Mike Williams' next team after Chargers release is painfully obvious

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Needing to become cap-compliant by Wednesday's 1 p.m. PDT deadline, the LA Chargers made the not-so-surprising decision to release Mike Williams and save $20 million in cap space in the process. While the move was not surprising, it was still a sad move for the fanbase as Williams developed into a fan favorite on the team.

Just because he was released does not mean his Chargers' tenure is completely over as the Bolts reportedly have some interest in bringing him back on a cheaper deal. However, with several teams having cap space and needing wide receiver help, the chances of the Bolts getting a hometown discount on Williams are slim to none.

There are several potential landing spots that make sense for Williams but there is one destination that stands out above the rest. While anything can happen in NFL free agency, it is pretty easy to pinpoint where Williams will end up in 2024.

Bears are the perfect destination for Mike Williams after Chargers release

The Chicago Bears may not be a marquee Super Bowl contender but this also isn't the NBA where free agents are signing with the best teams just to chase rings. There are multiple compelling factors working in the Bears' favor that should lead Williams right to Soldier Field.

First is the most simple: need. Chicago is thin at the wide receiver position and as the post above alludes to, needs that big-bodied X receiver. Williams is essentially a much better version of Chase Claypool, who didn't work out at all in Chicago.

Whether the team takes Caleb Williams (the most likely outcome) or keeps Justin Fields, Chicago could really use a veteran wide receiver to aid in a young quarterback's development. Having a field stretcher that can "bail out" some bad throws from a young quarterback with his contested-catch ability would be huge for the Bears.

There are also direct ties between Williams and the Bears as former Chargers wide receivers coach Chris Beatty is now in Chicago. Connections like these are what drive moves in the NFL; just look at Austin Ekeler signing with the Washington Commanders to reunite with Anthony Lynn.

And most importantly: the Bears have money. As it stands right now, the Bears have $44.3 million in effective cap space, per Over The Cap. Williams is not going to warrant a massive payday but the Bears can still outbid any other interested teams.

The only other team that has $40 million+ in effective cap space that makes sense for Williams is the New England Patriots, who were rumored to be a potential trade destination. But with New England being tied up in the Calvin Ridley situation, the path is paved for Williams to head to Chicago.