The Saints may be forced to let go of one of the league’s rising as they’re almost nine figures deep in the cap and Marcus Williams is up for a new contract.
With an offseason that will be headlined by tough decisions, the New Orleans Saints and their experienced front office will be forced to make some cap-cutting moves as the team is about $74 million in the hole following Drew Brees’ restructured contract.
The Saints have some talent hitting the open market which makes those numbers even more brutal. Knowing that they won’t have the money to re-sign them all, New Orleans may have to decide between Jameis Winston, Trey Hendrickson and Marcus Williams.
Winston and Hendrickson may be the better, more impactful players to bring back, but Williams is the one with the most potential.
Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling dove into the top-ten 25-and-under free agents, and Williams came in at No. 3. Cincinnati’s defensive end Carl Lawson and Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin were the two players on the list.
"“Williams is strong in the box against the run and reliable in coverage, which isn’t common at the safety spot even in 2021. That might explain why Spotrac projects his market value at an average salary of $9.4 million per year, which would rank ninth league wide among safeties.“Given the premium nature of the safety position and the plug-and-play nature of his skill set, Williams is a candidate to set off an unexpected bidding war.“Best Fit: Washington Football Team”"
Williams’ hard-hitting ability would be welcomed on really any NFL franchise. Really making his presence felt as a rookie, Williams hasn’t matched that first season in the league yet, but he did make a high impact this past season.
The 24-year-old former second-round pick was part of that elite 2017 NFL Draft class. With Alvin Kamara, Trey Hendrickson, and Ryan Ramczyk among the others drafted around that time, the Saints are now feeling the pain of having so much talent added at one time.
As for Williams, he recorded 59 tackles and 3 interceptions last season. While it wasn’t his best season, it is what he’s been consistently producing. That type of impact is what future suitors should expect, and he’ll certainly have those wanting his skill set this offseason.
That said, there’s no denying the Saints, like they did with Vonn Bell, will have discussions, but as with Bell, it wouldn’t be shocking if Williams wasn’t on the team next season.