Cleveland Browns named top landing spot for Mike Williams
By Randy Gurzi
The Cleveland Browns need some help at wide receiver and Mike Williams is a name that could make sense — and the dots are already being connected between the two sides
It was hard to watch the Cleveland Browns in 2021 and not notice just how bad things were at wide receiver. There was the Odell Beckham drama but outside of that, there was simply no wideout who was forcing defenses to respect the aerial attack.
Jarvis Landry took a major step in the wrong direction and had his worst statistical season ever. Rashard Higgins also went in the wrong direction and wasn’t a huge factor in many games. Donovan Peoples-Jones made some strides as a player — and while he was the only one who really improved, his 597 yards wasn’t a lot when you realize it was the most out of anyone on the team.
This is why the position will be a hot topic in both free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft. As for free agency, there are some big names to target including Mike Williams who is being linked to the Browns already.
Jared Mueller of Browns Wire looked at a story that says Williams is a scheme fit for the Browns since he’s a big target who can be used on the boundary as well as in second and third-level throws.
Williams, the seventh overall pick out of Clemson in 2017, has spent the past five seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. Following a frustrating rookie season, he took off and has 26 touchdowns in the past four seasons and has twice hit the 1,000-yard mark.
His best campaign was this past season, where he had 76 receptions for 1,146 yards and nine touchdowns. He would clearly be a great fit in Cleveland but it might not be easy to lure him to Berea.
Could the Cleveland Browns land Mike Williams?
The biggest hurdle in landing Williams won’t be the price. Cleveland could make the money work as they’re not in bad shape with the cap — and can free up more with a few moves including moving on from Jarvis Landry’s contract.
Instead, the issue they will have to contend with is the familiarity Williams has with Justin Herbert. It was clear in 2021 that he became the go-to guy and has 1,902 yards and 14 touchdowns in the past two seasons with Herbert under center.
Cleveland would have to convince him that he can continue to have that success with Baker Mayfield and while there are still plenty of believers in No. 6, that could be a hard sell for players who have seen the aerial attack in Cleveland fall off the map.
This isn’t to say it will be impossible but general manager Andrew Berry will have to put together an impressive sales pitch to lure Williams away from Justin Herbert and the sunny Los Angeles skies.