Commanders must pounce as dream free-agent target becomes available

Could this be an option to consider?
Mike Williams
Mike Williams / Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders need another wide receiver to go alongside Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson. Mike Williams might be that guy.

It's been a busy start to free agency for the Washington Commanders. Adam Peters has scoured the market for good value to fill problem positions. Only two players have been re-signed, which is a damning assessment of those looking for new deals who contributed to another losing campaign under previous head coach Ron Rivera.

And he's not done.

There is still enough money to make some splashes if the right opportunities come along. The Commanders have nine draft picks at their disposal to further strengthen the ranks. It's a good spot to be in, although much will depend on how so many new faces mesh under Dan Quinn and his impressive coaching staff.

One recent release, in particular, should be strongly considered.

Commanders could pursue Mike Williams in free agency

All eyes were on the Los Angeles Chargers before the new league year officially arrived. They had to make sacrifices in pursuit of getting under the salary cap. Many of their high earners were under the microscope. As it turned out, wide receiver Mike Williams was the guy they deemed surplus to requirements.

Williams might be coming off a serious knee injury, but all signs point to a full recovery in time for the 2024 campaign. Providing there are no lingering effects, he immediately becomes the No. 1 wide receiver available after Calvin Ridley caused a stir by signing for the Tennessee Titans.

This is something the Commanders should examine in greater detail. Williams is an elite game-changing presence at the position when fit and firing on all cylinders. He's a matchup nightmare thanks to his unique blend of size, wide catch radius, and explosiveness. At 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, the former No. 7 overall selection out of Clemson offers something different to what Washington already has in its wide receiver room.

Going after Williams was a sentiment echoed by Vincent Frank from Sportsnaut, who highlighted the player's previous relationship with Anthony Lynn as something that could tip the scales in Washington's favor.

"We’ve seen new Commanders general manager Adam Peters put in the work early in NFL free agency. That includes adding multiple starters on the defensive side of the ball for new head coach Dan Quinn. But picking up another starter-caliber receiver to go with Terry McLaurin should certainly be in the cards here. It also doesn’t hurt that new Commanders run-game coordinator Anthony Lynn coached Williams in Southern California."

Vincent Frank, Sportsnaut

Much will depend on the medical checks. Williams is still earning a ton of cash from the Chargers next season, so he could be available for less than the going rate. That said, if a bidding war for the player ensues, the Commanders must stump up the readies to sweeten the pot.

Peters has already brought in one former Chargers star this offseason. Austin Ekeler was a notable arrival to the running back room on a two-year deal. Something else that could assist the Commanders in their quest to land Williams if the new front-office leader feels like it will benefit the franchise.

There's just no telling what a player like Williams could do for a rookie quarterback. The Commanders are still expected to take a signal-caller at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft despite signing Marcus Mariota. Surrounding their chosen signal-caller with dynamic weapons and consistent protection is the best chance they'll have of hitting the ground running.

It's an exceptionally deep draft class, but Williams is on another tier. While it might be unlikely, previous relationships and the Commanders being an attractive destination at long last mean it cannot be dismissed.