Tyrell Williams

Chargers’ Tyrell Williams: I’m A No. 1 WR

Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams is set to hit free agency in March. Based on his own self-evaluation, it sounds like he’ll be looking to make big bucks on the open market. 

I definitely feel like I’m a No. 1 receiver,” Williams said while exiting the Chargers’ facility earlier this month (via Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com). “So I want to make sure that I clean up all of the little things in route running and blocking, to make sure I solidify myself as a No. 1.

Frankly speaking, Williams did not put up WR1 numbers in 2018 – he finished out with 41 catches for 653 yards and five touchdowns. However, he did show serious promise in 2016 when he caught 69 passes for 1,059 yards and seven scores as an NFL sophomore.

The Chargers, meanwhile, are interested in a new deal, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be close on terms.

This past year, his game had already been solid, and he kind of took it to the next level this year,” Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said. “He’s certainly earned his second contract. Those are discussions we have to have, but I just don’t have hard answers at this point in the offseason.”

The WR market at large will dictate Williams’ asking price. In the 2017 offseason, wide receivers like Terrelle Pryor were met with disappointment in free agency. But, last year, players like Sammy Watkins and Paul Richardson found free agent riches. Williams is not expected to approach Watkins’ $16MM AAV, but he could be in line for a solid multi-year payday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers WR Tyrell Williams Signs Tender

Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams signed his restricted tender on Monday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). As of this writing, there are now only two restricted free agents who have yet to sign their tenders: Falcons cornerback Ricardo Allen and Chiefs defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

The Chargers will return Williams to a WR group that also includes Keenan AllenTravis Benjamin, and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams. Per the terms of the second-round tender, T. Williams will earn $2.914MM in 2018.

Williams, 26, caught 69 passes for a team-leading 1,059 yards in a breakout 2016 campaign. He came back to earth somewhat in 2017 with 43 grabs for 728 yards and four scores, but remains a dangerous receiving threat.

With four quality receivers under contract, the Chargers theoretically could deal from their surplus in advance of this weekend’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Use 2nd-Round Tender On Tyrell Williams

Having risen from UDFA to key Philip Rivers target over the past two years, Tyrell Williams could be in position to command a lucrative contract a year from now.

But for now, the Chargers will protect him from the market. Los Angeles will place a second-round tender on Williams, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter), but it doesn’t sound like the Bolts are averse to dealing him.

The Chargers have Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams in the fold. As Williams enters a contract year, that could make him an odd man out as Dontrelle Inman was a year ago. Schefter reports Williams has drawn trade interest. Were he to play 2018 on the tender, Williams would earn $2.914MM.

Williams, 26, caught 69 passes for 1,059 yards in a breakout 2016 campaign. That led the Bolts. With Allen back in the fold as Rivers’ top target last season, Williams hauled in 43 passes for 728 yards. He’s scored 11 touchdowns the past two years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/21/15

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Bryce Brown‘s rocky season continued when the Seahawks waived the now-well-traveled running back and brought up linebacker Eric Pinkins to take his place on the roster, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports. Pinkins, a 2014 sixth-round pick who was recently cut and re-signed to Seattle’s practice squad this year, will take the place of injured Bruce Irvin at strongside linebacker Sunday, per Condotta. Also jettisoned from the Bills earlier this year, Brown didn’t play in the two games for which he was on the Seahawks’ roster. The 24-year-old hasn’t played in a game this season.
  • Tyrell Williams will ascend from the Chargers‘ practice squad to their 53-man roster, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter). A 6-foot-4 rookie, Williams made the team out of training camp and played in one game thus far this season. The Chargers cut tight end Sean McGrath to clear the roster spot.
  • The Jets signed defensive end Mike Catapano off their practice squad and cut safety Ronald Martin, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily news tweets. Mehta notes (via Twitter) the team bringing up Catapano, who played in 15 games with the Chiefs in 2013, points toward Sheldon Richardson missing Sunday’s game with a hamstring malady.
  • The Texans promoted Akeem Hunt to their active roster, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The rookie who owns a 4.37 40-yard dash clocking had stints with the Giants and Ravens prior to latching on with the Texans. Houston cut third-year defensive end Kourtnei Brown to make room for Hunt, Wilson tweets.
  • The Buccaneers have promoted linebacker Josh Keyes to their active roster in advance of Sunday’s game against the Eagles, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.

Chargers’ Keenan Allen Out For Season

12:55pm: Allen will be placed on injured reserve and will officially be sidelined for the season, reports Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter links). Allen, who has a lacerated kidney, underwent a procedure on Monday to stop the bleeding, but is expected to eventually make a full recovery.

TUESDAY, 12:15pm: Allen has undergone a non-surgical kidney procedure and may be sidelined for the rest of the season, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The wideout’s exact recovery timetable is still unknown, but if the club decides to place him on IR, Tyrell Williams or Javontee Herndon could get a promotion from the practice squad, tweets Eric Williams of ESPN.com.

MONDAY, 5:38pm: Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen will be out for “some time” with a kidney issue, coach Mike McCoy told reporters (via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego). Allen suffered a kidney injury Sunday when he landed hard after a receiving touchdown against the Ravens.

Allen, 23, recorded 67 passes for 725 receiving yards and four touchdowns through the team’s first eight games. While Allen was inconsistent in 2014, he was well on his way to meeting and exceeding his level of play in 2013. In that breakout rookie campaign, Allen recorded 71 catches for 1,046 yards with eight scores.

It’s not clear exactly how long the Chargers will be without Allen, but they do have the option of going out-of-house for help if they want to make a trade before the deadline. If the Bolts stand pat, they can promote either Javontee Herndon or Tyrell Williams from the practice squad to help replenish their depth. Antonio Gates is also likely to see an uptick in targets while Allen is sidelined.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/21/15

Here are today’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL..

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: RB Paul Lasike (Twitter link via Brad Biggs)
  • Cut: RB Bronson Hill

Philadelphia Eagles

San Diego Chargers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/15

Here are the latest minor moves from across the NFL:

  • The Patriots released wide receiver Jonathan Krause, who was on injured reserve, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Krause went undrafted out of Vanderbilt and has spent time with both the Cleveland and New England organizations.
  • The Eagles reached an injury settlement with defensive end Brian Mihalik, per Wilson (Twitter link). Mihalik, formerly of Boston College, was a seventh-round pick of the Eagles in this year’s draft.
  • The Raiders signed safety Tevin McDonald from their practice squad, according to their website. McDonald is an undrafted rookie from Eastern Washington.
  • Washington cut defensive end Frank Kearse and signed linebacker Terrance Plummer from its practice squad, per Mike Jones of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Kearse amassed career highs in games (15), tackles (12) and sacks (three) as a member of Washington’s defense in 2014. He appeared in 16 games from 2011-13 with the Panthers and Cowboys. Plummer is an undrafted rookie from Central Florida.
  • The Bears cut defensive back Demontre Hurst and promoted defensive lineman Brandon Dunn from their practice squad, according to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson (Twitter link). Hurst totaled 39 tackles and an interception as an undrafted rookie last year, and added a tackle in the Bears’ loss to Green Bay last week. Dunn, also in his second year, spent most of last season on the Bears’ practice squad. He appeared in three games and made one tackle.

Earlier updates:

  • In order to make room for Phillips, San Diego cut wide receiver Tyrell Williams, per Gehlken (on Twitter). Williams, who will traverse the waivers process, had a standout preseason as a rookie. This cut leaves the Chargers thinner at receiver. Gehlken estimates only four dressing Sunday, with Dontrelle Inman residing as the Bolts’ only backup.
  • The Chargers added Adrian Phillips from their practice squad, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Michael Gehlken (on Twitter). They will make a corresponding move later today, per Gehlken. An undrafted rookie safety in 2014, Phillips suited up for three games last year for the Chargers.
  • The Jaguars moved cornerback Peyton Thompson to their active roster and cut wideout Bryan Walters to make room, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports (on Twitter). A fourth-year veteran, Thompson played two games for the Jags last season after spending 2012 in Atlanta and 2013 with Washington. Walters, 28, played one game in Jacksonville last season while playing the previous two with the Seahawks. He booked a start for the 2013 Super Bowl champion Seahawks after starting his career in San Diego two years prior.
  • The Panthers also swapped out a wide receiver for another position in cutting Damiere Byrd, an undrafted rookie from South Carolina, from their practice squad to make room for offensive tackle Pierce Burton on their 10-man unit, David Newton of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). The Falcons released Burton from their practice squad last week.
  • Rookie UDFA wide receiver Javess Blue received an injury settlement from the Packers, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Due to the settlement, Blue cannot re-sign with Green Bay for at least six weeks.
  • The Vikings reached an injury settlement with 2015 sixth-round offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson, per Wilson (on Twitter). The 23-year-old from Oklahoma took first-team reps with the Vikings at right guard this summer before the team moved tackle Mike Harris inside, where he starts now.

Chargers Agree To Terms With 21 UDFAs

The Chargers have agreed to terms with 21 undrafted free agents. The list comes courtesy of Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter):

  • Ikechi “Chi Chi” Araguzo, ILB, Northwestern
  • Manuel “Manny” Asprilla, CB, Boston College
  • Ben Beckwith, OG, Mississippi State
  • Cameron Botticelli, DE, Minnesota
  • Tyreek Burwell, OT, Cincinnati
  • Cameron Clemmons, OT, Western Kentucky
  • Titus Davis, WR, Central Michigan
  • Nick Dzubnar, ILB, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
  • Jahwan Edwards, RB, Ball State
  • Eric Frohnapfel, TE, Marshall
  • Curtis Grant, ILB, Ohio State
  • Brock Hekking, OLB, Nevada
  • Gordon Hill, S, Sacred Heart
  • Josh Lambo, K, Texas A&M ($5k bonus, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Johnny Lowdermilk, S, Iowa
  • Ryan Mueller, OLB, Kansas State
  • Brian Parker, TE, Albany ($7k bonus, per Wilson)
  • Dreamius Smith, RB, West Virginia
  • Cole Stoudt, QB, Clemson ($2k bonus, per Wilson)
  • Tyrell Williams, WR, Western Oregon
  • Demetrious Wilson, WR, Arkansas

Draft Notes: Strong, Peters, Beasley, Fowler

Teams are in full swing in preparing for the 2015 NFL Draft, meeting with prospects and hosting workouts to fill out final draft boards. Here we will keep up with which prospects are garnering interest in a jam-packed notes post, with any updates added to the top:

  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that Louisville tackle Jamon Brown will visit the Broncos, Lions, and Washington, and has private workouts scheduled with the Bengals and Bills.
  • Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams have visited with LSU tackle La’el Collins and Louisville WR DeVante Parker (Twitter links). In a separate piece, Thomas offers a little more detail on Parker and provides a complete list of all the pre-draft visits that the Rams have hosted.
  • Kevin White visited with the Giants today, tweets Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. Raanan adds that the team is doing its due diligence just in case the wideout should fall to New York, which holds the No. 9 overall pick.

Earlier Updates

  • Jaelen Strong definitely has a wrist injury, but he contradicts the report that he will need surgery, according to Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter).
  • In addition to Strong, Todd Gurley, Cedric Ogbuehi, and Tevin Coleman will be having Combine rechecks this weekend, writes Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • The Seahawks will meet with University of Louisiana at Lafayette defensive tackle Christian Ringo, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). The team will also host Michigan defensive end Frank Clark (via Twitter). Clark had recently visited the Saints in New Orleans.
  • In addition to Kendricks, the Falcons will work out UCLA defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, according to Chase Goodread of NFL.com (via Twitter).
  • Western Oregon wide receiver Tyrell Williams will visit the Chargers on Monday, reports Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The Division II star has already met with the Patriots, Lions, and Cardinals.
  • Minnesota defensive tackle Cam Botticelli has a number of team’s interested in his services, writes Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter). The Texans, Eagles, Lions, Seahawks, and Buccaneers have looked into him.
  • University of Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux worked out for the Bengals at their local prospect day, according to the Associated Press in USA Today. Legaux will also have the opportunity to work out for the Saints later this week.
  • The Saints will also host Tulane running back Dante Butler at their local prospect day on Friday, reports Tammy Nunez of NOLA.com.
  • Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong has a fractured bone in his wrist, which should require surgery, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). He will be among players that will get combine rechecks this weekend, and the injury could affect his draft stock (via Twitter).
  • Potential first-round cornerback Marcus Peters met with the 49ers yesterday and the Falcons today, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). Peters will visit with the Raiders tomorrow.
  • Pass rusher Vic Beasley has met or will meet with at least six teams drafting in the top ten, writes Rapoport (via Twitter). He will meet with the Titans today, and visit the Jets and Washington sometime next week.
  • Florida pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. will visit with Washington as well, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post. The visit might be for naught, as most believe Fowler is going to land in Jacksonville on draft day. The Jaguars select third overall.
  • Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat visited with the Broncos, who are need of help along the offensive line after losing Orlando Franklin in free agency, writes Mike Klis of the Denver Post. Peat might not last that long, but could provide immediate impact for a team trying to return to the Super Bowl.
  • Cardinals running backs coach Stump Mitchell attended Tevin Coleman’s workout at Indiana, writes Josh Weinfuss of ESPN (via Twitter). The Lions already had Coleman in for a workout earlier in the process, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). Tony Paulie of DraftInsider.net adds that the Cowboys and Patriots have expressed interest in the Indiana tailback (via Twitter).
  • The Rams have scheduled a workout with Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty in Waco, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com (via Twitter). Brandt notes the team has indicated that it will select a quarterback at some point in the draft.
  • The Lions also hosted Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett for a visit, the sixth receiver the team has brought in according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.
  • The 49ers have expressed interest in a number of LSU players, including linebacker Kwon Alexander, running back Terrence Magee, and cornerback Jalen Collins, writes Eric Branch of SFGate.com.
  • Ohio State speedster Devin Smith told SiruiusXM NFL Radio he had a visit with the 49ers, saying he got a “really good vibe from the coaches and staff,” and that the visit “went really well,” (via Twitter).
  • UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks met with Saints’ assistant coaches Joe Vitt and Rob Ryan during his visit with the team earlier this week, writes Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com.
  • Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks worked out for the Bengals at their local prospect day, and could be a player the team keeps an eye on in the middle rounds of the draft, writes Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
  • Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. has visited with the Patriots, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 (via Twitter). Edwards will visit with the Texans and Seahawks as well, although Garafolo believes Seattle will need to trade up from No. 63 to draft him.
  • Old Dominion basketball player Richard Ross has drawn interest from NFL teams who believe he could be next in line of basketball players making the transition to tight end. The Vikings are among the teams interested in Ross, sending tight ends coach Kevin Stefanski to the school for a private workout, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.
  • The Browns have conducted a private workout for quarterback Garrett Grayson at Colorado State, a source tells Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Assuming they don’t trade up in the draft, the Browns figure to miss out on at least the top two QBs in this draft class, meaning a player like Grayson probably represents a more realistic target.
  • Washington State wide receiver Vince Mayle has visited the 49ers, Chargers, Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Seahawks, and Washington, and is on his way to visit the Colts today, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter links).
  • South Florida cornerback Chris Dunkley has visits lined up with a number of NFL teams, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Dunkley says by the end of the process he will have met with the 49ers, Chargers, Falcons, Dolphins, Patriots, Bills, Lions, and Ravens.
  • Coastal Carolina interior offensive lineman Chad Hamilton will work out privately for the Falcons on Thursday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Hamilton previously had a private workout for the Texans.
  • Wilson also reported that Western Kentucky tight end Mitchell Henry met with the Chargers for a private workout. Mitchell will meet with an NFC team this week. Additionally, Wilson reports that Marshall cornerback Darryl Roberts has had workouts for the Colts, Eagles, Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers.
  • University of Washington pass rusher Andrew Hudson met with the Browns, Buccaneers, and Washington this week, as part of his pre-draft visits, writes Brett Tessler of Tessler Sports (via Twitter).
  • Utah guard Junior Salt, BYU wide receiver Jordan Leslie, and San Diego State University linebacker Derek Largent are among the players the Dolphins are targeting as late-round picks or priority free agents, reports Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).

Rob DiRe and Rory Parks contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Edwards, Wilson, Saints, Vikes

The Cowboys and Bears are among the teams to host Florida State defensive lineman Mario Edwards for a visit, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. The timeline on Edwards’ visit to Dallas isn’t clear, but his trip to Chicago happened last week, tweets Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.

As Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com details in a column today, Edwards is a prospect worth keeping an eye on — while most mock drafts don’t include him in the first round, he’s generating plenty of buzz among talent evaluators around the NFL. One tells La Canfora that “in this [not overly talented] draft, he’s definitely a first-rounder for me.”

Here are a few more items from around the NFC:

  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk takes a closer look at Russell Wilson‘s contract situation, forecasting how things might play out if Wilson and the Seahawks don’t reach a long-term contract agreement this year. As Florio outlines, the Seattle signal-caller could still do very well for himself if the team were to use the franchise tag multiple times to keep him under contract.
  • Washington cornerback Marcus Peters, UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks, and Washington State defensive tackle Xavier Cooper are all visiting New Orleans today, as the Saints consider defensive options, a source tells Nick Underhill of The Advocate (Twitter link).
  • The Vikings have “clear interest” in North Dakota edge defender Kyle Emanuel, having observed him at his Pro Day and then later working him out privately, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • The Lions are hosting a Division II prospect, Western Oregon wide receiver Tyrell Williams, on a pre-draft visit today, writes Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.
  • Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday will pay a visit to Washington this week to meet with GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Jay Gruden, a source confirms to Mike Jones of the Washington Post.