Few running backs display the level of passion that new member of the New Orleans Saints Jamaal Williams does. He is often overshadowed as a secondary option out of the backfield, but has now proven to be a crucial component on multiple offenses. Yet, he still feels he has not earned the recognition his production demands.
That includes financially. Williams signed a three-year contract with the Saints for $12 million on Wednesday, but in his introductory press conference he claimed he was not given a fair offer by his former team, the Detroit Lions.
“Saints RB Jamaal Williams said he felt like the Lions were ready to move on from him and considered their offer “disrespectful,” Mike Triplett of NewOrleans.Football Tweeted. “Said he’s anxious to prove himself since so many people seem to have an idea of what kind of RB he is.”
Williams did go on to say how grateful he was to the franchise and their fans, but he will clearly have some extra motivation going into next season. He was unstoppable at the goal line last year, rushing for a franchise-record 17 touchdowns. He was not merely a short-yardage specialist, though. Williams amassed a career-high 1,066 yards on the ground. In many ways, he was the heart and soul of Dan Campbell’s gritty bunch.
Williams capped off his great season with a big revenge game against the Green Bay Packers, scoring two touchdowns to knock them out of playoff contention. Needless to say, he expected some more compensation from the front office.
It should be noted, however, that Williams reportedly turned down a similar contract to the one Detroit ultimately agreed to with David Montgomery, according to Detroit Free Pres’ Dave Birkett. His frustration would be especially strange given that Montgomery will be making $6 million more in total, $3 million more guaranteed.
It is unclear exactly what figures were thrown out during those negotiations, but at this point it is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that Williams felt offended.
The Saints hope that he will bring that with him to the field every week of the 2023-24 season.