The Los Angeles Chargers have yet to fill the hole created when Hunter Henry went down for the season. Could a possible answer sit on the roster of the Baltimore Ravens?
Maxx Williams is a former second-round pick of the Ravens, a player the team selected at No. 55 overall in 2015. It seemed like a great pick at the time, but it hasn’t exactly worked out.
He hasn’t been able to get to the top of the depth chart in Baltimore, falling behind guys like Benjamin Watson and Crockett Gilmore and in three seasons, has caught just 47 passes.
However, Williams is coming off his best season in which he caught 32 passes for 268 yards, averaging 19.1 yards per catch. He did that while taking part in just 29 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. Meanwhile, Watson and Nick Boyle each saw over 64 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
Is it possible Williams just doesn’t fit what the Ravens want to do?
Watson and Gilmore are no longer in Baltimore, so the Ravens decided to use first and third-round picks on tight ends this past April, bringing in Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews. That shows the team isn’t really enamored with Williams.
Williams will be entering the final year of his 4-year, $4 million rookie deal. He will be an unrestricted free agent following the season, which could give the Ravens some incentive to move him and at least get something in return.
For the Chargers, he could end up being nothing more than a one-year rental, but they don’t need him to be anything more than that, as Henry will be back with the team next season. For me, Williams stands a better chance to be an option in the receiving game than Sean Culkin, Braedon Bowman, Cole Hunt or Ben Johnson do. Virgil Green is there, but he was brought in to help the run game, not the passing attack.
If the Chargers were to make a trade such as this happen now, the team would have just over a month to get Williams acclimated to his new surroundings before heading to training camp in Costa Mesa.
Would the Ravens go for it? There’s really nothing to indicate they wouldn’t. The Chargers should offer something like this:
If the Bolts could obtain Williams for a late-round selection, say a sixth-round pick, there could be great value in that return. The Ravens couldn’t really argue for much more than that. as Williams will be a free agent at season’s end, free to sign with any team he likes (like one where he’s a better fit), and the Ravens would get absolutely nothing in return.
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Tight end was a strength for the Ravens for many years with guys like Shannon Sharpe, Todd Heap and until his unfortunate premature retirement, Dennis Pitta. Williams was thought to be a player who would be mentioned in the same breath as those guys, but it just hasn’t worked out.
That doesn’t mean it can’t work out somewhere else.
The only way the Ravens wouldn’t entertain some sort of offer is if they have plans to make Williams a bigger part of the offense this year, but if that’s the case, why use two high draft picks on tight ends?
Of course, if the Chargers would rather bring back Antonio Gates, this would be a moot point. But that hasn’t happened yet and in the interim, at least engaging in talks with the Ravens make plenty of sense.