P.J. Williams is marching back to New Orleans after more than two weeks on the open market.
The Saints are re-signing the veteran defensive back to a one-year deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday. Williams will be joined by former Houston Texans defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson, who is also signing a one-year contract with New Orleans, Rapoport added.
Williams, No. 90 on NFL.com's list of the top 101 free agents this offseason, had played the entirety of his seven-year career with the Saints and now will continue to do so in 2022.
This is the fourth straight season, since the end of his rookie deal he signed after being taken in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, that Williams has returned to the Saints on a one-year pact. This time around, Williams is coming off a career year in which he logged two sacks, hauled in three interceptions and even took one pick to the house. He has eight interceptions and two pick-sixes over six seasons in the pros; Williams missed his rookie year due to injury.
Williams, who has played just over half of New Orleans' defensive snaps since the 2020 season, will return to a Saints secondary that this offseason has replaced one safety named Marcus (Williams, now with the Ravens) with another (Maye, formerly of the Jets), lost veteran defensive back Malcolm Jenkins to retirement and signed former Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen. Starting corners Marshon Lattimoreand Paulson Adebo remain.
Johnson, a 27-year-old defensive tackle drafted by Minnesota in 2017, recorded one QB hit and no sacks in 12 games last season with Houston. He'll likely play a rotational role on a veteran defensive line featuring Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport, David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle and recent acquisition Kentavius Street.