The Facts: Williams has played his whole career for the Chargers and the team moved to re-sign him ahead of the start of free agency in March. He is coming off career highs in catches and receiving yards during the 2021 season, so it doesn’t come as a great surprise to hear QB Justin Herbert calling the move a big plus for the team. “Mike Williams has been huge,” Herbert said, via Jeff Kerr of CBSSports.com. “He’s one of those guys that if you need a conversion on third down — he’s going to be open. As special and as talented as he is as an athlete, he’s an even better teammate. For us to keep him around, I thought that was big for this franchise because he’s such a big part of our offense. Without him, we’re not the same team. It was really good to keep him.”
Diehards Line: Williams caught 76 passes -- eclipsing his previous career-high by 27 -- for 1,146 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. He had a mid-season lull but was also working through a knee issue. Having receiver Keenan Allen on the other side helps as does the presence of a rising star at QB, but Williams set himself up for this hefty payday just before the deadline to apply the franchise tag and before he hit the open market. Bottom line? This is the best possible outcome for Williams, Herbert and the Chargers, who will continue to boast one of the top starting tandems in the NFL, in general. And if Williams continues to build on his impressive 2021 effort -- especially if he can produce at the level he did over the first half of last season over the course of a full campaign, fantasy managers will be big winners as well.