The Detroit Lions clearly drew a line regarding a new contract for Jamaal Williams, and he took an opportunity to call out the team’s offer.
Things happened quickly on Tuesday night. Right on the heels of a report from Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD that Jamaal Williams and the Detroit Lions were not close in contract talks, the Lions pivoted to sign David Montgomery to a three-year deal.
Williams ultimately got the same three-year term as Montgomery, for a little less money ($12 million; $8 million guaranteed) from the New Orleans Saints than Montgomery got from the Lions. The Saints were certainly a surprising team to be in on Williams, but the lingering off-field situation for Alvin Kamara leaves them in need of a contingency plan.
The Lions are certainly happy to have signed a better running back than Williams, even for a bit more money.
Sour grapes isn’t a good look on Williams, but that’s what he offered up during his Saints’ intro presser on Friday.
Jamaal Williams calls out the Lions for what he saw as a low-ball offer
Williams was what Lions’ media became used to with him during his first session with Saints’ media.
Except when talking about the Lions’ contract offer.
Via Lions Wire:
"The offer they gave me, I felt like was disrespectful and showing that they really didn’t want me to be there like that.”But it’s all love (for Detroit). Like, I know my teammates, everybody there at the Detroit Lions got love for me and all that. But, at the same time, we couldn’t come to terms and — it’s just funny, that’s all.”"
Kyle Meinke of MLive reported the offer the Lions made to Williams was not close to what the Saints gave him. However, Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press reported earlier that it’s believed the Lions made a similar offer to the deal they gave Montgomery.
Getting right down to it, conflicting reports about the final, best offer aside, it seems clear the Lions drew a line in the sand on what they’d give Williams. There was surely a little bit of wiggle room there, but they weren’t going to overcommit to a running back coming off his career year based on sentimentality.
Williams said he’s anxious to prove himself because “so many people seem to have an idea of what kind of running back he is.” The Lions know what kind of running back he is, better than anyone, and they were willing to let him walk if it came to that.
It seems like Williams expected the Lions to do a contract beyond what the market would dictate just to keep him (“it’s just funny, that’s all”), and he/his camp was shocked when they wouldn’t. As much as he could’ve, should’ve and did see what else was out there, the business side goes both ways and the team had to do something when talks with Williams weren’t going well.
The Lions got younger and better at running back by replacing Williams with Montgomery when the iron was hot to do so. That appears to be a harsh reality the now-former Lion isn’t ready to face, and he couldn’t hide it.