Heading into the 2022 regular season, D'Andre Swift was the clear No. 1 running back for the Detroit Lions, while Jamaal Williams was the clear No. 2. As we know, things did not play out that way as the season went on. In fact, Williams ended up rushing for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, while breaking Barry Sanders‘ franchise single-season rushing TD record along the way. Williams is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and it will be interesting to see how things play out.
Why it Matters
As good as Williams was on the field for Detroit in 2022, he was even better a team leader. If you tuned in for HBO's Hard Knocks before the season, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Here is an excerpt of some of his speech, via The Athletic:
“I wanna let you all know, man. Today is the minimum of effort. Tomorrow we’re going to come back even better. I know we started out slow. I know we got pads on the first day coming back. I know we looking at Coach crazy, but we’ve got to believe in him, you know what I mean? He gonna put us in the right position. We’ve just got to come out here and be dogs. We’ve got to come out there and know we’ve got to be champions. If today, y’all think this is it, this ain’t it. We’ve got to keep going.
“Do not give up. Do not feel like you tired. When you tired, think of last year, and think of that [expletive] record. Every time I get tired, or I think I can’t go no more, I think of the [expletive] record. That ain’t us. We can make it.
“If you gonna piss like a puppy, stay on the porch and let the big dogs eat. Let them on the [expletive] field. Have some heart. I get emotional about this. I’m about to cry ’cause I care about y’all. Last year wasn’t it. Last year got me angry for this year. I’m trying to be better for y’all. When you see me tired, I’ma keep going. Remember your why. Remember why you play football.”
What the Detroit Lions will offer Jamaal Williams
As noted earlier, Williams is set to hit free agency, but the Lions want to keep him around and he wants to stick around. That being said, Williams is coming off an outstanding season, and he deserved a raise from the 2-year, $6 million contract that is about to run out. With the help of Spotrac.com, let's take a guess what Brad Holmes will offer Williams.
- Current contract: 2 years, $6 million
- Market Value: 2 yrs, $8,355,328
Though I think the Lions could easily draft a Day 2 running back such as Zach Charbonnet to replace Williams on the field, it is his leadership that is so valuable to the team.
Look for Brad Holmes to offer Williams around $8.5 million over two seasons, and if he does, I believe Williams will sign the deal immediately.