly popped up in Houston with Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson posted a photo to Instagram of the two of them with their mutual agent David Mulugheta, which sparked an uproar online. Ramsey, of course, is still demanding a trade out of Jacksonville.

Despite some wishful thinking of Texans fans, Ramsey and Mulugheta weren’t in town to facilitate a trade to his AFC South rival. Instead, the Jaguars cornerback was in Houston to get his back checked out by a specialist, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Ramsey just recently revealed that he’s been dealing with back issues for the last couple of seasons, and it’s unclear how long this latest flare-up will sideline him. Stay tuned for the next edition of Ramsey-watch.

Here’s more from around the league as Week 6 winds down:

  • Former Vikings receiver Jeff Badet could be back in the league soon. Badet has workouts scheduled for this week with the Packers and Browns, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Tomasson notes that he suffered a finger injury during the preseason with Minnesota, and said in a separate tweet that his finger is now fully healed. Badet spent last year on the Vikings’ practice squad, and he was coveted this offseason. To keep him from signing with the Jets, the Vikings gave Badet a $75K bonus on his reserve/futures contract. He’s a 2018 UDFA from Oklahoma.
  • Speaking of the Browns, they’ll again be shorthanded in their Week 5 Monday Night Football game against the 49ers. Starting cornerbacks Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward are both unlikely to play, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). The Browns’ secondary is still really banged up even as their safeties have gotten healthier, as both young cornerbacks are dealing with hamstring injuries. It’s unfortunate for Cleveland, as they’ll be facing a well-rested San Francisco team coming off their bye in this pivotal game.
  • In case you missed it, general managers across the league are expecting a very active trade deadline.

AFC North Notes: Browns, Bengals, Steelers

David Njoku currently resides on the Browns‘ IR list, but for the time being, the third-year tight end has a chance to return in 2019. Njoku has opted not to have surgery on his broken wrist, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The earliest Njoku could return would be for the Browns’ Week 12 game against the Dolphins. Cleveland has 2019 additions Demetrius Harris and Ricky Seals-Jones in place atop its tight end depth chart. The Browns must decide on Njoku’s fifth-year option by May of 2020.

Here is the latest out of Cleveland, along with other AFC North cities:

  • The Browns’ defense is facing more pressing matters. Both Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams pulled hamstrings during practice Thursday, per Cabot. They missed the Rams game. Interestingly, reserve safety Sheldrick Redwine pulled a hamstring that day as well. The Browns played without their four secondary starters — Ward, Williams, Damarious Randall (concussion) and Morgan Burnett (quadriceps). However, Cabot adds that Randall is out of concussion protocol. Burnett was questionable last week. Hamstring injuries are obviously tricky for skill players and those charged with covering them, but Cleveland’s safeties seem in line to return for Week 4 against the Ravens.
  • While no one obviously expected Shaquil Barrett‘s virtuoso start, only two teams even submitted contract offers this offseason. In addition to the Bucs’ one-year, $4MM deal, the Bengals also offered Barrett a contract, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com notes. Barrett visited the Bengals but did not meet with the Bucs before his agreement. A four-year backup in Denver, Barrett sought a starting role in free agency. He’s found one, and his eight sacks through three games match an NFL record. It’s early, but the former UDFA who began his career at a now-defunct Division II program is putting himself in position for a major payday — either via Bucs extension or as a 2020 free agent.
  • The Bengals worked out some defensive backs on Tuesday. Cornerbacks Greg Mabin, Picasso Nelson and Deatrick Nichols joined corner/safety Briean Boddy-Calhoun in auditioning for the team, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).
  • The Steelers auditioned tight end Alize Mack, according to Howard Balzer of BalzerFootball.com (on Twitter). Vance McDonald was present Tuesday with his arm in a sling, pointing to Pittsburgh suddenly needing help at this position.

Browns Sign Rookie Greedy Williams

It’s officially payday for Greedy Williams. On Tuesday, the Browns announced that they have signed the second-round cornerback to his rookie deal. 

Per the terms of Williams’ slot at No. 46 overall, he’ll earn $6.46MM over the course of his four-year deal. Because he was a second-round selection, the Browns will not be able to utilize the fifth-year option to automatically retain his rights following the 2022 season.

Heading into draft season, many pegged Williams as a potential first-round choice. However, the Giants were the only club to select a cornerback in the first-round, and that wasn’t until No. 30 when they tapped Georgia’s Deandre Baker. The cornerback run began in earnest with the second round, but Williams watched Byron Murphy, Rock Ya-Sin, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Trayvon Mullen, and Joejuan Williams all go off the board first.

The Browns, not wanting to let Williams get away, sacrificed a fifth-round choice to move up from No. 49 overall to get him. Williams says he plans to play with a chip on his shoulder and make the rest of the league regret passing on him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Move Up For Greedy Williams

Another trade-down move for Chris Ballard. The Colts agreed to a deal that gave the Browns the No. 46 overall pick.

In exchange, Indianapolis will receive Cleveland’s No. 49 pick and a fifth-rounder (No. 144). The Browns are taking LSU cornerback Greedy Williams, whom many mock drafts had going in the first round.

After intercepting eight passes in two Tigers seasons, Williams exited Baton Rouge with an All-American honor. His tackling ability has come under fire in recent weeks, and it likely at least partially contributed to the 6-foot-1 defender’s fall into the middle of the second round.

Williams, who blazed to a 4.37-second 40-yard dash clocking at the Combine, joins Denzel Ward and T.J. Carrie as a key piece of the Browns’ secondary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Rumors: Bush, Redskins, Rams

Let’s round up the latest draft rumors in advance of tonight’s main event:

  • We heard several days ago that the Falcons were interested in trading into the Top 10, and that they had their sights set on defensive linemen like Christian Wilkins and offensive linemen. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network confirms that Atlanta is indeed interested in moving up, but his sources say the club’s target is actually linebacker Devin Bush (Twitter link). Per Pelissero, the Falcons would need to leapfrog the Broncos, who hold the No. 10 overall pick, to assure themselves of landing Bush.
  • Despite all of the rumors suggesting that the Redskins are interested in making a big trade up into the Top 5, Pro Football Talk says that all of the calls that team president Bruce Allen are making are just an example of Allen being Allen and that Washington doesn’t really have a desire to make a move (Twitter link).
  • Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that the Rams, who hold the No. 31 overall pick in tonight’s draft, have received a number of calls from teams wanting to trade into the back end of the first round. First-rounders, of course, can be kept under club control for five years instead of four.
  • As Pelissero notes in a separate tweet, the teams that have shown the most interest in trading down from their current first-round slots are the Jets (No.3), Lions (No. 8), Dolphins (No. 13), Seahawks (Nos. 21 & 29), and Rams (No. 31).
  • If Kyler Murray should start to fall down the draft board, he may end up having a better financial future in baseball. As Albert Breer of SI.com notes, MLB’s Oakland A’s have offered him a $14MM “sweetener” on top of the $4.6MM bonus he was already due after the club drafted him last year, for a total of $18.66MM. That number would land between the 10th and 11th overall picks in tonight’s NFL draft, so if Murray ends up falling that far, teams are concerned that he would return to the diamond. But Breer still thinks that Murray will be the No. 1 overall pick tonight.
  • Breer calls Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons the most interesting prospect in the draft. He is one of the top defensive players in his class, but the troubling video showing him striking a woman in high school, along with his ACL tear, have completely removed him from some teams’ draft boards. But there is still a good chance that he will be selected in the first round tonight.
  • The Panthers and Vikings are both very serious about addressing their needs along the offensive line with early draft picks, as Breer notes in a separate piece. Both clubs used a high number of top-30 visits on O-linemen.
  • LSU cornerback Andraez “Greedy” Williams is perhaps the most talented corner in the draft, but as Breer notes, he comes with plenty of red flags concerning his toughness, work ethic, and personality. He did not make a single pre-draft visit, and despite his upside, he could slip out of the first round.