Saints agree to three-year deal with running back Jamaal Williams

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Jamaal Williams

The Saints have addressed their running back position with a player coming off of a career year.

Former Lions running back Jamaal Williams has agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal with $8 million guaranteed, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.

Williams had an NFL-best 17 rushing touchdowns last season with Detroit while rushing for over 1,000 yards for the first time. The BYU product has 3,652 yards and 30 scores on 915 career carries. Considered a reliable receiver, he corralled 160 passes for 1,191 yards and 8 touchdowns during 90 NFL contests. Williams is also a very willing blocker.

If you look back over the history of running backs who have suited up for the Lions, names like Barry Sanders, Billy Sims, Doak Walker, Mel Farr, Altie Taylor, Reggie Bush, Steve Owens and James Jones stand out. However, not one of them ever scored more than 16 times in a single season (Sanders had 16 touchdowns one year) before Williams did in 2022.

The Lions signed former Bears running back David Montgomery this week.

Set to turn 28 in April, Williams started his pro career with the Packers as a fourth round pick and the 13th running back selected that year. He had 2,082 yards and 10 scores on the ground over four seasons in Green Bay.

Williams thrived in Detroit while D’Andre Swift struggled to stay healthy. Now it’s likely Williams will complement Alvin Kamara in New Orleans and see plenty of snaps with the latter facing a likely suspension this season due to an off-field incident.

A very physical runner who can get yardage through contact, Williams’ pluses include running with good balance and ball security. NFL scouts have compared his style to longtime NFLstandout Frank Gore. Jamaal has great vision, able to spot a backside opening.

Buffalo and Cincinnati were reportedly interested before the Saints secured him.

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Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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