Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams is in the midst of a magical year. He’s 6 yards away from crossing over 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career, he currently leads the entire NFL with 15 rushing touchdowns, and he’s days away from participating in what could be a play-in game for the playoffs against the Green Bay Packers, his former team.
With Williams’ contract expiring at the end of the 2022 season, he was asked on Thursday afternoon if he’d be interested in returning to Detroit next year. He basically said yes, but in the most Jamaal Williams way possible.
“Do I want to come back? Hmmm, let me think about it,” Williams said. “I spent two years here doing great. Hmm, do I want to come back? Do I want to come back to more blessings? Hmm, let me think about that. That’s your answer.”
Williams did not comment on whether talks had begun about a new contract with the Lions, but it’s hard to imagine the team not approaching him about staying. He will certainly come at a higher cost than the two-year, $6 million contract he signed with Detroit two years ago, but the coaching staff has done nothing but sing his praises all season.
“He’s been a bell cow for us all year long. Really it’s been the steady 3, 4, 5-yard gains for the most part,” offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said on Thursday. “And then, he does have the ability to break some tackles as well and I think he’s had a couple of 50-yarders as well this year. So, we think extremely highly of him, he’s been consistent for us as a runner.”
Additionally, Williams has proven time and time again that he is the type of diligent and consistent worker that is highly valued under coach Dan Campbell.
“Jamaal, he’s a workhorse, man,” Campbell said back in October. “He gets in there and he just—he’s very consistent and he’s going to give you a full day’s work.”
But Williams isn’t looking too far ahead. There’s a big game to be played on Sunday with playoff hopes potentially on the line—not to mention the opportunity to cross 1,000 rushing yards and tie or surpass Barry Sanders for the franchise record for rushing touchdowns in a season (16).
“I’m just grateful for that opportunity to be able to be in that (conversation) with somebody like that,” Williams said. “I just want my teammates—to thank them for their blessings and how they feel about me, and I just want to make sure we come out with the dub (win) at the end of the day.”