American Football

NFL free agency: Jamaal Williams signing 3-year deal with Saints


NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The beloved former Lions running back has agreed to a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints.

After the Detroit Lions agreed to terms with running back David Montgomery, the writing was on the wall for free agent Jamaal Williams. On Wednesday evening, the inevitable became true. According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Williams is signing a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints.

Williams was the emotional heart of the Lions for the past two seasons, showing what it means to be a tough worker and unapologetically himself. He was front and center during the training camp documentary “Hard Knocks,” rallying the troops on the field. It eventually paid off in the regular season, as Williams set a career-high with 1,066 rushing yards and set the Lions franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns.

The Lions and Williams had mutual interest in a return to Detroit, but the latest reports suggested the two sides were not close when it came to contract terms. Eventually, the Lions broke off negotiations and signed Montgomery to a three-year, $18 million deal, including $11 million guaranteed.

So what did the Saints pay for Williams?

$12 million for three years with $8 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport.

In two seasons, Williams managed to quickly become a fan favorite in Detroit—just as he did in Green Bay before. We wish Williams the best in New Orleans—with the lone exception being when the Saints and Lions face off next year.

Williams has already offered his sincerest thanks to the city of Detroit:

Follow all of the latest Lions moves with our 2023 free agency tracker, and our offseason news and rumors tracker.

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