Williams, a full-time starter at free safety for the New Orleans Saints since he was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft, played under the franchise tag last season ($10.612 million) after the two sides were unable to work out a long-term deal.
Williams, who turns 26 in September, has been a huge part of the defensive turnaround in New Orleans, a unit that ranks sixth in the NFL in both yards and points allowed since he arrived. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has 15 career interceptions in the regular season, including one returned for a touchdown in 2019, and one interception in the playoffs. He also has three forced fumbles, 38 pass defenses and 321 tackles.
Although he has never been selected to a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team, Williams is widely regarded as one of the NFL’s top safeties. Pro Football Focus has graded him among the league’s top seven safeties in each of the past three seasons.
Williams’ most infamous play was his missed tackle against then-Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs in the “Minneapolis Miracle” playoff loss at the end of his rookie year. But he has improved as a tackler throughout his career, and he recorded a career-high 74 tackles in 2021.
ESPN’s Mike Triplett contributed to this report.