Versatile Packers RB Rumored as Potential Giants Free Agency Target

Jamaal Williams dubbed a potential Giants target

Getty Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers on the sideline before playing the Los Angeles Chargers.

Contract decisions loom for the New York Giants, who are quickly approaching the thick of the 2021 NFL offseason. Retaining Leonard Williams is likely atop their wish list. His dominant 2020 campaign has warranted near-elite pay for his services. Fellow defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson, while wildly less-heralded than Williams, is arguably as integral to the unit’s success as his stud counterpart.

Offensively, Saquon Barkley is up for a contract extension, although his injury history may force contract discussions further down the line. There’s also the matter of what to do with his running mate, Wayne Gallman. In Barkley’s absence this season, the former Clemson Tiger enjoyed a breakout season en route to posting career-highs in essentially every relevant statistical category.

Gallman, 26, will likely look to catapult his strong play into a prominent role next season. With the impending return of Barkley, that could prove an unlikely scenario for Gallman in New York, pushing the Georgia native to seek greener pastures elsewhere, both in usage and salary.

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Packers’ Jamaal Williams Dubbed a Potential Giants Target

With a potential hole in their backfield next season, the Giants may very well find themselves scouring the free agency pool. One of the top pending players on the market is Green Bay Packers’ dual-threat back, Jamaal Williams, who NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt believes is a running back that New York “could target” this spring.

The Giants only have Saquon Barkley under contract for 2021 at running back. Williams might be considered be an upgrade over Wayne Gallman as a backup since he’s more of a threat as a pass-catcher — 30.5 catches per season. He has six receiving touchdowns the last two years

With Williams and teammate Aaron Jones both set to hit the open market this offseason, Green Bay will almost certainly prioritize the latter, who has amassed a whopping 30 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Beyond Jones, the team used a second-round pick on bruiser AJ Dillon in last year’s draft. Dillon began to carve out a sizeable role towards the latter end of 2020, including a 124-yard performance in Week 15, likely easing Green Bay’s decision to hand him the No. 2 role behind Jones in 2021.

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What Williams Brings to the Table

While not oozing with talent, Williams is one of the more well-rounded backs in football and a superb second option in the backfield. As Rosenblatt eluded to, his calling card is his receiving ability. Williams has accumulated 122 receptions over his four-year career, 70 of which have occurred over the last two seasons. For reference, Gallman has totaled 80 receptions across his four-year run with the Giants. Despite playing a career-high 391 snaps in 2020, he hauled in just 21 passes, typically being tossed aside for scatback Dion Lewis on obvious passing downs.

While Williams may excel in the passing game, he’s far from a slouch in the running game. Checking-in at 6-foot, 213-pounds, Williams is more than equipped to carry a workload when called upon. Serving mostly as the Robin to Aaron Jones’ Batman over his Green Bay tenure, Williams has produced 1,985 yards on the ground. Over the past two seasons, he’s seen his efficiency reach new heights, averaging 4.25 ypc. This, after Williams failed to eclipse 3.8 ypc in either of his first two NFL seasons.

Yet, arguably Williams’ most tantalizing skillset is what he brings as a pass-blocker. According to Pro Football Focus, no player at the running back position graded out better than Williams, who hoisted a pass-blocking grade of 85.8 from 2018-19.

As we’re all likely aware, if Barkley has one lapse in his game it’s as a pass-blocker. So much so, that former Giant Tiki Barber went as far as to question his abilities as a three-down back prior to his season-ending injury.

Furthermore, Williams has missed just four of his 68 career games (including playoffs) and has yet to cough up the football over his 652 career touches.

While Gallman, who saw his perception elevate to fan-favorite status this past season, would certainly be welcomed back with open arms this offseason, Williams would prove to be a first-rate fallback option should Gallman take his talents elsewhere in free agency.

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