LA Chargers News

Do the Chargers have a replacement for Tyrell Williams on the roster?

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 11: Dylan Cantrell #14 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders tries to get by Grayland Arnold #4 of the Baylor Bears during the first half of the game between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 11, 2017 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 11: Dylan Cantrell #14 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders tries to get by Grayland Arnold #4 of the Baylor Bears during the first half of the game between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 11, 2017 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
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Tyrell Williams is all but gone in Los Angeles. Could the Chargers find his replacement on their roster?

There’s still a chance Tyrell Williams returns to the Los Angeles Chargers as a high-paid free agent, but considering pressing needs elsewhere, it is highly unlikely he makes a return to the team. To make up for his absence, the Bolts need to consider free agency and the draft. But do they already have a capable player on the roster?

Here are the best (not all) current options for the Chargers at the third receiver position:

  • Artavis Scott: Went on IR in 2018 due to ankle injury, no career receptions.
  • Dylan Cantrell: Missed time in 2018 due to bone bruise, no career receptions.
  • Geremy Davis: 74 offensive snaps but no catches in 2018.
  • Travis Benjamin: 278 offensive snaps,12 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown in 2018.

How do you best replace Tyrell Williams, the six-foot-four receiver out of Western Oregon who put up 41 catches for 653 yards and five touchdowns in 2018? Scott looked fine in preseason action as a receiver, catching eight balls for 82 yards in limited time. Fortunately for Scott, he has some kick-returning ability; unfortunately for him, Desmond King just became one of the best return men in the NFL. Geremy Davis may have an edge in familiarity alone, having been the only receiver of the three more “unknown” talents to actually make an appearance in an NFL regular season game. At his size, Davis can represent more of what the Chargers are losing in Williams.

Cantrell and Benjamin have the most investment from the organization; Cantrell is a sixth-round selection from the 2018 NFL Draft and Benjamin has a $6.5 million cap hit in 2019. Cantrell may have had the most buzz coming out of camp:

Head Coach Anthony Lynn says Dylan Cantrell has improved the most among wide receivers since he arrived in May. #ChargersCamp

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) July 29, 2018

An injury cut his promising start short, and despite making the active roster in December he never saw offensive snaps.

Travis Benjamin caught 12 passes in 2018, but had a higher base salary than players like CB Casey Hayward and C Mike Pouncey in 2018. Something is clearly disproportional there, and although the organization will gladly thank him for his heroic efforts in a win against the Kansas City Chiefs, he should be shown the door.

So where does that leave the team? They have two guys of different sizes who have danced around the roster for a while, one guy who came in as a late pick but got injured, and a veteran who should either be release or asked to take a giant pay cut. If I were to bet on which player takes the next step, it’s Cantrell. Davis would be a close second, but I feel his role would have grown after having spent so much time with the team. Cantrell is an exciting prospect with great athleticism with the most invested in him.

Either way, someone has to make up for 761 lost snaps.

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