The Los Angeles Chargers enter the 2021 NFL season with a loaded offense, featuring wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. While the duo gives quarterback Justin Herbert two incredible weapons, it might not be around for much longer.
Williams, the No. 7 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has shown flashes of high-end ability in his career. At 6-foot-4 with incredible talents work along the sideline, he is the perfect complement to Allen. But this could also be Williams’ last season in Los Angeles.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Williams and the Chargers aren’t expected to agree on a contract extension before the regular season. As a result, he will play out the year on a $15.68 million salary and become a free agent in 2022.
There’s very little incentive for either side to sign a long-term deal right now. Williams had a down year in 2020, dealing with injuries and not producing as consistently. If he rebounds this season, he’d be one of the more attractive pass-catching talents in free agency next year.
- Mike Williams stats (2020): 48 receptions, 756 receiving yards, five touchdowns and 56.5% catch rate
As for the Chargers, they likely want to see more before making a multi-year commitment. There are stretches where Williams dominates opposing cornerbacks, displaying the physical ability that made him a top-10 pick a few years ago.
Williams finished with fewer than 30 receiving yards in five games last season. Of his 765 total yards, 51.8% of them came in four games.
It’s in everyone’s best interest if Williams stays healthy and delivers a breakout season. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2019 and if he returns to that form, the Chargers’ offense will be one of the best in the NFL.