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NFL Rumors: Jamaal Williams Eyed by Jets, Bills, Bengals; Lions Interested in Reunion

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMarch 12, 2023

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 08: Jamaal Williams #30 of the Detroit Lions rushes during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

After a breakout season with the Detroit Lions, running back Jamaal Williams will have a lot of options in free agency.

According to Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD.com, the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets are all "very interested" in the free agent, but returning to the Lions is also an option for Williams.

Detroit general manager Brad Holmes told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that there was "mutual interest" in getting a deal done with Williams.

The 27-year-old led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns last season, adding 1,066 rushing yards. His previous career high was 601 rushing yards with Detroit in 2021 after averaging 496.3 yards across four seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

D'Andre Swift was expected to take over the backfield last year, but injuries allowed Williams to remain a go-to option most games and a truly dominant force in the red zone.

The production is enough for the Lions to want a reunion in 2023, although it's clear there is already a lot of demand for the veteran.

The Bills and Bengals could allow Williams to join a legitimate title contender and likely see a significant role throughout the year.

Buffalo's leading rusher Devin Singletary is also set to enter free agency, but Williams could replace him while forming a reliable tandem alongside James Cook. It also gives the team another short-yardage option besides quarterback Josh Allen.

Cincinnati has Joe Mixon under contract through 2024, although the team can save $10 million by trading or releasing the running back after June 1, per Spotrac. At the very least, Williams could replace free-agent Samaje Perine in the backfield.

The Jets could add some insurance for Breece Hall, who is hoping to return from a torn ACL suffered during his rookie year. Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight failed to step up after Hall's injury, creating a need for depth in the backfield.