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Mike Williams on Signing With the Jets: 'This Place Was Everything I Was Looking For'

Chargers’ Former Pass Catcher Looking Forward to Pairing With Garrett Wilson


When Mike Williams began the search for his new team after being released by the Chargers on March 13, he was looking for a running mate similar to Pro Bowl WR Keenan Allen, who he teamed up with in Los Angeles. On his first visit on Tuesday, Williams found his companion in dynamic third-year receiver Garrett Wilson.

"I was looking for a partner and Garrett Wilson was a big-time option," Williams told Jets' Team reporter Ethan Greenberg. "He reminds me of Keenan and how we played together, so that was a big part of it. I think we can really complement each other. I feel like we have a really good opportunity ahead of us playing together."

Williams, a first-round pick (No. 7 overall) by the Chargers in 2017 out of Clemson, played seven seasons with the Bolts. He exceeded 1,000 yards receiving twice – 2019 (49-1,001-2) and 2021 (76-1,146-9) – and led the league in yards per catch in 2019 (20.4). Over that same stretch, Allen recorded 1,000-plus yards five times, and the duo combined for 74 touchdowns.

"They have a very similar styles of play," Williams said about Wilson and Allen. "They are great route runners and have great hands. Obviously with me and Keenan in the past, we are good at different things, and it helped maximize us. I am looking forward to doing that here and I feel like we can be there for each other in a lot of the areas we were."

The Chargers broke up the dynamic pairing after Williams was released in mid-March. A day after his release, Los Angeles traded Allen to the Bears for a fourth-round pick. Last Sunday (March 17), Williams flew from Paris to Los Angeles and then on Monday (March 18) headed to New Jersey to visit with the Jets.

According to a report from ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Williams had multiple other visits scheduled for the rest of the week. But he made up his mind before leaving the Jets' facility on Tuesday afternoon.

"This place was everything I was looking for," Williams said.

What helped convince Williams, in addition to playing with Wilson, was the opportunity to play with four-time MVP QB Aaron Rodgers and RB Breece Hall.

"I felt like the whole place overall was a great fit for me," Williams said. "I wanted to be able to play with Rodgers and pick his brain and learn from him. I feel like we can complement the running game really well, which is also pretty good. The whole team has really great opportunity ahead of it."

In 2023, Williams played in three games (all starts) and recorded 19 receptions for 249 yards and a touchdown before tearing his ACL against the Vikings in Week 3. Four and half months removed from surgery, he told reporters on Wednesday that he expects to be back for Week 1.

"This offense can be elite, but ultimately I need to get healthy," Williams said. "That is the main thing right now. I want to be available for every game possible this year. That is my goal. And if I can do that, I think the sky is the limit for this offense."

Prior to the injury, over the past four seasons, Williams (6-4, 218) had developed a reputation as one of the league's premier jump-ball and deep pass receivers. Since 2018, Williams leads the NFL with 15.8 yards per reception (minimum 250 catches).

In addition, from 2019-22, Williams played in 59 of a possible 65 games (53 starts) and racked up 3,798 yards and 20 touchdowns. If you go back and watch the highlights, every 50-50 ball thrown Williams' way felt much closer to 80-20 or 90-10 in his favor.

"I use my basketball skills when I am playing football," Williams said. "I am pretty good at high pointing the ball and I love to go out there and have fun. I keep the main thing, the main thing and this catching the football, by any means necessary."

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