It certainly sounds like Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams will be returning in 2023.
Williams will be an unrestricted free agent when free agency opens up in two weeks, but general manager Brad Holmes indicated on Wednesday that the team has already had discussions about bringing him back.
“We’re having discussions now currently,” Holmes said. “We had a discussion with all of our upcoming UFAs that were on expiring deals, but there is a mutual interest to hopefully get him back.”
Williams had his most productive season in the NFL last season, eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards and leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 17—which also broke the Lions franchise record for rushing touchdowns in a season. But beyond that, Williams has been the emotional centerpiece for this team. Though he was not officially a captain in 2022, he often provided emotional speeches that resonated with both fans and players.
At the end of the season, Williams expressed a clear interest in returning to Detroit.
“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.”
Like most negotiations, money will be the key. In 2021, Williams signed a two-year, $6 million contract with Detroit, but he’ll likely be seeking a raise this time around. Spotrac currently projects his value at $4.1 million a year.