Now viewed as the most intriguing receiver scheduled to hit the open market next week, Williams is expected to be highly-coveted once free agency begins. In addition to the Browns, both the Raiders and Colts are likely to pursue Williams, who could exceed $12MM annually on his next contract.
Williams, 27, first emerged as a legitimate NFL wideout in 2015. With Keenan Allen injured, Williams stepped in as Philip Rivers‘ No. 1 target, hauling in 69 receptions for 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the past two years, Williams’ volume declined as Allen re-entered the lineup and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams began taking snaps, but he’s still remained effective. In 2018, Williams ranked 24th among 84 qualifying receivers in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, meaning he was productive on a per-play basis.
The Browns’ top three receivers in terms of playtime — Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Rashard Higgins — should all return next season, but Cleveland could lose former first-round pick Breshad Perriman to free agency. General manager John Dorsey has held talks with Perriman’s agent, but no deal is considered close.
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