Jets sign former Chargers WR Mike Williams to 1-year deal. Move gives Aaron Rodgers a new playmaker

FILE - Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sept. 10, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. The Los Angeles Chargers released Williams on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, a move that will free up $20 million in salary cap space. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets were served up a new playmaker on offense.

Former Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams signed a one-year contract with the Jets on Tuesday, six days after he was released by Los Angeles.

The 29-year-old Williams visited the Jets' facility and reportedly had meetings with other teams scheduled — but New York didn’t let him leave its building without a deal. NFL Network and ESPN reported the contract is worth up to $15 million.

The Jets posted a video of Williams on X, formerly known as Twitter, biting into a Taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwich — a New Jersey breakfast classic — a few hours after a fan sent one to the facility from a neighborhood diner to help entice the wide receiver into signing.

“It's good!” a laughing Williams said. “This is what got the deal signed right here.”

The Jets later changed their profile picture to an image of the sandwich with a bite taken out of it by Williams.

Among New York's top menu items this offseason was getting a wide receiver to complement Garrett Wilson. The addition of Williams boosts what could be a much-improved offense this season after the Jets ranked last or near the bottom of the NFL in several categories.

Along with Rodgers expecting to be fully healthy after tearing his left Achilles tendon four plays into his debut for New York, the Jets rebuilt their offensive line by signing left tackle Tyron Smith and left guard John Simpson and acquiring Morgan Moses from Baltimore in a trade last week.

Williams comes with some injury concerns, the most recent a torn ACL suffered in the Chargers’ third game last season. He had a strong start before the injury, catching 19 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown.

Williams also missed four regular-season games in 2022 because of an ankle injury and was sidelined for a playoff game at Jacksonville after he hurt his back in the finale at Denver. But after missing the first six games of his rookie season with a back ailment, Williams played in at least 15 games in each of the next four seasons.

Williams was released by Los Angeles last week, a move that freed up $20 million in salary cap space. The seventh overall pick out of Clemson in 2017 was entering the final year of a contract extension worth $60 million that included $40 million guaranteed before his release by the Chargers.

He has 309 catches for 4,806 yards and 31 touchdowns in 88 career games — and the Jets envision the 6-foot-4 receiver as a field-stretching and red zone presence who will take some of the pressure and attention off Wilson. Williams has 22 receptions of at least 40 yards since 2019, ranking him among the leaders in the AFC during that stretch.

Wilson, the 2022 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, had a team-leading 95 receptions for 1,042 yards and three touchdowns last season even with opponents keying in on him. The Jets lacked a consistent No. 2 wide receiver with Allen Lazard, who signed as a free agent last offseason, finishing with 23 catches for 311 yards and one TD.

Williams gives Rodgers and the Jets a clear-cut No. 2, with Lazard, Xavier Gipson and tight ends Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert working in the passing game along with running back Breece Hall, who finished second on New York last season with 76 receptions.


AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy contributed to this report.