Former New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams has a new contract and is on the move. The veteran defensive back agreed to join the Baltimore Ravens on a five-year deal in free agency.
Marcus Williams signs with Ravens
Williams, 25, agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with the Ravens on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. He was able to avoid a second consecutive franchise tag because the Saints had an unenviable cap situation entering free agency.
Williams, who has gained a reputation as a dynamic playmaker in the secondary, will immediately reinforce the backend of Baltimore’s defense. Williams will be particularly impactful in the turnover battle, as he has produced 15 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles over the past five seasons.
Getting to know Williams
Williams, a Utah alum, entered the NFL as a second-round pick of the Saints in 2017. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound safety became an immediate contributor in the Saints’ secondary as a rookie. He started all 15 games that he appeared in and produced 72 tackles, 7 pass breakups, and 4 interceptions.
During the next three seasons, Williams continued to be a full-time starter for the Saints. He collected 170 tackles, 23 pass breakups, and 9 interceptions during the final three years of his rookie contract. Given his importance to the Saints, Williams received the franchise tag last year and played on the lucrative one-year deal instead of testing the open market.
Last season, Williams tied his career-high in tackles with 72 takedowns and collected 8 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble. That impressive season has paid off as he has cashed in with free agency.
Who is left on the market?
Williams was Pro Football Network lead analyst Dalton Miller’s No. 2 safety entering free agency. Additionally, Miller had Williams ranked as the No. 4 free agent overall on PFN’s Top 75 Free Agents list.
With Williams off the board, safeties such as Tyrann Mathieu of the Kansas City Chiefs, Jordan Whitehead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Rodney McLeod of the Philadelphia Eagles will look to cash in on the open market as well.