If the New Saints lose Marcus Williams next offseason, they have some viable replacement options to explore.
The New Orleans Saints placed the franchise tag on Marcus Williams this offseason, and both sides had until July 15 to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. That date came and went, and both sides weren’t able to get a new contract done. As a result, Williams will play the 2021 season on the tag, could become a free agent next season.
Williams is an above-average safety, and bringing him back to New Orleans won’t be cheap. However, after failed negotiations this time around, it’s possible that he could sign elsewhere next offseason (unless the Saints place the tag on him again). In the scenario he does leave NOLA, here are three replacement options the team can explore.
3. Marcus Maye
If the Saints lose Marcus Williams next offseason, Marcus Maye is a great replacement option for them. He and the Jets failed to reach a long-term extension, and New York lowballed him by nearly 20 percent. Maye might not want to even entertain any other offers the Jets might bring to him with that kind of offer. That potentially soured relationship could be an opportunity for New Orleans to grab Maye.
The Jets safety showed that he wasn’t just second fiddle to Jamal Adams when he was in New York. Maye had a career year in 2020 with 88 combined tackles, 11 defended passes, two interceptions, two sacks and two forced fumbles. His well-rounded game will allow the Saints to place him all over the field. Pro Football Focus ranked Maye as the seventh-best safety in 2020, solidifying his status as one of the game’s elite defensive backs.
Marcus Maye could be looking for new scenery soon, especially after being given that atrocious offer from the Jets. This could be Joe Douglas’ second straight time he failed to lock up a talented safety, and the Saints could be the beneficiaries of his failure.