Mike Williams contract projection is very doable for the Chargers

New York Giants v Los Angeles Chargers
New York Giants v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

Mike Williams is the biggest free agent that the LA Chargers have this upcoming offseason and he is also the most polarizing free agent to talk about. While being the biggest and arguably the most impactful, he did not even crack our list of top-five free agents that absolutely must be re-signed.

The reason is this: there are other wide receivers on the market that the team can target and the Bolts also have the luxury of the franchise tag. It is easier from a logistics standpoint to replace Williams or simply force him to stay in LA than it is someone like Kyzir White, who really broke out and is a key part in Brandon Staley's defense system.

This entire time I have been pro-Davante Adams but it appears as if the LA Chargers won't get the chance to sign him. The Green Bay Packers could also franchise tag him, and quite frankly, the Chargers may want to save the extra $5-6 million per year on defensive signings considering how bad the defense was.

That makes a franchise tag seem inevitable for Mike Williams. However, Pro Football Focus just released their 2022 free-agent rankings as well as contract projections. And when you really think about it, the projected contract for Williams is absolutely doable for the LA Chargers.

PFF projects Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams to get a four-year, $68 million contract ($38 million guaranteed).

Of course, this is just a projection and Williams could very well get more (or less) than this. As one of the top receiving free agents on the market, there absolutely could be a team like Jacksonville that comes over the top and offers more than his projected worth.

However, if Williams does go for this projected contract then the Chargers might as well sign him for that price. Some might be hesitant because Williams has not been the most consistent. Not only is his overall output from year-to-year inconsistent, but his output in 2021, which was a contract year, was inconsistent at times.

While that seemingly makes a four-year deal a bad thing for the Chargers, the important thing to remember is the guaranteed money. This really is not that high of a guaranteed total and this contract leaves very little risk for the LA Chargers.

The contract can be structured similarly to Kenny Golladay, who signed a four-year, $72 million contract with $40 million guaranteed last offseason. The important thing about Golladay's contract is that the Giants have a potential out after the second season. If they release Golladay, they have a dead cap hit of $6.8 million. For Williams at his price, that dead cap hit might be $5 million.

So there are two routes here. The LA Chargers could have Mike Williams on a cap hit of around $18 million over the next two years with an out after two years that allows the team to remain flexible. Or, they can franchise tag him in 2022, prolonging the issue for one more year and then have to pay him (or someone else, such as Brandin Cooks) the following offseason.

The only way the team wouldn't have to pay someone in 2023 is if Joshua Palmer take a huge step up as a receiver. Keenan Allen is only getting older, after all.

Over The Cap projects the franchise tag for receivers to be worth $19.1 million in 2022. Personally, I would much rather lock up Williams on a four-year deal, pay him less in 2022, have him for at least one more year at full price in 2023 and then if it does not work after that cut ties for a minimal dead cap hit.

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Franchise tagging him only prolongs the issue. Unless the team can sign Davante Adams for a similar price, it makes more sense for the Chargers to simply re-sign Williams.