Panthers To Host Mike Williams, Michael Gallup; Jets To Meet With Ex-Chargers WR

Last year, the Panthers made a number of big moves in order to acquire receiving weapons for their rookie quarterback, Bryce Young, signing wide receivers Adam Thielen and DJ Chark and tight end Hayden Hurst before also drafting Ole Miss wide receiver Jonathan Mingo in the second round.

Carolina continues to strive to build around Young this offseason. After trading for Steelers veteran Diontae Johnson, the team is set to host two more wideouts to add to their corps.

Newly released wide receiver Michael Gallup didn’t have to wait long to hear from interested teams. He’ll head to Carolina this week for a free agent visit, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Cowboys cut ties with Gallup yesterday following his third straight season in which he failed to amass 500 receiving yards. Gallup showed promise over the first three years of his career.

After a rookie season in which he caught 33 balls for 507 yards and two touchdowns, he exploded onto the scene with double the receptions, 1,107 yards, and six touchdowns in a successful sophomore campaign. He followed that up with 843 yards and five touchdowns in the 2020 season before entering his current slump.

Last night, Mike Kaye of The Charlotte Observer informed us that the Panthers would also host former Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams for a visit next Tuesday. Los Angeles released Williams this week in order to clear $20MM of cap space as the team desperately tried to get within salary cap compliance. Williams is coming off a year in which he missed 14 games due to a torn ACL. He’s still 29 years old, though, and is only two years removed from a year in which he had career highs in receptions (76), receiving yards (1,146), and touchdowns (9).

Carolina isn’t the only scheduled visit for Williams. Per Sheena Quick of FOX Sports, the veteran wideout will visit the Jets the day before heading to Carolina.

New York has used the free agency period so far to completely rebuild their offensive line and secure a more reliable backup quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers. Now the team will need to focus on adding to a wide receiving corps that saw only Garrett Wilson surpass running back Breece Hall in receiving yards in 2023. The Jets did reportedly consider trading for Williams’ former teammate, Keenan Allen, but the veteran ultimately found himself in Chicago. Barring any other additions, Williams would be joining Wilson, Allen Lazard, and Xavier Gipson in New York.

In Carolina, Gallup and Williams both represent decent fits for a room with two experienced wideouts already in place. A top-three group of Thielen, Johnson, and Mingo seems like it’d be an adequate corps to roll into the 2024 season with, but adding Gallup or Williams doesn’t necessarily make it a crowded room. Williams is clearly the bigger get of the two and would challenge Thielen or Johnson for a WR1 or WR2 role, but he has plenty of experience sharing the spotlight during his several years with Allen in California. Gallup, too, has worked in crowded rooms before, and would fit more squarely as a WR3 or WR4, allowing Thielen and Johnson to comfortably take the lead.

The Panthers will have a chance to sell a fit to both receivers in the coming week. Despite a league-worst 2-15 record last year, Carolina has made it clear that their strategy from the last offseason hasn’t changed. They intend to build their offense around Young, and they’ll look to bring in Williams or Gallup to assist with that.

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