Marcus Williams spurns New York Jets for Baltimore Ravens
The New York Jets had been rumored to be in hot pursuit of New Orleans Saints free agent safety Marcus Williams since the NFL’s legal tampering period opened on Monday afternoon. Williams remained on the open market heading into Monday night.
On Tuesday afternoon, Williams’ decision was finally announced – and he will not be coming to New York.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Williams has agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
Safety Marcus Williams is agreeing to terms with the Baltimore Ravens on a five-year deal worth $70 million, per source. Big market-shifting deal in AFC North.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 15, 2022
ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds that Williams’ deal includes $37 million guaranteed, including $31 million within the next year.
This deal includes $37 million guaranteed, including $31 million in next year, per source. https://t.co/0npTJQM5Zc
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2022
It appears that the Jets were indeed close to acquiring Williams. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reports that the Jets waited for Williams to bring his price down to a more reasonable number, but at that point, he decided to choose the Ravens.
#Jets waited for Marcus Williams to lower his price — and he did (to $14m per year). I think they would’ve paid that, but he preferred the #Ravens. Now the Jets have to pivot. Safety still a big need.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 15, 2022
The Jets will lose some battles like this one to more successful franchises until they become a sustainably successful organization themselves.
New York seemingly could have had Williams if they were willing to outbid Baltimore, but that’s not the way that general manager Joe Douglas plays the game. For better or worse, he has proven that he draws a line in the sand and will never cross it.
That approach will keep the Jets in a continuously healthy long-term cap situation but it will certainly lose them some bidding wars against more reputable franchises. Whether or not you agree with that strategy is a matter of personal preference, but it’s clear by now that this is how Douglas operates.
Williams, who turns 26 in September, is one of the best free safeties in the game. He has 15 interceptions and 38 passes defended in five career seasons. Over the past three seasons, Williams has only allowed four touchdown passes into his coverage across 48 games (including playoffs).