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Saints safety Marcus Williams accepts franchise tag for 2021 season

Marcus Williams will officially be playing in New Orleans this year.

Williams has accepted his franchise tag tender for the 2021 season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. Williams is set to make $10.612 million under the franchise tag.

The two sides will continue to work toward a long-term deal, according to Rapoport. The deadline for teams to sign franchise-tagged players to a long-term extension is July 15.

The tagging of Williams was necessary this offseason for the cap-strapped Saints. The former second-round pick is an underrated and often overlooked piece to the back end of what has been a stellar secondary over the past few years. Williams has accrued 13 interceptions, 30 pass deflections and 246 total tackles in four seasons with New Orleans.

Entering 2021, the Saints will have to deal with multiple losses to their defense including 2020 sack-leader Trey Hendrickson (signed by the Bengals), defensive tackle Malcom Brown (traded to the Jaguars) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (cap casualty). Retaining Williams was essential for the immediate success of the evolving Saints, but locking in the 24-year-old to a long-term deal is imperative to their future.

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