Apparently the Seattle Seahawks were not willing to wait until training camp to see if Mike Williams would get healthy.
The team announced that Williams has been released this afternoon, 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. According to salary cap expert Brian McIntyre, The Seahawks will save $3.425 million off this year’s salary cap in 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.
After spending two years out of the league, Williams signed as unrestricted free agent in 2010 and revamped his career in Seattle, starting 23 of 26 games for the Seahawks and finishing with 83 receptions for 987 yards with five touchdowns, including a long of 68 yards.
He 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 Williams had trouble staying healthy last season, finishing with just 18 catches. Williams finished the year on the injured reserve after breaking his ankle against Chicago on December 18, and was unable to fully participate in Seattle’s offseason workout program because he was still rehabbing from that injury.
Williams’ number of targets also decreased from a team-high 110 in 2010 to 38 last year.
Williams was originally the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions and signed as a free agent with Seattle on April 16, 2010 and signed an extension on January 3, 2011. He also spent time with Oakland and Tennessee during the 2007 season.
The release of Williams opens up the competition for the starting split end job opposite Sidney Rice, with veterans Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler battling with youngsters Golden Tate, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette for the starting job.