Tramon Williams' signing with Cardinals replenishes CB depth

Veteran Tramon Williams will get a chance to compete for playing time right away. Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One of the first things Tramon Williams did after signing with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday was greet a pack of cameras and microphones waiting for him in the team's locker room inside University of Phoenix Stadium.

"Man, I ain't never seen this many cameras," Williams said. "It's good to see cameras than not to see them."

Williams might be seeing a lot more of those cameras this season if he can join Arizona's cornerback rotation over the next few weeks.

He'll certainly get the reps necessary to prove his case this week with the Cardinals' cornerback depth depleted after their top two right corners went down with knee injuries last week. Justin Bethel, who had been practicing with the first-team defense at right corner, will be out until next Monday with a hyperextended left knee and Ronald Zamort, who had worked his way to Bethel's back-up, suffered a season-ending ACL injury on Saturday.

Enter Williams.

The 34-year-old can play outside corner, nickel corner and safety. He worked out for the Cardinals on Thursday, a day after fellow veteran corner Brandon Flowers, and said the team didn't want him to leave without signing a contract. But Williams, who was cut by the Cleveland Browns in February, wanted to discuss the move with his family before making a decision, so he returned to his home in Houston and eventually concluded that the Cardinals were the right place for him.

Williams said he identified the Cardinals as a potential landing spot after last season. He saw the Cardinals as a team that was "a piece or two away from winning" and believes he can be the missing cog.

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't," Williams said.

Those who he talked to about signing with Arizona spoke highly of the organization, Williams said, including current linebacker Karlos Dansby, who Williams played with in Cleveland.

It helped that Williams will be fighting for a spot in the rotation -- even possibly the starting job -- from the onset. If Bethel doesn't fall off from the level he was playing at before his injury when he returns next week, Williams will be battling Brandon Williams -- who's the current first-team right corner -- to be Bethel's back-up.

"Obviously it's an uphill battle," Williams said. "You got some young talented guys here. Anytime I came into anybody's team, I always look to compete no matter how the chips fells or [what the] perception was that who had the starting spot or not.

"I always came in to compete. I never thought anything would be given to me. I'm definitely going to compete. Obviously, I still have to learn the playbook and I have all those things to really worry about at this point. Play-wise, I'll be ready."

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Williams has a "pro résumé" and called him a "very smart player."

With the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Williams, depending on if or how much he'll play, could start making his case for a roster spot in a few days. It's unlikely that Patrick Peterson will play much -- if at all -- and without Bethel and Zamort, that leaves Williams and seven other cornerbacks to take reps.

Behind them on the depth chart are Ryan Lewis, Sojourn Shelton, Daniel Gray, Jumal Rolle, Gump Hayes and Elie Bouka. Both Rolle and Bouka are coming back from injuries.

That group, excluding Williams, includes four rookies, a second-year player and a fourth-year player. Williams' experience was needed.

"You are always looking for veteran players to plug in just in case," Arians said.