Williams is inking a three-year deal with the Saints, according to Schefter. The three-year pact is worth $12MM, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The deal includes $8MM in guaranteed money.
There was some initial hope that the veteran would end up returning to Detroit next season, but those hopes were seemingly eliminated when the Lions pivoted to David Montgomery. Most recently, Williams was connected to a number of potential suitors, including the Bills, Bengals, Panthers, and Bears, per Tyler Dunne on Twitter.
Instead, Williams will land in a bit of a surprising spot in New Orleans, although he appears to be a natural fit behind Alvin Kamara. Backup running backs Mark Ingram and David Johnson are both free agents, and Williams provides much more upside than that duo either as a change-of-pace RB or as a fill-in to the starter.
Williams made a name for himself in Green Bay, collecting at least 600 yards from scrimmage in each of his four seasons with the Packers thanks in part to his pass-catching ability. He joined the Lions prior to the 2021 campaign and had modest success during his first season with the organization, compiling 758 yards from scrimmage.
The RB was a touchdown machine in 2022. Williams ended up leading the NFL with a whopping 17 rushing touchdowns while adding a career-high 1,066 rushing yards on 262 carries. The Saints shouldn’t expect that kind of production in 2023, although the team will be much less reliant on the RB’s production than the Lions were in 2022.