Mike Williams Free Agency Profile: Chargers keep star WR on three-year contract

What type of contract could Mike Williams receive in 2022 free agency if the Los Angeles Chargers elect not to put the franchise tag on him?

The Los Angeles Chargers want to stay in business with standout wide receiver Mike Williams, one of the biggest downfield targets in the game. When looking at his stats from last season, what does Williams’ 2022 free agency outlook like, and what type of contract can we expect him to receive?

Update (3/8/22): Williams is signing a three-year, $60 million contract with $40 million guaranteed including $28 million in 2022 alone, per ESPN.

Mike Williams: Free Agency Overview

Williams, a 6-foot-4, 218-pound former Clemson standout and first-round draft pick, is expected to be assigned a $19.127 million franchise tender by Tuesday afternoon’s NFL deadline with no contract extension imminent, per league sources not authorized to speak publicly.

Williams wants to stay with the Chargers, too. He told Los Angeles reporters at the end of the season he wanted to stay with the Chargers, saying: “I would like to, I don’t like changes. I have lifelong friendships here.”

Although the Chargers intend not to allow Williams to hit free agency, another AFC West rival is looming to make a run at him should he be available.

Recapping Williams’ 2021 season

Williams, 27, caught a career-high 76 passes for 1,146 yards and 9 touchdowns on 129 targets last season, emerging as quarterback Justin Herbert’s go-to guy. With this in mind, the Chargers will do what they must to ensure Williams stays in LA.

Contract estimate and salary cap implications

If he got a new contract, Williams would likely seek a raise on the $15.68 million fifth-year option he played under last season. However, the franchise tender, at least for now, is what’s expected.

Possible landing spots for Williams

The Kansas City Chiefs are among multiple teams with interest in Williams should he become an unrestricted free agent heading into March 16, the official day of the free agency signing period.

The Chiefs envision having another dangerous wide receiver to work in tandem with Tyreek Hill, a speedy six-time Pro Bowl selection. Hill is currently negotiating with Kansas City on an extension expected to pay to him in the neighborhood of $21.25 million annually, if not more, according to sources.

What they’re saying

“We’re big fans of Mike Williams.” — Chargers coach Brandon Staley during the NFL Scouting Combine.

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