Exclusive-rights free agent tight end Eddie "Boo" Williams officially signed his one-year contract, worth $300,000, tendered to him earlier this offseason. Williams was an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas last year.
On February 28, the Saints extended tender offers to Williams, WR/KR Michael Lewis, S Steve Gleason, and LB's Curtis Holden and Roger Knight. Shortly before the draft, the Saints also signed exclusive-rights free agents S Tim Carter, LB Jonathan Jackson, and RB James Fenderson, all of which were allocated to NFL Europe. Carter and Jackson received one-year contracts while Fenderson received a base-value two year deal.
According to league rules, free agents with only one year of experience are exclusive rights free agents with negotiation rights with only their original team, if their original team extends them a tender offer. Lewis, Gleason, Holden, and Knight cannot negotiate with other teams.
Williams, who spent his rookie season putting on muscle and converting from collegiate wide receiver to pro tight end, caught 20 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns in 2001. Training to become a complete blocker and receiver this offseason, Williams drew praise from NOPF and WWL's Kenny Wilkerson at the Saints' first minicamp.
Veteran TE Johnny Mitchell and 6th-round draft pick John Gilmore will give Williams some stiff competition for a roster spot behind starter David Sloan and Lamont Hall. Hall, a restricted free agent, was tendered a base $563,000 contract by the Saints on February 28 as well.