Los Angeles Chargers won't let WR Mike Williams walk in free agency

Los Angeles Chargers' Mike Williams (81) makes a catch against Cincinnati Bengals' Darius Phillips (23) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
Tyler Dragon
USA TODAY Sports+

The Los Angeles Chargers “aren’t going to let Mike Williams go,” according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

If both sides don’t agree on a long-term extension, the Chargers are prepared to franchise tag the wide receiver.

However, there is mutual interest for an extension to be  agreed upon. 

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The 2022 franchise tag tender for wide receivers is estimated at $19 million, per Over The Cap. The Chargers have over $56 million in salary-cap space and are expected to be aggressive in free agency.

The 6-foot-4 wide receiver is an impending unrestricted free agent. Williams, who was drafted seventh overall in 2017, played last season under the fifth-year option.

In his fifth year, Williams set personal bests in receptions (76) and receiving yards (1,146). He also produced nine touchdowns in 2021.

Williams has compiled 227 catches, 3,662 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns during his career with the Chargers.  

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The Clemson product said during his end-of-the-year press conference he doesn’t like change and prefers to remain with the Chargers.

It now looks like he won’t have to change his address, at least for another year and possibly more.

“I feel like I have built some lifelong friendships here with the guys in this organization, on and off of the field,” Williams said in January. “I like the organization, I like the people that I come to work with every day.

"Hopefully, things work out on both ends.”

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