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Jets Make Splash, Add Mike Williams — Fantasy Impact

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(FTN Fantasy is reacting to all the big fantasy news of the offseason! Follow along in our transaction tracker.)

The New York Jets finally added a big-time No. 2 receiver Tuesday, signing former Chargers WR Mike Williams to a reported one-year, $15 million deal. Williams heads to the Jets after his release last week from the Los Angeles Chargers.

 

The 29-year-old Williams played only three games in 2023, missing most of the season with a torn ACL. At the time of his injury, he had 249 yards and a touchdown. Prior to that injury, Williams had played at least 13 games in five straight seasons, including 1,000-yard campaigns in 2019 and 2021. With the Jets, he’ll immediately slide in as the WR2 behind Garrett Wilson, giving the Jets their best 1-2 punch at receiver since the days of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

The Jets have been active this postseason, including bringing in multiple offensive linemen (including Tyron Smith and John Simpson) and getting a competent QB2 in Tyrod Taylor. But they had been quiet at the receiver position, with their only move being releasing formerly retired Corey Davis after he applied for reinstatement. Now, that changes, with Williams comfortably the best receiver left on the free agent market. 

His arrival makes him a high-end WR3 with WR2 potential, while Wilson is still locked in as a lower-end WR1. Of course, all of those rankings are hugely dependent on how QB Aaron Rodgers returns from his torn Achilles at age 40. If Rodgers can resemble his MVP self, this Jets offense could easily jump to one of the best in the league.

Williams was heavily rumored to be a candidate for jobs in Carolina and back with the Chargers on a lesser deal before his signing in New York. Now that he’s off the market, the teams will have to turn to the lower names on the market, like Tyler Boyd, Michael Thomas and Michael Gallup, or the draft. There’s no one left on the free agent market with Williams’ upside, though there’s enough work available on those teams (especially Los Angeles) that whoever ends up there will have plenty of opportunity.

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