According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, one of those players is their own free safety, Marcus Williams. The 24-year-old Williams has been a starter for the Saints the last four seasons.
Given his age, experience and positional value, Williams should generate plenty of interest on the open market later this month.
However, New Orleans is apparently hoping they can retain their 2017 second-round pick for the long haul.
Despite a massive cap deficit, the Saints are expected to prioritize free agent safety Marcus Williams, I'm told. They want to keep him — within financial reason, but he will have a strong market. Have also expressed interest in re-signing QB Jameis Winston.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 1, 2021
For some people, Williams is best known as the goat of New Orleans’ stunning playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings three years ago. Then a rookie, the former Utah star famously whiffed on a chance to tackle Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs on his miraculous game-winning touchdown.
However, limiting Williams to just that moment fails to account for his overall production as a pro. He’s started 60 of a possible 64 games in four seasons, racking up 246 tackles, 30 passes defensed and 13 interceptions.
The legal tampering period for NFL free agency begins two weeks from today, with the new league year starting on St. Patrick’s Day. In addition to worrying about Williams, the Saints are also waiting on a final decision from quarterback Drew Brees.