It’s been seven years since Jamaal Williams and Taysom Hill ended an unforgettable run together as record-breaking backfield teammates at BYU.
Now, the pair are being reunited with the New Orleans Saints, where Hill has been a utility star for six seasons and Williams joins the franchise after signing with the team in free agency.
Williams had the chance to talk about his old teammate during his introductory press conference on Friday.
“Taysom, I can’t wait to mess with him. It’s been too long now. I can’t wait to mess with him. Don’t worry, you’ll see it,” he told reporters.
He then expressed his excitement to get to work with the Saints.
“But I am just excited, I am trembling from excitement right now — I’m just shaking. I can’t wait to go to work, though,” Williams said.
The Saints made his signing official on Friday, a deal that is reportedly for three years and $12 million, with $8 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Williams is coming off his most productive season as a pro — he had his first 1,000-yard rushing season last season when he ran for 1,066 yards for the Detroit Lions, and his 17 rushing touchdowns led the NFL.
That ended a good two-year run for Williams in Detroit after four seasons with Green Bay, and Detroit reportedly had interest in bringing him back, though the two sides couldn’t come together on a deal.
“They been done with me. I could tell,” Williams said. “The offer they gave me, I feel like was very, just disrespectful. Just showing that they, you know, really didn’t want me to be there, like that.
“But it’s all love. Like I know my teammates, everybody there at the Detroit Lions have love for me and all that. But, at the same time, we couldn’t come to terms with things.”
Prior to the reports on Wednesday that Williams was signing with New Orleans, there hadn’t been chatter about the running back joining the Saints. Other teams like Buffalo and Cincinnati were among a handful of teams that reportedly were interested in signing the veteran back.
“Honestly it came out of nowhere, but at the same time I just love how they had interest in me and showed that they wanted me to be here. I’m just proud to be a part of a great team like this,” Williams said of joining the Saints.
“... I’m just grateful to be here and be a part of a team that already knows how to win and knows what to do.”
Williams, a fan favorite wherever he’s gone, said he’s looking forward to making a positive impact in New Orleans.
“I’m grateful to be here,” he said. “... I just want to keep moving forward by working hard, being a great example, and being a great teammate, football player, and showing Nola that y’all picked up the right dude to be here.”