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Browns deal Williams to Lions

CLEVELAND — Corey Williams never quite fit into Cleveland’s defensive scheme or into the Browns’ plans.

He’s no longer part of them.

The Browns traded Williams and a seventh-round draft pick to the Detroit Lions on Friday for a fifth-round pick in April’s draft. The move clears out some salary space for Cleveland and rids the club of a player who never completely bought into coach Eric Mangini’s program.

Two years ago, then-Cleveland general manager Phil Savage gave up a second-round pick to acquire Williams from the Green Bay Packers. A former sixth-round pick, Williams played primarily inside in Green Bay’s 4-3 defense but struggled in his switch to the Browns’ 3-4 system.

He made just two starts in 16 games for Cleveland and recorded 4.5 sacks.

The 29-year-old was a financial burden on the Browns, who paid him more than $16 million, including a $6 million roster bonus last March, for his services. He was owed a $1.7 million bonus later this month.

Williams wasn’t happy with Mangini’s system or discipline. When Mangini was on the hot seat and rumors began surfacing that the Browns were close to hiring Mike Holmgren as team president, Williams chanted in the locker room, “We want Holmgren!”

Williams was excited to be joining the Lions, who also agreed to a four-year deal with defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch on the first day of free agency.

“I’m happy to be playing in the NFC North, because this is where I started,” Williams said. “The best part is that I’ll be playing defensive tackle in a 4-3 again. That’s the system where I can best show my ability.”

The Browns still have 11 picks this year, nine in the first five rounds.