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Report: Saints place franchise tag on safety Marcus Williams

The Saints look to retain their standout safety in spite of salary cap issues.

Marcus Williams #43 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates breaking up a pass to Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons in the closing minutes of their game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints are up against the salary cap, but it’s not stopping them from using their franchise tag this year. The team designated safety Marcus Williams as their franchise player, per Dan Graziano. The safety will earn $10,612,000 this year if he does not negotiate an extension before July 15th under this year’s official salary cap of $182.5 million.

NFL teams were able to start tagging players starting on Tuesday, February 23rd with a deadline of March 9th. Teams can still sign a tagged player to a longterm deal up until July 15th. Players would rather get longterm deals instead of a single season franchise tag that gives them a one-year contract, but they do get a reasonable sum. Unfortunately that payday doesn’t come with much longterm security.

Williams has been a standout player for the Saints through his first four seasons. He has 13 interceptions 246 total tackles during that time. And yet, it is a surprise the Saints used the tag given their salary cap issues. The Saints are currently $48,882,146 over the cap with eight days remaining to get down with their top 51 players. They’ll get there, but franchising Williams does not make it easier.