Brad Holmes explains his side of what happened with Jamaal Williams

Heading into the offseason, and then again as the free-agency period arrived, many people believed that it was just a matter of time before the Detroit Lions reached an agreement with RB Jamaal Williams. After all, Williams rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, while also scoring a franchise-record 17 rushing touchdowns. But, it was not meant to be, and Williams has decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints. During his introductory presser, Williams told reporters that the Lions made him an offer that was “disrespectful.” On Monday, Lions GM Brad Holmes spoke to reporters and gave his side of the story.

Brad Holmes Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Draft Jamaal Williams

Key Points

  • Despite a successful season with the Detroit Lions, RB Jamaal Williams decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints after feeling undervalued by the Lions' contract offer.
  • Williams publicly criticized the Lions for their offer, stating that it was disrespectful and showed that they did not want him on the team.
  • Lions GM Brad Holmes gave his side of the story, explaining that they had initially set aside resources to re-sign Williams but ultimately decided to pursue David Montgomery due to his superior ability to break tackles.

What Jamaal Williams Said About the Lions' Offer

Williams, recently criticized the Lions, claiming they made a “disrespectful” contract offer. Speaking at his introductory press conference with the New Orleans Saints, Williams revealed he felt undervalued by the Lions, which influenced his decision to sign with the Saints. This incident underscores the significance of appreciating employees and their contributions to an organization.

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“The offer they gave me, I felt like was disrespectful and showing that they really didn’t want me to be there like that.”

Brad Holmes His Side of What Happened

On Monday, Holmes spoke to reporters, and when he was asked about what happened with Williams, he said Detroit set aside resources to re-sign JW, but as the market crystalized, they shifted to David Montgomery. Specifically cited tackle-breaking.

“Me and Jamaal had good conversation at the end of the season about, you know, his desire to want to come back, and that was legit,” Holmes told reporters on Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. “When we left the combine, you know, we had a conversation with his agent probably like either right before or after I spoke to you (reporters) there. Thought that it was heading in the right direction, and I love Jamaal.

“… From a budgeting and planning standpoint of pre-free agency, you know, we had an allotment of resources set aside, really for Jamaal. Didn’t really even really consider another running back higher than that amount of resources that we set aside for Jamaal. Business happens and, you know, that’s part of this business. It just didn’t work. We tried, but when the market crystallized and it got to a point where David (Montgomery) was in play, kind of within the range of resources that we had set aside, that’s when we went ahead and went forward with David, which we’re extremely excited about.”

Bottom Line: Moving On

To be honest, we will probably never know EXACTLY what happened between the Lions and Williams, but the bottom line is that Detroit upgraded at running back by signing David Montgomery to a multi-year deal. We will always love what Jamaal Williams did for the Lions, both on and off the field, but it's time to move on.

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“He’s a very good football player,” Holmes said. “He’s one of the guys that me and Dan (Campbell) talked about a lot when we played them. I mean, yes, you’re definitely concerned about (Justin) Fields’ running, but really concerned about David Montgomery. He’s a hard guy to bring down. I mean ever since college and Iowa State, he’s always kind of been at the top of force tackles missed. He’s just a hard guy, he’s a tough runner, he’s good in the passing game, he’s a good runner. He’s a great addition. But definitely we tried to make it work with Jamaal, and he just it just didn’t happen.”

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