I like the Kansas City Chiefs decision to sign WR Mike Williams for a lot of the same reasons that I liked the Chiefs signing WR Rod Streater earlier this offseason. Williams is still young enough (28) that he has plenty of motivation to play well and earn another contract. This is why these call these one-year veteran contracts "prove-it deals". Prove you can still play and someone will pay you for it. He'll be motivated.
Injuries were holding Streater back the past couple of years and it's a similar situation with Williams, who can also add off the field questions to the list. Williams was out of football in 2015 so you have to also be prepared for the very real possibility that he doesn't even make the 53-man roster.
Little risk on a one-year contract that is probably for very little money (I haven't seen the contract yet). Let him compete this summer and see what happens.
The reward, however, could be big. In a perfect world Williams could get in the rotation along with Albert Wilson, Chris Conley and Rod Streater. It's unlikely he beats them out for a job and becomes the No. 2 receiver ... but it's possible.
If Mike Williams is going to turn it around anywhere, Kansas City is as good of a bet as any. Andy Reid creates a great environment for these types of players. Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson, Chris Conley and Rod Streater help create a professional approach to their position group.
For those reasons, I like the deal. I'm not expecting anything more than what this is - a one-year deal to a guy who was out of football last year - but there's little downside here.
Williams previously played for the Bills (2014) and Bucs (2010-13). I asked SB Nation's Bills and Bucs blogs their thoughts on Williams.
Brian from Buffalo Rumblings:
He definitely has ability, but he also hasn't played in two years, so keep that in mind. Doug Marrone coached him at Syracuse, and kicked him off the team there. Marrone also coached him in Buffalo, and really phased him out of the offense early in the season before he was released. Seemed like a particularly brutal difference in personalities. Williams strikes most as a bit of an oddball, but Marrone is, too. Just wasn't a good situation there. Not sure what has kept him out of the league in the year and a half since he played for the Bills.
Sander from Bucs Nation:
He used to be a very good number two/borderline number one receiver, but got traded for peanuts in 2014, because he was partying too much and not focusing on football enough, at least for Lovie Smith's new regime. They may have wanted to set an example.
At his best, Williams was a very good number two receiver on the outside who consistently won jump balls. He had adequate but not great speed, and was a solid route-runner, but he was never really the type who could consistently get open against good cornerbacks. Remember that one good Josh Freeman season in 2010, the one with 25 touchdowns to five interceptions? Williams' ability to out-fight cornerbacks for the ball played a huge role there. If he can get back to that level, he'd be a starting-caliber player for most NFL teams. Who knows if he can actually do that, though.