The Detroit Lions are weighing plenty of options as the offseason gets set to start in a few months, and in the mean time, there will be no shortage of takes about what must happen next.
Already, though, some themes are coming to the forefront. Specifically, players teams should be looking to bring back. One situation has already been revealed as it relates to this via Ari Meirov of The 33rd team.
Meirov put together a piece in which he revealed the biggest decision for every team to make within free agency. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was running back Jamaal Williams, who enjoyed a career year and is in need of a new deal.
As Meirov wrote, he believes that thanks to Williams production, everyone involved would like to find a positive resolution to the situation.
“Williams led the league with 17 rushing touchdowns and eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career this past season. More importantly for Detroit, Williams has developed into a leader for the team and one of the most likable players in the locker room. GM Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell value the culture they’ve built, and all sides would love to find some sort of solution to have Williams back in 2023,” Meirov wrote in the piece.
Whether the Lions can find that solution or not remains to be seen, but it’s clear it’s something that the team will have to decide and resolve early on to perhaps set everything else up they are trying to do the rest of the way relative to the salary cap.
When push comes to shove, the decision on Williams could set everything else up for Detroit, which is something that plenty of people realize.
Why Lions Should Re-Sign Williams This Offseason
As the stats show, Williams will be in demand for teams this offseason. If the Lions are thinking about what to do, they need not ponder the decision too long when the time comes.
Williams, thanks to his ability to be a sledgehammer near the goal line and in the red zone, has earned the right to stay with the Lions. He’s also been one of the best vocal leaders on the team, routinely connecting with his teammates and Detroit as he did after the season finale.
All of this combines to mean that the Lions shouldn’t overthink his free agency and simply bring Williams back when all is said and done.
With 1,066 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, he was Detroit’s leading rusher on the season. It’s clear that Williams was the team MVP for the Lions during the 2022 season as a whole. Hopefully, the team will see his value and decide to keep him around for the long-term.
As this analysis hints, Williams could be targeted to return as one of the heartbeats of the team.
Lions’ Running Back Room Could Be Fascinating
In terms of a spot to watch this offseason, running back is an obvious one for Detroit. Not only is the team having the looming decision with Williams hanging over their head, but several other issues.
First and foremost, do the Lions want to keep D’Andre Swift around for the long term? Swift rushed for 542 yards and five touchdowns, and caught 48 passes for 389 yards and three scores. Overall, having 931 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns wasn’t a bad consolation prize for Swift and the Lions all things considered relative to his early injury problems.
Still, the team may or may not want Swift for the long haul, so there is the potential for a surprise move there. Re-signing Justin Jackson could be important, because Jackson was productive for the team with two touchdowns and seemed to fit the culture well. Deciding what to do with Craig Reynolds, who is an offseason and preseason stud, will be significant as well. Theoretically, one of Jackson or Reynolds could also go.
Add it up and there is the potential for some fireworks at running back. The Williams situation might only be the first shoe to drop when all is said and done.