Potential LA Chargers’ surprise cut: Mike Williams
My expectation is that the Chargers will let wide receiver Mike Williams play out the 2021 season on his fifth-year option. That’s effectively a one year deal that would pay him $15.6 million. His cap hit would be that exact number too, barring a contract extension or restructuring.
It would be a surprising move for the Chargers to rescind the fifth-year option entirely, but it is an option. Because Williams was in one of the last draft classes prior to the reworked CBA, the Chargers could decide to move on from him with basically no financial repercussions.
While fans might be disappointed with Williams’ 2020 production at receiver, that does come with a bit of a catch. Williams had to basically work with a rookie quarterback from Week 2 onwards. With Justin Herbert still gathering his footing, it’s clear that his safety blankets were Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry as opposed to Williams.
We must also remember that Herbert didn’t have a whole lot of time to get familiar with his first team prior to the season. He developed chemistry with Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton before the season, which sort of left Williams out of the picture in some games.
Williams did also develop a more intermediate game. Fans will look at the stat sheet and say he had about 250 fewer yards, but he had just one fewer reception than in 2019. Volume wasn’t really an issue for him this season.
The 2020 season or a perceived lack of production aren’t reasons why I think Williams is a a potential cut candidate. It’s a matter of the future. Teams rarely let former first-round picks play their fifth-year options out without having an extension, trade, or cut in mind. A $15 million cap hit could also prove detrimental if the Chargers are looking to spend big in free agency.
It would be a bold move for Telesco to do it, but it’s worth pointing out that he has the option on the table.