The Los Angeles Chargers pass-catching core was one of the NFL’s finest in 2018. But for the Bolts to emulate that success in 2019, re-signing wide receiver Tyrell Williams is a necessity.
Decision time is coming soon for the Chargers.
The NFL’s free-agency signing window officially kicks off March 13, which is the day the 2019 league year begins. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco will have some significant choices to make before, during, and after that date arrives. Notable Bolts players such as linebacker Denzel Perryman, free safety Adrian Philips, and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane are pending unrestricted free agents.
In a perfect world, the Chargers would retain all three players. The likelihood of that happening is slim, so Bolts fans should expect one of those three defenders to leave L.A. But there is one key offensive playmaker Telesco must re-sign for the 2019 season and onward.
That player is wide receiver Tyrell Williams.
Four seasons into his NFL career and the 26-year-old pass catcher has earned his right to return to the Chargers lineup. In 2018, Williams racked up 41 catches for 653 receiving yards and five touchdown grabs. The Oregon-born receiver finished third on the team in receiving yards and fourth in receptions.
Clearly, Williams was not the Chargers top pass catcher this past season. The Western Oregon University alum was the club’s third-best receiver behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. But that does not bring his value to the Chargers down in any way.
If anything, his importance to the team was heightened after his 2018 output. Williams played a key role in the Bolts’ receiving corps this past season, which asserted itself as one of the best pass-catching groups in the NFL. Allen and both Williams’ create a receiving trio that is as reliable and dynamic as any in the league.
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Furthermore, the Salem, Oregon product could rise to the occasion if one of the other two Bolts wideouts could not hit the gridiron. He has already done so in his career.
In 2016, Allen suffered a season-ending ACL injury during the Chargers Week 1 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Williams emerged as quarterback Philip Rivers’ favorite target for the remainder of that season. The wide receiver hauled in 69 catches for 1,059 receiving yards, both of which were team-highs. He also recorded seven touchdown grabs.
Letting Williams leave Southern California would be a blow to the Chargers offense. He provides Rivers with a reliable target in both the intermediate and long-range passing game. Moreover, his potential market value is not absurdly high, according to Spotrac.
As the Bolts’ veteran signal caller gets older, it is important he is provided with as many consistent pass catchers as possible, and Williams gives him one of those options.