Chargers' WR plan proves to be too far-fetched as Mike Williams signs with Jets

Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings
Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

The first move the LA Chargers made to become cap-compliant this offseason was to release veteran wide receiver Mike Williams. By releasing Williams, the Chargers freed up $20 million in cap space and allowed the team to get the ball rolling for the rest of the roster building.

It was initially reported that the Chargers were interested in bringing Williams back at a cheaper price but that seemed extremely far-fetched. Los Angeles didn't have the salary-cap space to bring Williams back at anything other than the league minimum, which obviously was below his price point.

Then the Chargers traded Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears and a massive roster hole opened. Justin Herbert needs wide receiver help with Allen in Chicago and the team has the necessary salary-cap space to bring him back so long that the price is not too high.

Unfortunately, Williams' price ended up being way too high for the Chargers to reasonably bring him back into the fold. Williams' career with the Bolts is now officially over as the New York Jets are signing the Pro Bowler to a one-year, $15 million contract.

Chargers are left scrambling at wide receiver after Mike Williams signs with Jets

The initial hope for the Chargers was that Williams could return on a contract in the $6-8 million range for one year. Los Angeles could have made that work and could have given Justin Herbert at least one familiar weapon to throw to in 2024.

That obviously did not come close to being enough to secure Williams' services for the 2024 season. The former Clemson Tiger did sign a one-year prove-it deal but still secured a pretty penny for doing so. Getting $15 million off a torn ACL is no small feat and nobody can blame Williams for chasing that opportunity.

Now the Chargers are left scrambling. As it stands right now, the Chargers easily have the worst wide receiver room in the league. LA is relying on an inconsistent Joshua Palmer, a first-round rookie dud in Quentin Johnston and a return specialist with limited offensive impact in Derius Davis.

That is literally the entire depth chart of the wide receiver position for the Bolts. Bringing Williams back would have been a huge win. Coupled alongside a first-round wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Bolts could have actually had a better WR room in 2024.

Instead, the Chargers have to go back to the drawing board as the team still needs to add some kind of veteran help at wide receiver. Malik Nabers is not going to be enough to carry this room as a rookie, especially with all of the unknowns that would be behind him on the depth chart.