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Browns announce Williams trade

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 4, 2010

Defensive tackle Corey Williams got his wish to return to a 4-3 defense Friday.

The Browns announced the trade of Williams to the Detroit Lions. The Browns received a fifth-round pick (a selection received from Denver) for Williams, while the Lions also received a seventh-round selection from the Browns.

The deal gives the Browns 11 picks in the April 22-24 draft, nine in the first five rounds.

The deal was first reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen Thursday night.
Williams had to undergo a physical on Friday to finalize the deal, Mortensen said.

Williams was the Green Bay Packers franchise player in 2008, but ex-Browns general manager Phil Savage cquired him in a Feb. 29, 2008 trade for a second-round draft choice. The Browns then signed Williams to a six-year, $38.6 million contract with $16.3 million guaranteed. According to Rotoworld.com, Williams' deal carries salaries of $4.2 million in 2010 (along with a $1.7 million roster bonus), $4.9 million in 2011-12 and $5.4 million in 2013.

But Williams never fit into the Browns' 3-4 scheme, run by ex-coach Romeo Crennel or Browns coach Eric Mangini. Williams longed for a more aggressive role. He finished last season with four sacks, along with 31 tackles, the fewest since his rookie year of 2004.

But two of those sacks came in the Browns' biggest victory of a 5-11 season, a 13-6 home upset of Pittsburgh on Dec. 10. Both came when he lined up inside, rather than at defensive end, where he made all 18 of his starts as a Brown.

''I always knew that I still got it,'' Williams said on Dec. 16. ''It's just a matter of me getting the opportunity to show other people what I could do. I had a pretty good game, I've just got to continue it the rest of the season.''

Asked about his preference to play inside, Williams said, ''I get so frustrated sometimes I try to not even think about it. To play inside, that's my favorite position, anyway. I hope they like what I did on the inside and continue to play me on the inside more.''

Asked then about his future, Williams said, ''I try to take it one day at a time. Who knows what's going to happen next year? It will be their decision, not mine. One thing they won't be able to say that I wasn't a hard worker, a hard player.''

The Lions hold the second overall pick in the April 22-24 draft and could revamp their defensive line with Williams and one of the top two defensive tackles, Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy.

The deal could also signal that Lions coach Jim Schwartz and Mangini have patched up their differences from last season. After the Lions' stunning 38-37 victory on an extra play with no time remaining, a frustrated Mangini accused the Lions of faking injuries to slow down the Browns' no huddle offense.

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