The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent running back Jamaal Williams on a three-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Williams, entering his seventh NFL season, first entered the league in 2017 as a fourth round draft pick (134th overall) of the Green Bay Packers out of Brigham Young. He has appeared in 90 career regular season games with 40 starts for the Packers (2017-20) and Detroit Lions (2091521-22), posting career totals of 915 carries for 3,652 yards (4.0 avg.) with 30 touchdowns and 160 receptions for 1,191 yards with eight scoring grabs. Williams did not fumble through the first 752 touches of his career, becoming the NFL's first running back since Steven Jackson (2011-16) to go 750 touches without fumbling. He was the first active running back to reach 600 carries before fumbling.
6-0, 224, Williams is coming off his most productive season in 2022 in his second campaign in Detroit. Appearing in all 17 games with nine starts, the Fontana, Calif. native led the NFL and set a Lions record with 17 rushing touchdowns, as he carried a career-high 262 times for a career-best 1,066 yards, also adding 12 receptions for 73 yards as Detroit finished with their first winning record since 2017. A goal line threat, ten of Williams' rushing touchdowns were from exactly one-yard out, tied for the third-most in NFL history. He produced the first 1,000-yard rushing season for the Lions since former Saint Reggie Bush in 2013.
Williams played four seasons at BYU (2012-14, 2016), starting in 34 of 42 games played, where he was a teammate of Saints tight end Taysom Hill. He left as the program's all-time leader in rushing yards (3,901), rushing attempts (726) and 100-yard rushing games (16). He also became the fourth player in school history to register multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His 35-yard rushing touchdowns rank as the third-most at BYU and his 4,468 all-purpose yards rank fifth. Williams graduated with a degree in sociology.