Saints Franchise Tag S Marcus Williams

The Saints are in a bad cap spot, but they’re finding ways to make things work. New Orleans has franchise tagged safety Marcus Williams, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

As Rapsheet points out, this one is a bit of a surprise, mostly due to the Saints’ poor cap situation. As he noted in a follow-up tweet, this move will necessitate further “cap gymnastics” for GM Mickey Loomis. We heard last week that the Saints wanted to keep Williams in the fold, and clearly they weren’t playing around. As of last week, the Saints were around $70MM over the projected cap, so Loomis has his work cut out for him.

A third-round pick back in 2017, Williams became an immediate starter and has always been very highly graded by the folks at Pro Football Focus. With Williams and Justin Simmons of the Broncos both getting franchise tagged, the potential top two free agent safeties are both off the board. John Johnson of the Rams will now possibly be the most sought-after safety on the open market.

He started 14 games last year, picking off three passes and racking up seven passes defended. He has multiple interceptions in all four of his pro seasons. In order to make this tag work the Saints will need to clear about $11MM in space immediately, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football tweets.

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