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Jets signing free-agent receiver Mike Williams to one-year deal worth up to $15 million after visit

Mike Williams' next chapter of his NFL career will look different than his last in a number of ways -- except at quarterback.

The receiver is signing a one-year deal worth up to $15 million with the New York Jets, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team later announced the signing.

Williams was released by the Chargers last week in a cost-cutting move after seven seasons with the club.

Williams' move is a new spin on the term coastal elite. The former seventh-overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft is trading the west for the east coast, moving from running routes for Justin Herbert to doing the same for Aaron Rodgers. He'll do so at a pivotal period in his career, his age-29 season with future money on the table that he can only earn if he proves he can stay healthy long enough to make a significant difference.

To this point in Williams' career, the injury report has defined his narrative. He's proven himself as a big-bodied, big-play artist, but has also struggled mightily to avoid the pesky injury bug, which cost him 18 games after signing a contract extension with the Chargers prior to the 2022 season. It arose once again in the form of a torn ACL in 2023 and limited him to only three games.

Despite this fact, Williams still leads the NFL in yards per reception (15.8) since 2018, and even saw his production jump in the last two seasons.

New York is hoping it can get one good, healthy year out of Williams, who will arrive as a premier target alongside former AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson. The latter might be praising the heavens Tuesday after learning of the addition, considering how Williams' arrival will require defenses to pay a little less attention to Wilson.

New York entered the offseason sorely lacking pass-catching targets for Rodgers, and Tuesday's move is one major addition on a short-term deal. After being robbed of what was expected to be a thrilling season in 2023, the Jets aren't wasting much time supplying Rodgers with high-level talent.

Should Williams thrive, he could earn himself one more opportunity to cash in. He just needs to stay healthy enough to prove he's worth it.

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