Tyrell Williams

Lions Waive WR Tyrell Williams

Tyrell Williams is no longer with the Lions. After placing the veteran wide receiver on IR in September, the Lions waived him via injury settlement.

Injuries have thrown Williams’ career off course. This most recent health setback limited Williams to one game with the Lions, who had signed him to a one-year, $4MM deal just before free agency. Williams, 29, will be eligible to to play for another team going forward this season, but he has not been a particularly reliable player since 2019.

Reuniting with former Chargers HC Anthony Lynn, Williams was on track to be the Lions’ No. 1 receiver during their rebuilding season. But a concussion sustained in Week 1 sidelined him. The Lions had signed both Williams and Breshad Perriman to effectively serve as placeholders this season, but both are now off the roster.

This marks the second time this year a team has cut Williams. The Raiders jettisoned the former UDFA in February, with that move coming after he missed the entire 2020 season because of a shoulder injury. Back in 2016, with Keenan Allen missing most of that season, Williams eclipsed 1,000 yards in his first Chargers full season. He became a role player going forward with the Bolts, and the Raiders used him in a similar capacity in 2019. In 14 games with Oakland that year, Williams caught 42 passes for 651 yards and six touchdowns.

Lions Place Tyrell Williams On IR

The Lions have placed wide receiver Tyrell Williams on the injured reserve list, per a club announcement. His roster spot will be filled by linebacker Josh Woods, who has been signed from the Bears’ practice squad. 

Williams has been in concussion protocol ever since Week 1, when he absorbed a hard tackle from 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt. Doctors held Williams out of last week’s game against the Lions and he’ll continue to sit out for several more games. At minimum, Williams will miss this week’s game against the Ravens, next week’s tilt against the Bears, and the Week 5 game against the Vikings.

Williams reunited with Anthony Lynn this year, agreeing to a one-year deal that could be worth as much as $6.2MM. The Lions were hoping to have a healthy Williams front and center in their offense with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones out of the picture. Instead, the 29-year-old will have to spend the early part of the season focusing on his health. In his lone Lions game, Williams notched two grabs for 14 yards.

His most productive season to date came under Mike McCoy — a 1,000-yard 2016 slate — but he remained an auxiliary Chargers cog under Lynn from 2017-18. Still, Williams totaled more than 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns between those seasons.

Lions, WR Tyrell Williams Agree To Deal

Tyrell Williams will link up with Anthony Lynn in Detroit. The former Chargers and Raiders wide receiver agreed to terms with the Lions on a one-year deal Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The recent Raiders cap casualty can earn up to $6.2MM on his new deal with the Lions. Williams played under Lynn for two seasons in Los Angeles. Lynn is now Detroit’s offensive coordinator.

This move stands to help the rebuilding Lions at a key need area. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are free agents. So is Danny Amendola. While Golladay has surfaced as a franchise tag candidate, Jones is expected to depart to join a playoff contender. Despite missing all last season due to injury, Williams did not linger in free agency long.

The Raiders gave Williams a four-year, $44MM deal in 2019, but only $10MM of that pact was guaranteed. Still, the Raiders guaranteed Williams’ 2020 salary last year but saw that move go bust when the veteran suffered a shoulder injury over the summer. Williams, 29, only recently returned to full health.

Williams’ most productive season came under Mike McCoy — a 1,000-yard 2016 slate — but he remained an auxiliary Chargers cog under Lynn from 2017-18. Williams totaled more than 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns between those seasons and figures to be able to quickly assimilate into Lynn’s Jared Goff-piloted offense.

Raiders Release Tyrell Williams

Tyrell Williams spent the 2020 season on the Raiders’ IR list. The parties will part ways ahead of the 2021 slate. The Raiders plan to release the veteran wide receiver at the start of the 2021 league year in March, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

With a Williams release saving the Raiders more than $10MM in cap space, this has long been the expected course of action for a team that further revamped its wide receiver group last year. This move will create $11.6MM in additional funds for the Raiders, who had already paid out Williams’ guarantees.

The Raiders signed Williams in 2019. While that deal only contained a season’s worth of guarantees, the Raiders kept Williams around last year. But a torn shoulder labrum ended his season before it started.

Williams’ Raiders fit was off from the start. The team planned on having the ex-Charger as its No. 2 wideout in 2019, having traded for Antonio Brown. When the latter proved to be a monumental distraction ahead of his release, Williams was asked to be a go-to target. In 2020, Las Vegas drafted Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards — both of whom figure to feature heavily in the Silver and Black’s 2021 passing attack. Nelson Agholor, a fellow 2020 arrival, is a free agent.

Williams caught 42 passes for 651 yards and six touchdowns in 2019 — numbers nearly identical to his 2018 Bolts work — and has a 1,000-yard season (2016) on his resume. The former UDFA is on the verge of returning to full strength, with Pelissero noting that is expected within the next month, and is still south of 30. Williams will turn 29 on Friday.

That said, the longtime AFC West contributor will enter what could well be a buyer’s receiver market. Numerous starters are on track for free agency, and Williams will head to the market after missing a full season. With the cap expected to drop by nearly $20MM, this is a bad combination for the six-year veteran. Former Chargers assistants have dispersed throughout the league, however, and Williams would represent a buy-low option for the likes of Frank Reich (Indianapolis), Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen (Philadelphia) or Anthony Lynn (Detroit). All three teams are in need at wide receiver.

AFC West Notes: Williams, Raiders, Broncos

As cut day approaches, let’s take a look at the latest news coming out of the AFC West:

  • As Hard Knocks viewers observed, Mike Williams suffered a shoulder injury while diving for a pass in practice. While Williams was said to be out “for a while,” Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen noted recently the fourth-year wideout may well return for Week 1. “Mike’s gotta be ready to play,” Steichen said, via the Orange County Register’s Gilbert Manzano (on Twitter). “I think Mike has got that mindset to be ready to play. We look forward to having him on September 13.” A thin Bolts receiver depth chart — beyond WR1 Keenan Allen — increases the importance of Williams returning.
  • Rookie Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette suffered a setback recently. The first-round pick sustained a thumb fracture, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This will require Arnette to wear a soft cast on his injured hand, which he did at one point with the Buckeyes. The Raiders are counting on Arnette to play a key role in their secondary this season.
  • One of Mike Williams‘ ex-Chargers receiver teammates will not play this season. The Raiders placed Tyrell Williams on IR this week, ending his second season with the team. Tyrell Williams suffered a torn shoulder labrum for the second time as a pro, and Jon Gruden said an attempt to play through this malady would have required Williams to wear a movement-restricting harness (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur). With a Williams cut saving the Raiders $11MM-plus next year, he looms as a likely 2021 release.
  • Although Demar Dotson operated as the Buccaneers’ starting right tackle for the past eight seasons, his Broncos signing does not mean he will stay a first-stringer. The current Denver plan is for Elijah Wilkinson to again fill Ja’Wuan James‘ position, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post notes. Dotson would then play a swing role behind Wilkinson and embattled left tackle Garett Bolles. Whether Wilkinson starts in Week 1 or not, the Broncos will enter a seventh straight year with a different right tackle to open a season.

Raiders To Place Tyrell Williams On IR

Tyrell Williams‘ second Raiders season will end before it starts. The team is placing the veteran wide receiver on IR, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This comes a bit after news of Williams sustaining another torn shoulder labrum. Williams was planning to attempt to play through such an injury, as he did in college and with the Chargers on prior occasions, but this IR development may well indicate he will undergo surgery. That will indeed be Williams’ course of action, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Because the Raiders are not carrying Williams onto their regular-season roster, he will not be eligible to return from IR. That would not matter anyway. This surgery is expected to sideline Williams for around six months. Considering the team’s actions at receiver this offseason, it is certainly possible Williams will be elsewhere in 2021.

The Raiders opted to guarantee Williams’ $11MM base salary this season, but the team proceeded to draft Henry Ruggs in Round 1 and Bryan Edwards in Round 3. The latter has worked as a starter in camp, impressing the team ahead of his rookie season. With a Williams 2021 release set to provide $11.6MM in cap room, it is likely the team will opt for such savings in what could well be the biggest salary cap reduction in NFL history.

Last year, the Raiders brought in Williams to play as the No. 2 wideout alongside Antonio Brown. With Brown’s antics driving him out of Oakland before playing a game, more became expected of Williams. However, he recorded only 42 catches for 651 yards while battling injuries to both feet. With the rookies joining Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow in Las Vegas’ passing attack this year, Williams’ role may have been reduced. Instead, he will rehab ahead of his age-29 season in 2021.

West Notes: Williamses, Broncos, Fans

The Chargers suddenly have an issue at wide receiver. Already carrying a thin depth chart beyond Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the Bolts now have just Allen and not much else in the way of proven targets healthy. Williams is battling a shoulder injury, one that Anthony Lynn said will keep the 2017 first-rounder “out for a while,” Daniel Popper of The Athletic tweets. As of Monday, Williams was expected to be ready for the Chargers’ Week 1 game. But Lynn said Tuesday he is not sure that will be the case. The former Clemson standout battled injuries in college and has frequently dealt with setbacks as a pro. But he has mostly been available for the Bolts, having played in 31 regular-season games over the past two seasons. The Chargers may well pursue receiver help via free agency soon.

Here is the latest from the West divisions, moving first to a former Chargers receiver:

  • Tyrell Williams will try to play through some familiar pain this season. The Raiders wideout suffered a torn shoulder labrum, but as of now, the veteran is not envisioning a prolonged absence, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). After a multi-week rest period, Williams will attempt to play despite this ailment. Shoulder issues have become chronic for the ex-Charger. He played four games despite a labrum tear in 2016 and played through this issue in the same right shoulder as a senior at Western Oregon in 2014. But Williams is not a lock to finish the season, with his agent informing NFL reporter Josina Anderson (Twitter link) surgery may be on the table if the shoulder “continues to dislocate.”
  • Only two Broncos defenders remain from the team’s Super Bowl champion unit. Along with Von Miller, linebacker Todd Davis is still with the team. The latter, however, is currently out with a calf injury, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Davis missed most of the Broncos’ 2019 training camp with a calf malady. Denver, which just lost rookie linebacker Justin Strnad for the season, did not do much at linebacker this offseason and is again counting on Davis to be a starter.
  • SoFi Stadium will debut next month, but fans will not be permitted to watch those games. The Chargers and Rams will not have fans at home games “until further notice,” the teams announced. The 49ers will take a similar route. No fans will attend their Week 1 game against the Cardinals. With California being one of the most cautious states during the pandemic, this is certainly not unexpected.
  • Possessing one of the NFL’s premier home-field advantages, the Seahawks will not have the luxury of fans creating that edge for them for a while. The team will not have fans in the stands for at least its first three home games. Seattle’s first three home games are scheduled to occur in Week 2 (Patriots), Week 3 (Cowboys) and Week 5 (Vikings). The NFL will not regulate each team’s fan policy, leaving it up to teams and cities to determine stadium capacities this season.

West Rumors: Raiders, Henderson, Broncos

Tyrell Williams dealt with injuries to both of his feet last season, missing time because of it. The maladies took a while to recover from this offseason, but the veteran Raiders wideout believes he has nearly surmounted the nagging problems.

Shoot, it’s been a long offseason with my feet,” Williams said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). “I did two months after the season of just rehab and resting them. It was still taking a long time and I started getting pretty discouraged, but … um, about two months ago, I finally got over the hump and my feet have been feeling good. I still feel it a little bit, but compared to what I had … it’s nothing compared to what I was going through during the season.”

Williams missed two games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot but said his left foot became a discomfort source after he returned. The second-year Raider then dealt with pain in both feet the rest of the way. Williams still averaged 15.5 yards per catch, but the Raiders drafted two wideouts and a gadget player (Lynn Bowden Jr.) in the first three rounds. The Raiders guaranteed Williams’ $11MM base salary earlier this year, but the ex-Charger has no guaranteed money on his deal beyond 2020.

Here is more injury news from the Raiders’ receiving corps and the latest from the rest of the Wests:

  • Las Vegas first-round pick Henry Ruggs suffered an injury helping a friend move last month but is expected to be ready for camp. While the Raiders’ newest speed merchant received stitches, he sustained no muscular damage, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Around six weeks remain until rookies report for camps.
  • The Rams are beginning a new era at running back, having cut five-year starter Todd Gurley. Darrell Henderson will be one of the players vying for the starting job. The second-year back, however, underwent ankle surgery this offseason, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets. This issue may be behind him, with Rodrigue adding that Henderson has already participated in multiple Jared Goff-conducted throwing sessions (Twitter link). Henderson, Malcolm Brown and rookie second-rounder Cam Akers represent the top options in Los Angeles’ backfield.
  • The Broncos‘ backfield has two primary options, but it’s perhaps just as muddled. Given a two-year, $16MM contract, Melvin Gordon is in line to take Phillip Lindsay‘s starting job despite the latter’s back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. New Denver OC Pat Shurmur was said to have pushed for a “bellcow” back like Gordon, but Denver’s new OC denied he did so on Thursday. “I think that (rumor) is a false narrative. I’m all for adding good players at every position. I feel like Phillip Lindsay is an outstanding player who we can hand the ball to, or throw the ball to. The fact that we have two running backs now who can be very explosive with the ball in their hands, whether they throw it or run it, is a good thing,” Shurmur said, via Denver7’s Troy Renck. “You need more than one running back. … The whole ‘pounding the table’ narrative — listen, I’m the new guy here.”
  • While Lindsay showed promise as a pass catcher at Colorado, Gordon has been more productive as a pro in that area. Gordon’s $8MM-AAV deal and Lindsay’s $750K 2020 base salary would point to the former being ticketed for a change-of-pace role. Shurmur, however, said he envisions formations that will feature both Gordon and Lindsay, Renck tweets.

Salary Guaranteed For Raiders’ Tyrell Williams

Today, Tyrell Williams‘ $11MM base salary for the 2020 season became fully guaranteed, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) notes. Before Wednesday, the wide receiver’s salary was guaranteed for injury only, meaning that the Raiders could have cut him without any fiscal penalty. 

After an injury-riddled season, Williams was not a slam dunk to return to the Raiders in 2020. Playing through plantar fasciitis in both feet, Williams didn’t have the sort of breakthrough campaign the Raiders were expecting when they handed him a four-year, $44 million deal last year.

Williams’ 42 grabs for 651 yards and six touchdowns were roughly in line with his previous work, but it wasn’t the sort of production that you’d want out of an $11MM/year player. He did provide glimpses of potential, however. Williams kicked off the year with six catches for 105 yards against the Broncos and later torched the Texans for a seemingly easy 46-yard touchdown – an emphatic statement following a multi-game absence.

The Raiders’ infatuation with Jets receiver and soon-to-be free agent Robby Anderson is well-known, but Williams’ presence could slow their pursuit. Instead, the Raiders could use one of their two first-round picks on a rookie WR, and they’ll have a bevy of top-end talents from which to choose. Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, and Tee Higgins are among the players that headline this year’s crop of receivers and depending on how the early picks shake out, they could all be on the table at No. 12. Even if there’s an unexpected run on receivers early, at least one of those players should be available at No. 19.

For now, Williams and Hunter Renfrow are slotted in as the Raiders’ top targets.

Contract Details: Jackson, Verrett, Roberts, Williams, Paulsen

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • Malik Jackson, DT (Eagles): Five years, $50MM, $17MM guaranteed. $9MM signing bonus, $1MM 2019 salary guaranteed. $7.6MM salary in 2020, $4.6MM of which is guaranteed. Base salaries of $9MM, $10MM, and $11MM in 2021-2023. Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
  • Jason Verrett, CB (49ers): One year, cap charge of $1.5MM. $1.1MM salary of which $600K is guaranteed, plus $400K signing bonus. Verrett “can earn up to $3 million for the season if he is active for all 16 games. It’s $31,250 per game on 53-man roster (up to $500k) and an additional Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 46-man game day roster (up to $1 million)”. Twitter links via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (Jets): Re-signed. Three years, $18MM max value, but essentially only a one year deal according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. There’s $6MM in guaranteed money, with another $2MM of his 2020 salary guaranteed for injury only. $5MM salary in 2020, $6.5MM salary in 2021, and zero dead money in either year if they want to cut him.
  • Tyrell Williams, WR (Raiders): Four years, $44MM. There was originally reported to be $22MM in guaranteed money, but that’s apparently not true. There’s only $10MM in guaranteed money in the contract, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Falcons): Re-signed. Paulsen’s one year deal will have a base salary of $930K. Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.