Seahawks release oft-injured receiver Williams
ERIC D. WILLIAMS
Two weeks before the start of training camp, the Seattle Seahawks announced Friday that they released receiver Mike Williams, making the 28-year-old an unrestricted free agent.
Williams was due to make $3 million in 2012, including a $250,000 roster bonus, in the second year of a three-year, $11.25 million deal.
The Seahawks will save $3.425 million off this year’s salary cap by releasing Williams.
“We would like to thank Mike for his contributions over the past two seasons, and we wish him well in the future,” said general manager John Schneider.
Williams started 23 games and played in 26 for Seattle, finishing with 83 receptions for 987 yards and three touchdowns.
After sitting out two years, Williams earned mention as the league’s comeback player of the year in 2010, when he led the Seahawks with 65 catches for 751 yards and two touchdowns.
But he had trouble staying healthy last season, finishing with only 18 catches. Williams played in just 12 games after being slowed by foot, hamstring, back and concussion issues last season. His number of targets also decreased from a team-high 110 in 2010 to 38 last year.
Williams finished 2011 on the injured reserve list after breaking his ankle against Chicago on December 18.
After two ankle surgeries, Williams was unable to fully participate in Seattle’s offseason workout program because he was still rehabbing from the injury.
Williams was originally the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Detroit Lions, and signed as a free agent with Seattle in April 2010.
After his impressive first season, Williams signed a three-year extension in January 2011. He also spent time with Oakland and Tennessee during the 2007 season.
The release of Williams opens up competition for the starting split end spot opposite Sidney Rice, with veterans Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler battling with youngsters Golden Tate, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette for the starting job.
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