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Saints' Jamaal Williams: Lions offer to me was 'disrespectful'

Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Jamaal Williams was apparently never really close to re-signing with the Detroit Lions.

The veteran running back, who joined the New Orleans Saints this week after posting a career year with the Lions in 2022, said Friday that he felt disrespected by the offer Detroit gave him this offseason.

"The offer they gave me, I felt like was very disrespectful and showing that they really didn't want me to be there like that," said Williams, who agreed to terms on a three-year, $12-million contract that includes $8 million guaranteed with New Orleans on Wednesday.

He added: "We couldn't come to terms with things and it's just funny. It's funny to me because, at the end of the day, I know the blessings are still coming for me being who I am ... Just me having a good attitude and energy about this whole situation, led me here to a great spot."

It's unclear what the Lions offered Williams.

Williams topped 1,000 yards on the ground for the first time in his career in 2022 while rushing for a league-high 17 touchdowns. All but three of his touchdown runs were scored inside the opponent's 5-yard line, including 10 at the 1-yard line.

The 27-year-old spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers before joining the Lions in 2021. The 2017 fourth-round pick had previously never scored more than six touchdowns in a season.

Detroit signed former Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery to a three-year pact worth $18 million the day before Williams reportedly decided to join the Saints. Montgomery's contract includes $11 million guaranteed.

Montgomery, a second-round selection in 2019, has been more effective as a runner than Williams throughout his career but is coming off a season in which he posted career lows with 801 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

The Saints will host the Lions in 2023.

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