A Fun Proposition for the Vikings in Free Agency

NFL free agency is still a little over a month away, but rumors and speculations are in full force. We here at PurplePTSD are not immune to such speculatory topics, and today, we have another fun proposition for the Vikings during this free agency period that revolves around one of the more colorful personalities in the NFL: RB Jamaal Williams.

Williams is entering free agency this offseason after spending the past two seasons with the Detroit Lions. He also had a four-year stint with the Green Bay Packers prior to that. Here’s why the Vikings should pursue a continued tour across the NFC North for the veteran RB.

Position Need

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) celebrates a first down against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

We’ve covered this to a greater extent already, but the Vikings running back room could look quite different in 2023. Like Williams, Alexander Mattison is set to hit free agency this offseason, and based on the events of training camp where he expressed a desire to be an RB1 somewhere, there’s a chance that he won’t want to come back to Minnesota.

Additionally, Dalvin Cook’s status on the roster in 2023 is no guarantee. He was still productive in 2022, recording his fourth-straight 1000-yard season and playing all 17 games, but is he worth a $14 million cap hit? It seems reasonable to have doubts in that regard.

Ty Chandler might have the chops to be a lead running back, but we haven’t seen nearly enough from him to say that for certain.

Williams’ Production

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (30) rushes for a third quarter touchdown against Green Bay Packers during their football game on Sunday, January, 8, 2022 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apc Packers Vs Lions 6439 010823 Wag

Jamaal Williams probably isn’t a name that immediately comes to mind when talking about the best running backs in the league, but his production sneakily was outstanding in 2022. He rushed for a career-high 1066 yards during the season, and, more impressively, he broke the Detroit Lions rushing touchdowns record by recording 17 TDs. The previous record holder? One Barry Sanders, perhaps you’ve heard of him.

On top of that, Williams has consistently been a healthy player throughout his career. Through his first six years in the NFL, the running back has not played fewer than 13 games in a season.

Price Tag

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Mar 1, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Finally, Williams likely wouldn’t break the bank for a team looking to sign him. As of now, Spotrac has placed a market value on the free agent RB’s next contract as two years for a total of $8,355,328, an average of about $4.1 million per year. Compared to Cook’s contract that is about $10 million more expensive in 2023 for very similar production this past season, Williams might be worth a look when free agency rolls around.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.