LA Chargers: Guaranteeing Mike Williams’ 5th year was the right decision

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(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The fifth-year option gives the LA Chargers the most… options

All possibilities are open to the Chargers by picking up Williams’ 5th year. They can sign him to an extension in 2021, let him play out the season, move on from him next year, sign him to an extension next year, etc.

Simply put, I’m not ready to give up on the long-term of Williams’ future. If the Chargers had cut Williams this offseason, plenty of NFL teams would’ve pounced at the opportunity to grab a 6’4″ jump ball receiver that’s only 26 with his intangibles. Based on his spending binge, Bill Belichick would’ve probably offered him $15 million in AAV.

The potential of Williams having a true breakout season is still there. We saw it in the 2019 season when he put up one of the highest yards per reception averages in the modern NFL on his way to 1,000 yards. To completely give up on that at this juncture would be foolish in my opinion.

Williams is often labeled as injury prone too, but he’s played 30 out of the last 32 regular-season games. One of the things he has to learn is finding better ways to land after the catch, but that’s still teachable. With a brand new coaching staff, I can’t write off the idea that there may be a significant improvement in a few key areas for him.

The point is that if Williams was cut, the Chargers would’ve been burning all bridges with him to the point of no return. Why do that when you’re currently top five in the league in cap space and can afford to see the process play out? If the Chargers were in the Saints’ or Eagles’ position, I’d understand.

It inherently benefits them to let Williams play next year and then go from there.