NY Jets meeting with best-case scenario WR target on Monday

The Jets could make a huge WR addition next week

Jets helmets
Jets helmets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The NY Jets made their first high-profile signing of free agency on Friday, signing All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith to a one-year deal. Smith might not be the only big free-agent signing the Jets make in the coming days, however.

Fox Sports' Sheena Quick reported on Friday that the Jets are scheduled to host former Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams on a visit next week. Williams is reportedly set to visit with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, but before then, he's meeting with the Jets on Monday.

The 29-year-old receiver was released by the Chargers this week in a cost-cutting move that saved his team a whopping $20 million in cap space. Now, he's free to sign with his choice of team, and the Jets are among those showing interest.

The Jets were reportedly interested in signing Williams a few years ago before he re-signed with the Chargers. It's no surprise to see they're interested yet again.

Mike Williams would be a perfect free-agent signing for the NY Jets

The Jets have managed to completely revamp their offensive line, adding three new starters in Smith, John Simpson, and Morgan Moses for incredibly cheap. That gives them enough financial flexibility to make a splash at a different position.

Williams would be that splash. The seventh overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Williams has a pair of 1,000-yard seasons under his belt, including a 2021 season in which he finished with 76 catches for 1,146 yards and nine touchdowns.

The downside with Williams is that he's coming off a torn ACL that limited him to just three games in 2023. He also has a history of nagging back injuries, although some of the injury concerns with him are a little overblown.

Williams appeared in 15+ games every year between 2018 and 2021 and played 13 games in 2022. He didn't miss significant time in a season until his torn ACL last year.

Stylistically, Williams is exactly what the Jets should be looking for. He's everything the team wanted in Allen Lazard and more, as a big-boded X receiver who can dominate in the red zone and in contested catch situations.

Signing Williams to fill that X/Z receiver role would also allow the Jets to utilize Garrett Wilson more in the slot, something the team has been looking to do since his rookie season. Williams gives them that flexibility.

In his last full season in 2022, Williams finished with an incredible drop rate of just 1.6 percent. He dropped only one of his 90 targets that season. Williams also ranked top five among qualified wide receivers with a 57.7 percent contested catch rate. He's never had a contested catch rate below 48.3 percent in a season.

The Jets have been connected to a few other free-agent wide receivers in recent days, including Tyler Boyd, Odell Beckham Jr., and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Williams, however, remains their best option.

If the Jets can find a way to land Williams at a reasonable price, they might just complete a perfect free-agency period. Talk about a complete turnaround.