Free agent running back Jamaal Williams has found a new home, and a new opportunity to compete for a more significant role. The Detroit Lions are signing Williams, according to Tom Pelissero. The deal is for two years and worth up to $7.5 million.
Williams had a decent campaign in the final year of his rookie contract. Williams did most of his work in the second half of 2020 and finished the season with 505 rushing yards and 31 catches for 236 yards. He played second fiddle to Aaron Jones during his time with the Packers but has a chance to play a bigger role on a new team.
Whether the Lions are willing to give him more than the 150 touches he got last season remains to be seen. Adrian Peterson led Detroit in rushing last season, carrying the ball 156 times for 604 yards and seven touchdowns. Rookie D’Andre Swift finished with 114 carries for 521 yards and eight touchdowns. Swift also caught 46 passes for 357 yards and a score.
Peterson is a free agent this offseason and this move would seem to indicate the Lions are going to move forward without him. Williams would seemingly compete with Kerryon Johnson for backup duties. Williams is a bit like Swift, and one has to wonder what kind of workload he can get as a complement compared to his workload behind Aaron Jones.