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Mike Williams sees 'great fit' with Aaron Rodgers, Jets: 'A pretty good opportunity ahead of us'

Mike Williams needed a new home. The Jets needed a receiver.

The two are now a couple and can't wait to build a football life together in 2024. Williams was asked Wednesday why he chose New York in his first free-agency experience, and his answer was predictably simple: Aaron Rodgers plays there.

"I just felt like it was a great fit for me," Williams said. "Aaron, I want to be able to be able to play with him, pick his brain, learn from him. Playing alongside (receiver) Garrett (Wilson) kind of reminded me of (former Chargers teammate) Keenan (Allen) a little bit. Similar style of play, great route runners. I feel like we can complement each other in that area. The running game is pretty good, defense is elite. I just feel like we've got a pretty good opportunity ahead of us. Just looking forward to it."

Though it may have sounded as if Williams was reading off a checklist, he made good points, the same ones that powered the Jets to the front of the hype train entering 2023. No one expected them to run out of steam after four plays -- the point at which Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury -- and while the Jets ended up spending the rest of 2023 fruitlessly cycling through quarterbacks, much of the rest of the operation was indeed competitive.

Inserting Rodgers should fix things, even if he isn't quite the same after such a significant injury at 40 years old. Adding Williams should help, too, provided he can also stay healthy, which has been a challenge in recent seasons for the 29-year-old.

Nobody takes the field -- or signs a contract -- with a future potential injury on his mind, though. The afterglow of a new deal is all about best-case scenarios and yet-to-be-realized potential.

Williams sees plenty of it with Rodgers and the Jets. After all, he should know what it's like to run routes for a top quarterback after starting his career with a seasoned Philip Rivers, and spending the last four seasons playing with Chargers star signal-caller Justin Herbert.

"For sure, it makes my job a lot easier," Williams said. "Also, makes their job easier too, having a guy like me out there to go out there to compete with them. Yeah, I've been pretty privileged having good quarterbacks throughout my career, so looking forward to working with Aaron and getting together with the rest of the guys and see where it goes."

Many other quality receivers have found less fortunate subsequent stops after being released as cap casualties. Williams seems as if he knows he's fortunate to make such a move east, but don't discount the strategy involved. As he nears his 30th birthday, he knows now is the time to go for broke.

The Jets feel the same way. As they say, great relationships need two elements: chemistry and timing. They're off to a good start.

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