Detroit Lions: Tyrell Williams to replace Marvin Jones?

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions have started to re-tool their receiving corps by signing veteran pass-catcher Tyrell Williams to a one-year deal that is said to be worth $6.2 million in total.

Williams is very familiar with Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn’s scheme, having spent the first four-year of his career in the Chargers organization playing opposite the great Keenan Allen.

Allen is a bonified number-one NFL pass-catcher that can do it all; Williams had been a compliment working opposite, usually being the teams’ deep threat.  Williams, just 29-years old, played his college ball at Western Oregon busted out at the NFL level in 2016 during his second professional season.

As a 24-year old Williams corralled 69 balls on 119 targets from Philip Rivers, amassing 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns (all career-highs).

The Detroit Lions hope Tyrell Williams can once again be productive.

Since ’16, Williams has struggled to mirror that same production but has proven to be a reliable third option working as the second outside receiver.  After spending four years with the Chargers, Tyrell signed with the Raiders.  In year one with his new team, Williams made 42 receptions totaling 651 yards and six touchdowns.

Jon Gruden and the Raiders decided to release Williams after he missed the entire 2020 season with a torn shoulder labrum.  His release comes as a bit of a shock considering he had signed a lucrative four-year $44 million deal just two years ago, but with the salary cap decreasing, we’re expected to see a plethora of these types of decisions across the league in ’21.

The Detroit Lions, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola are expected to part ways leaving second-year Quintez Cephus and now Williams the lone two in the receiver room.

The big fish remains Kenny Golladay.

If the Detroit Lions opt to retain Golladay on a multi-year deal or the franchise tag suddenly, the receiving-trio doesn’t look too bad, especially if the organization can secure a couple of talented players in the NFL Draft.

The perfect situation for the Lions would be trying to work out a deal with Golladay using him as the top pass-catcher, followed by tight end T.J. Hockenson, Cephus, along with Williams, and a dynamic rookie all pairing up to be the third/fourth/fifth options.

Expect the Lions to use Williams as they used Jones in the past.

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If Williams is forced to work as a WR1 or top outside target, meaning Golladay signs elsewhere on the open market or is traded, things won’t be great in 2021 for quarterback Jared Goff.