3 free agents the Vikings (might) regret not signing in 2023

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Jamaal Williams
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Jamaal Williams /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamaal Williams /

Jamaal Williams – RB

  • Team for 2023: New Orleans Saints
  • New Contract: 3 years, $12 million

On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Vikings had agreed to a new two-year contract worth $7 million with running back Alexander Mattison. Most expected Mattison to sign elsewhere this offseason, but instead, he’s returning to Minnesota for another two years.

For 2023, Mattison is expected to take over as the Vikings No. 1 running back if the team ends up moving on from Dalvin Cook. But if Minnesota was just looking for a cheaper option to be their top running back next season, signing free-agent Jamaal Williams is something they should have considered.

Williams is coming off the first season of his six-year NFL career in which he finished with at least 1,000 rushing yards. He also managed to find the end zone a whopping 17 times in 2022 as a member of the Detroit Lions.

Williams is very familiar with the NFC North, having spent the last two years in Detroit and another four seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Remaining in the division with the Vikings wouldn’t have been difficult for the 27-year-old running back.

Instead of joining Minnesota’s roster though, Williams is heading south to play for the New Orleans Saints. With Alvin Kamara still the Saints’ top back, the Vikings likely could have provided Williams with more of a lead role in their backfield for the 2023 season.

Minnesota would not have had to break the bank to sign Williams this year, but they clearly felt their money was better spent bringing back Mattison.