New England Patriots

Chargers release Mike Williams; Should Patriots sign free agent WR?

The Patriots badly need an upgrade at wide receiver, but is Williams a fit?

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Another veteran wide receiver is expected to hit the NFL's free agent market Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Chargers are releasing Mike Williams today, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The move will save the Chargers enough salary cap space to be cap compliant by the time the new league year starts Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

"They would like to bring him back, that is my understanding, and they want to make sure the price is right," Rapoport said. "But he's going to go out and see what's out there. He's going to test the market and do what free agents do."

Williams is a very talented player and a tough matchup for opposing defensive backs with his 6-foot-4 and 218-pound frame. He has two 1,000-yard seasons and a total of 31 touchdowns on his resume.

The problem with Williams is his durability. He played in just three games last season after tearing his ACL in Week 3. He also missed four games in 2022. The 29-year-old veteran has played in every game in only one (2018) of his seven pro seasons.

Williams is more talented than any wideout on the Patriots' roster. Signing him would significantly upgrade the team's size and skill at that position. But, at least right now, it makes more sense for the Patriots to target someone who is a little more durable.

The Patriots reportedly have made a contract offer to Calvin Ridley -- the top free agent wide receiver available. If Ridley doesn't join the Patriots, they could look at other free agents such as Tyler Boyd, K.J. Osborn, Odell Beckham Jr. and Marquise Brown. Potential trade candidates include Tee Higgins, Brandon Aiyuk and Keenan Allen.

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