The New Orleans Saints generally have a good track record of signing players on the franchise tag to extensions before the season starts, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that good fortune will continue with Marcus Williams. Williams, who accepted the tag in March, is reportedly unlikely to sign a multi-year extension before Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline for franchised players, per Adam Schefter.
Seven franchised players — Bucs WR Chris Godwin, Jets S Marcus Maye, Panthers RT Taylor Moton, Bears WR Allen Robinson, Jags OT Cam Robinson, WFT G Brandon Scherff, Saints S Marcus Williams — have until 4:00 today to sign extensions.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 15, 2021
No deals likely at this time, per sources.
July 15th is the first major offseason date Saints fans were keeping an eye on, as “after this date, [franchised players] may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2021 season, and such a contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular-season game.”
That adds to the Saints’ ever-increasing laundry list of looming free agents in 2022. They managed to lock down Ryan Ramczyk last week; but other major players include Terron Armstead, Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams.
Williams has become one of the most reliable safeties in the NFL, and his camp has remained quiet throughout negotiations. The Saints could tag Williams against next season, but that gets pricey quickly, and it would be set at 120 percent of the current figure. With Williams making $10.16 million this season, that would set next season’s number at $12.19 million.
The Saints need all the cap space they can muster at this point, so to avoid these scenarios they’ll have to move fast. Otherwise, 2022 is going to involve a lot of negotiating and some very tough decisions for Mickey Loomis.
We will update this story as additional news becomes available.
Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 4:10 PM CT
As the 4PM ET deadline came and went, the New Orleans Saints and star safety Marcus Williams did not get a long-term deal done. Williams, who will turn 25 years old just before the first game of the season, will be a free agent after 2021.
The Saints could choose to franchise tag him a second time, but then his contract could shoot up to 120% of the $10.6M 2021 amount (around $12.7M) or will scale with average of top five contracts at his position, whichever is greater.
The Saints are likely to work hard to retain their 2017 second-round selection who has amassed 13 interceptions and 30 passes defended since he was drafted from Utah. Williams also worked hard last season to better his tackling dropping his 14.1 missed tackle percentage from 2019 to 4.8% in 2020.
The Saints love what Williams has done and brings as an NFL safety and reportedly made a hefty offer to him.
Deadline to sign Marcus Williams has passed without a deal, per source. Saints made a strong offer but they’ll have to wait to try again.— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) July 15, 2021
Didn’t work out this time, we’ll see if the Saints and Williams can work together to land a new deal ahead of the 2022 season.