Browns: Vets Williams and Starks added to D
With the Cleveland Browns losing a few of their own players in free agency, they have dipped into the free agent pool to sign veterans CB Tramon Williams and DT Randy Starks.
Last year was not the type of performance we were accustomed to seeing from Williams. Quarterbacks had a 106.5 QB Rating when throwing into Williams’ coverage—easily the highest of his career—which included 10 touchdowns allowed. Williams did finish with a +1.7 coverage grade including the postseason, although it was his lowest since 2008. At age 32, his best days might be behind him but he has still been a good defender and has the ability to play both outside and in the slot, if necessary.
Starks comes over from Miami and will likely move to defensive end in Cleveland’s 3-4 base defense. Outside of a poor three-game stretch late in the season where the entire Miami defense struggled, Starks played well and earned seven ‘green’ overall graded games.
He’s always been better as a pass rusher, with at least a +5.0 pass rush grade in each of the last seven seasons. His play against the run, though, has been more of a roller coaster year-to-year with just two seasons in the PFF era where he earned positive grades in both run defense and as a pass rusher. However, he is just one season removed from a career-year in which he ranked sixth in Run Stop Percentage and 10th in Pass Rushing Productivity at his position.
Even if he does not quite reach that level again, he should be a significant upgrade to a Browns defensive line that combined to earn a -48.6 overall grade last season which featured only one defender with a positive overall grade.