Sources: Safety Marcus Williams agrees to five-year deal with Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore hopes to significantly improve a pass defense that gave up a league-worst 31 touchdown passes last year

The Baltimore Ravens and the safety marcus-williams have agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal, a source told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

The deal includes $37 million guaranteed, of which $31 million is for next year, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Williamsa full-time starter at free safety for the New Orleans Saints since he was selected in the second round of the Draft 2017played under the franchise tag last season ($10.612 million) after the sides failed to reach a long-term deal.

Williamswho turns 26 in September, had been an important part of the defensive improvement of New Orleansa unit that ranks sixth in the NFL both in yards and points allowed since arrival. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound defender has 15 career interceptions in the regular season, including a return for a touchdown in 2019, and an interception in the playoffs. He also has three forced fumbles, 38 passes defensed and 321 tackles.

Although he has never been elected to a Pro Bowl or as part of a team All-Pro, Williams is widely considered one of the best safeties in the NFL. Pro Football Focus has him rated among the top seven safeties in the league in each of the past three seasons.

The most infamous move Williams was his failed tackle against then-Los Angeles wide receiver Minnesota Vikings Stefon Diggsin the playoff defeat dubbed “Minneapolis Miracleat the end of his rookie season. But, he has improved as a tackler throughout his career, posting a career-high 74 tackles in 2021.

adding to Williamsthe ravens they hope to shore up a pass defense that struggled badly last year.

With the cornermen of Pro Bowl, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Petersinjured, baltimore he allowed the most passing yards (4,986), receiving yards (12.6) and average yards after the catch (6.4) in the NFL Last season. The pass defense of the ravens he also gave up 31 touchdown passes — a league-low last year — and intercepted just nine passes.

Strong investment continues baltimore in his high school. Over the last three years, the ravens have invested $71 million guaranteed in the defensive backfield: Humphrey ($40 million), peters ($21 million) and safety chuck clark ($10 million).

The ravens They haven’t made much noise in free agency, but when they do, they’ve done so at safety, with mixed results. baltimore signed to Eric Weddle in 2016 and Earl Thomas in 2019. Weddle became one of the best free agency additions for the ravensbut Thomas he lasted just one season, being cut after an altercation with a teammate in training camp.

Information from Mike Triplett and Jamison Hensley was used in the writing of this note.

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Sources: Safety Marcus Williams agrees to five-year deal with Baltimore Ravens