After two seasons with the Lions, running back Jamaal Williams left Detroit to sign a three-year, $12 million contract with the Saints. However, it doesn’t seem like the Lions tried hard to keep the running back around.
At his introductory press conference in New Orleans, Williams said he wasn’t happy with the Lions’ offer before signing with the Saints.
“The offer they gave me, I felt like was disrespectful and showing that they really didn’t want me to be there like that,” Williams said, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com.
Williams had a modest first year with the Lions, in line with his career averages from his time with the Packers, but he exploded for a banner year in 2022. In 17 games, Williams surpassed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and led the league with 17 rushing touchdowns, which is now the Lions franchise single-season record.
However, the Lions chose to go in another direction, signing former Bears running back David Montgomery on a three-year, $18 million deal, more than what Williams got from the Saints. That is even though Montgomery finished last year with 801 rushing yards and five touchdowns, both less than Williams’ numbers.
Despite moving on, Williams still claims he loves the Lions and this won’t change his relationship with that franchise.
“It’s all love (for Detroit),” Williams said. “Like, I know my teammates, everybody there at the Detroit Lions got love for me and all that. But, at the same time, we couldn’t come to terms and -- it’s just funny, that’s all.”
In New Orleans, Williams will pair with Alvin Kamara in the Saints backfield as weapons for new quarterback Derek Carr as he tries to prove last year was no fluke.