During his heyday, Tramon Williams was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, as he graded out between above average and elite from 2009 through 2013, per Pro Football Focus.
Williams made the Pro Bowl in 2010, when he had a career-high six interceptions, and has totaled 30 in his career, which is tied for fifth among active players in the NFL. The Cardinals likely won't be getting that type of dominant player now that Williams is 34, but the hope is that he still has some juice left.
Williams' effectiveness dropped in 2016, as he allowed a rating of 113.3 when quarterbacks threw his way, per PFF. Prior to that, he had a nine-year track record of playing solidly at corner. There are valid reasons to believe last year's struggles were a blip and not the end of the road: Williams was bothered by shoulder and knee ailments, he played a lot of safety for the first time, and the Cleveland front seven didn't get much pressure on the quarterback.
Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim has often correctly identified older players who could still play. Linebacker John Abraham, linebacker Dwight Freeney and running back Chris Johnson are among the veterans added for low cost in the past who produced at a high level. Williams believes he's the next one.
"I have a lot (left in the tank)," Williams said. "I take care of my body really well. If you do that, you can really play as long as you can. Karlos (Dansby) is one of those guys who I was with in Cleveland. He enhanced me on how to take care of my body a little bit more."
It's a gamble to add an older player at a position so reliant on athleticism, but the Cardinals needed another option after Ronald Zamort went down with a torn ACL during the Red & White Practice. We should get an idea in the next few weeks whether Williams can challenge Justin Bethel for playing time at the No. 2 cornerback spot. Even if he doesn't start, having a veteran backup for depth could be valuable.