NFL 2024 Free Agency: Mike Williams set to visit Panthers amid rumored links with Jets

Amid a flurry of changes, the Los Angeles Chargers made a significant move by bidding farewell to head coach Brandon Staley. His departure saw the arrival of Jim Harbaugh from Michigan as his replacement. Additionally, Joe Hortiz stepped in as the new general manager, tasked with reshaping the team’s culture following a disappointing 5-12 season.

Meanwhile, the Chargers have also bid farewell to veteran wide receiver Mike Williams. Reports indicate that Williams is now attracting interest from both the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets.

Mike Williams linked with Jets and Panthers

As a free agent, Mike Williams is set to explore his options as he embarks on visits to potential suitors. According to reports, the receiver will meet with the Panthers on Tuesday and the Jets on Monday. This signals a significant opportunity for both teams to bolster their rosters with a talented player like Williams, provided he can maintain his health.

The Carolina Panthers are seeking to rebound from a challenging season, having finished with a league-worst 2-15 record. Similarly, the New York Jets faced struggles in Aaron Rodgers’s debut season, ending with a 7-10 record. Both teams could greatly benefit from the addition of a player of Williams’s caliber.

Interestingly, the Jets had expressed strong interest in pursuing Williams during the 2022 offseason if he entered free agency. However, he opted to sign a three-year extension with the Chargers at that time.

Over the past two seasons, injuries have plagued his time with the Chargers, causing him to miss a sizable number of games. Consequently, his high salary cap hit became untenable for the Chargers, leading to his release earlier this week. This move saves the Chargers $20 million on their salary cap.

For Williams, this marks the first time in his career that he enters free agency as an unrestricted free agent. He spent his entire seven-year career with the Chargers since being drafted seventh overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. During his time with the Chargers, the 29-year-old emerged as a key contributor, often serving as the team’s secondary receiver alongside Keenan Allen.

With the release, Williams also now has the opportunity to explore new opportunities and potentially make a fresh start with a new team.

Mike Williams 2023 NFL season in numbers

Injuries have been a recurring challenge for Mike Williams throughout his NFL career, and unfortunately, they once again plagued his 2023 season. A devastating ACL tear cut short his campaign after just three games, during which he managed to tally 19 receptions for 249 yards and a touchdown.

This wasn’t the first time Williams faced adversity due to injuries. In the 2022 season, he missed four regular-season games as well as the Chargers’ playoff matchup due to injury concerns. Over his seven-year tenure with the Los Angeles Chargers, Williams has only completed a full season once.

Nevertheless, the former first-round pick has showcased his talent and explosiveness on numerous occasions. He achieved 1,000-yard seasons in both 2019 and 2022, with a remarkable league-leading average of 20.4 yards per catch in 2019. Since 2018, he has led the NFL with an impressive 15.8 yards per reception, per

His breakout season came in 2021, when he recorded 76 receptions for 1,046 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games. Over the span of seven seasons with the Chargers, the receiver has been a consistent contributor, amassing 309 receptions for 4,806 yards and 31 touchdowns. 

With the NFL always on the lookout for players who can provide a spark on offense, Mike Williams is expected to draw interest in the free-agent market.

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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