Running back Jamaal Williams, coming off a career year with the Detroit Lions, has agreed to join the New Orleans Saints on a three-year, $12 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The deal includes $8 million fully guaranteed.
Williams fit seamlessly into the Lions’ system after joining the team as an unrestricted free agent in 2021. He posted career-best numbers in 2022, leading the league with 17 rushing touchdowns — topping the franchise record set by Hall of Famer Barry Sanders in 1991 — while rushing for a career-high 1,066 yards.
Williams, who turns 28 in April, became the first Lions player to top 1,000 rushing yards in a season since Reggie Bush in 2013.
Williams’ 10 goal-line touchdowns last season were also tops in the NFL.
His infectious personality made him a team leader among Lions teammates and the coaching staff. Around Christmas, he presented players and staff members with custom robes and has often gone viral for his entertaining encounters with members of the media as well as his motivational speeches on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
Williams spent his first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers after being selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. In six NFL seasons, he has rushed for 3,652 yards, caught 160 passes for 1,191 yards and scored 38 total touchdowns.
ESPN’s Eric Woodyard contributed to this report.