Former Detroit Lions returning Jamaal Williams has never been shy about expressing his feelings and he did so during his introductory Saints press conference.
The Detroit Lions’ approach to the 2023 free agency period has been aggressive and focused. Unlike previous seasons, they pursued goals and were unwilling to wait for their own free agents to decide to test the market.
Jamaal Williams was one of the emotional leaders of the Lions’ 2022 season, entering free duty after a career season that saw him break the 1,000-yard mark on the ground and break Lions records for touchdowns scored in a single season.
It should come as no surprise that Williams was rightly intent on testing the free agency market, but Williams was such an important part of the organization last season that most believed they would come to an agreement.
As the free agency period began, the parties continued to talk, but it wasn’t long before reports surfaced that the two sides were “far apart” on terms.
On Tuesday night, the Lions and Williams were unable to reach a deal and both sides went in different directions, with the Lions running back David Montgomery and Williams signing in New Orleans.
There have been many rumors about the circumstances as to why the two sides failed to come to an agreement – some wildly speculative – with no clear answers as to what went wrong.
On Friday, Williams met with the Saints media and was asked directly about his offer from Detroit. Williams, as usual, was not shy about sharing his feelings:
“They are done with me. I could see it. I feel like the offer they gave me was very – just disrespectful. Just showing that they – you know – really didn’t want me to be there like that. But it’s all love. As I know my teammates, everyone there at the Detroit Lions has love for me and everything. But at the same time we couldn’t figure it out.”
Williams suggesting a “disrespectful” offer seems consistent with what MLive’s Kyle Meinke had heard about the Lions offer, as he voiced his views both on Twitter and in his most recent Dungeon of Doom podcast.
And while Meikne could very well be on the spot, there are some conflicting reports about the Lions offering.
For example, Dave Birkett of the Free Press wrote that the Lions “were supposed to be offering Williams a similar deal to the one they had given Montgomery.” Which aligns closely with what some sources have told Pride of Detroit.
We may never get a straight answer to what happened behind closed doors, but I’m sure both sides are eager to put the negotiations behind them and focus on the future.