Chargers: Dissecting the anti-Mike Williams argument

Los Angeles Chargers v Washington Football Team
Los Angeles Chargers v Washington Football Team / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Perhaps the most polarizing storyline for the LA Chargers this offseason is the future of Mike Williams. The seventh-overall pick is hitting free agency for the first time in his career and fans are split on whether or not the team should bring him back — with a franchise tag or new contract — this offseason.

I have definitely let my opinion of re-signing Williams be known here at Bolt Beat and while at first, it seemed like the Chargers could go another direction at wide receiver, it has become abundantly clear that the Bolts should bring Williams back. Despite my best efforts to outline why, some fans are still anti-Williams.

So today, I decided to break down some of the most popular anti-Williams arguments that I have seen on social media to help outline why those arguments are either far-fetched, not true, or off-base.

Breaking down anti-Mike Williams arguments for the Chargers:

1. Mike Williams is going to be overpaid!

The first objection to Williams is just how much he is going to make in 2022. If the Chargers franchise tag him then he is going to make $18.5 million. If the team signs a new deal he will likely get close to the same value. Our projections see him getting a four-year, $74 million deal ($18.5 million per year). PFF projects Williams to get a four-year, $68 million deal ($17 million). We will meet in the middle at four years, $71 million ($17.75 million per year).

Assuming Chris Godwin and Davante Adams get larger deals, that would give Mike Williams the 10th-highest average salary for a wide receiver. Sure, I am willing to admit that Williams is not the 10th-best receiver in the league, but that is not how this works. Every year the wide receiver market gets reset with higher contracts and with the cap continually going up, Williams will fall down that list.

Five years ago the highest-paid receiver in the league was getting paid $18 million. Adams projects to be the highest-paid receiver this year and is estimated to get a deal worth $25 million a year. That is nearly a 40% growth in five years!

The market will continue to go up at receiver and Williams' cap hit will slide down the list when the likes of Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Ceedee Lamb, Deebo Samuel, Diontae Johnson, Ja'Marr Chase and others get new contracts.