Chargers release WR Mike Williams, clear up $20M in cap space

The Los Angeles Chargers announced Wednesday that they'd released longtime wide receiver Mike Williams. 

The news came hours before all 32 NFL teams were required to be under the league-wide salary cap to start the 2024 New League Year. According to NBC Sports, the Chargers entered Wednesday $25 million over the $255.4 million salary cap. 

According to ESPN, linebacker Khalil Mack also agreed to restructure his contract, which combined with cutting Williams, makes the team salary cap compliant.

Mike Williams #81 of the Los Angeles Chargers catches the ball and runs for a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Get (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

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Williams has spent his entire seven-year NFL career with the Chargers, amassing just over 4,800 yards and 30 touchdowns. The Chargers drafted Williams with the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, then signed him to a three-year, $60 million contract in 2022. 

Despite his production with the team, Williams has played only one full season in his career, and played just three games in 2023 after tearing his ACL in a September game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Chargers shared several messages on X, formerly Twitter, thanking Williams for his years of service.

The Williams move comes just days after the news that the Bolts would also be losing longtime running back Austin Ekeler, who reportedly plans to sign a two-year deal with the Washington Commanders.