The Seattle Seahawks released wide receiver Mike Williams yesterday, just over one season removed from Williams making a claim to a possible NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. The 2010 season saw Williams catch 65 passes for 751 yards and 2 touchdowns in 14 games, but Williams could not reproduce that same success in 2011 with Seattle, playing in 12 games while catching just 18 balls for 236 yards and 1 touchdown.
But is Williams to blame for his drop in production?
In his huge comeback season in 2010, after having not even been in the league since 2007, Williams was the beneficiary of having Matt Hasselbeck as his quarterback throwing him passes. While Hasselbeck is not an elite quarterback in the league by any means, he is still a considerable upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson, who was Seattle’s main quarterback last season.
In releasing Williams, the Seahawks’ receiving corps is left a bit unsettled, to say the least. Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin return as the team’s top two wide receivers, but Rice has struggled to remain healthy. Baldwin was a rookie last season, so there is always the possibility he takes a step backward in 2012.
The Seahawks will hope that Golden Tate can take the next step forward this season, as they will also have to hope that Ben Obomanu also improves. Seattle also traded for tight end Kellen Winslow to go along with Zach Miller, so they are expected to go to a lot of two tight end sets on offense.
Still, Williams didn’t get a chance to turn his career back around for yet one more time with the Seahawks. And if the team cut him because he couldn’t establish the same connection with Jackson that he did with Hasselbeck, what happens if Jackson fails to win the starting job, and it either goes to Matt Flynn or Russell Wilson? Could Williams could have put up better numbers with either of the latter two than he did Jackson?
That is something that the Seahawks will never find out.
But that does not mean that Williams will not receive one more opportunity to prove himself in the NFL. As training camps begin, many teams will be looking for a No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver. The Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos all come to mind.