Mike Williams’ career that was reignited with the Seahawks in 2010 came to an end when he was unexpectedly cut by the Seattle Seahawks 2 weeks prior to the start of training camp.
Williams was a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 after seeing his career reanimated by getting a 2nd chance with Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks following flops in Detroit and Oakland. But Williams could never develop a connection with new QB Tarvaris Jackson in 2011 and his season was cut short by a broken left ankle. Betting lines
“We would like to thank Mike for his contributions during the last 2 seasons and we wish him all the best in the future,” Seattle GM John Schneider said in an announcement.
When Seattle signed Sidney Rice before the start of the 2011 season, the belief was that Rice and Williams gave the Seahawks 2 of the top significant receivers in football. Williams was coming off a 2010 season when he caught 65 passes for 751 yards and 2 touchdowns and was rewarded with a 3-year extension that paid him $1.75 million in base salary in 2011 and was lined up to pay him $3 million in 2012.
But the link Williams had with Matt Hasselbeck in 2010 never materialized with Jackson. Williams caught just 18 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown in 2011. He never had more than 4 receptions in a game and was closed out four times in the 12 games he played as Rice and rookie Doug Baldwin became the more favored targets for Jackson.
The decision by the Seattle Seahawks to trade for tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr. should have been the last sign that Williams’ time in Seattle was coming to a close. With Winslow and Zach Miller, the Seahawks are likely to use more 2 tight end sets and limit the need for a 2nd taller receiver on the outside.
The releasing of Williams leaves Seattle’s receiver situation in complete flux heading into training camp. Rice is coming off surgeries on both shoulders in the offseason. Baldwin became the 1st undrafted rookie since the fusion to lead his team in receiving with 51 receptions for 788 yards, but was used mostly in the slot and not on the outside. Golden Tate showed flashes late in the 2011 season of the talent that made him a 2nd-round pick in 2010. Tate had 19 of his 35 receptions in the final 5 weeks of the season. Ben Obomanu caught a career-high 37 passes last season, while Seattle still has high hopes for 2011 4th-round pick Kris Durham, who missed most of last season with a shoulder injury.
Williams has played in 56 games with 30 starts, recording 127 receptions for 1,526 yards with 5 touchdowns and a long of 68 in his career.
Although Williams is 28-years old, there’s a fair opportunity that he will catch on with another receiver-needy team in hope of a repeat of his 2010 production.