Running back Jamaal Williams had a mouthful to say to his former team, the Detroit Lions, who apparently gave him a lowball offer this offseason.
Jamaal Williams has swag — that you can’t deny. The former Detroit Lions running back and “First Swagg Kazekage” became known for his infectious personality and his raunchy touchdown celebrations this past season (two pumps, maximum) with many fans hoping he’d return in 2023.
Instead, Williams signed with the New Orleans Saints, forming a dangerous one-two punch with Alvin Kamara in the running back room.
What went wrong during Williams’ negotiations with Detroit this offseason? It came down to a question of how much the Lions valued Williams, and from Williams’ perspective, it wasn’t enough.
In a Friday presser, Williams told reporters that he considered the Lions’ offer “disrespectful” and got the feeling that the team wanted to move on from him this offseason.
Peep the Pikachu beanie. That’s just a glimpse into the kind of shameless and exuberant player Saints fans are getting.
Jamaal Williams didn’t feel appreciated in Detroit and got his bag elsewhere
Earlier this week, Williams signed with the Saints on a three-year, $12 million deal. He secured his bag after putting up a league-leading 17 rushing touchdowns in 2022 and was considered a crucial prong in the Lions’ offense — until he wasn’t.
With D’Andre Swift recovering to full health, Williams’ spot on the roster became more and more tenuous as contract negotiations dragged on. Detroit leaned heavily on Williams when Swift missed chunks of the season due to injury, but they knew from the Cowboys’ situation how costly it was to keep two talented running backs on the roster.
Having outpriced his stay in Detroit, Williams found a very willing suitor in the Saints, who stumbled to one of the franchise’s least-efficient rushing averages in 2022.
Next season, Alvin Kamara will remain the No. 1 ball carrier, yet given his age and injury history, NOLA needed a dependable rotational back to shoulder some of Kamara’s workload.
Williams, as far as his first Saints interview went, seems more than happy to be in New Orleans for the next three years.
Detroit just signed David Montgomery from the Chicago Bears to a three-year, $18 million deal which may be a slap to Williams’ face; given Williams’ character, though, it doesn’t seem like that would phase the guy.
Williams is going to keep doing his own thing — celebratory hip-thrusts, Naruto references, and everything else included.