Ahead of free agency, the Detroit Lions were active, nabbing one of the more underrated talents in wideout Tyrell Williams. With many interested teams, it may have seemed a bit shocking to some that Williams was willing to take on what many see as an obvious rebuild.
So why would the wideout do such a thing to himself without looking around on the free agency market? For starters, he doesn’t believe the situation is a rebuild at all, and Williams is actually quite bullish on the future of the Lions in 2021.
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Speaking with reporters on Monday following his deal in Detroit being made official, Williams was asked why he signed with a team that could be embarking on a rebuild. His response? In the NFL, every team has a chance to make some noise, even the lowly Lions.
Next season, Williams should have a big chance to impress given all the departures that have played out in the wideout room, and as he sees it, the team might not be set to take that many steps back next season.
As always, folks will simply have to wait and see what team shows up.
Lions Might Look to Retool Instead of Rebuild
How close are the Lions to contending? Many might think the answer is a long way off, but it’s not only Williams that seems to believe. The team’s brass has contended that the team might not be far away and might only be restructuring things. After the season, team president Rod Wood met with the media and was asked about the task that will face the team’s new power structure moving forward at coach and general manager. As he said, the task could be seen to be more of a retool than a rebuild when all is said and done.
Since coming on the job, Detroit general manager Brad Holmes has said multiple times he is moving forward with a reboot.
Many could disagree with these takes, but it sure makes it seem as if Wood and the Lions are more interested in reshaping things around their new coach and general manager rather than seeking to have someone take a wrecking ball to the situation.
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Tyrell Williams Has Solid NFL Stats
Williams originally entered the NFL in 2015 as an undrafted free agent out of Western Oregon, choosing to sign with the then-San Diego Chargers. He stayed there for the first four seasons of his career before signing with the Raiders in 2019, a spot he has called home for the last two seasons.
In terms of production, the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has bucked the odds for an undrafted free agent in the league, putting up 3,181 yards and 23 touchdowns across five seasons. He broke out in a big way as a sophomore with a career-high 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns on 69 receptions. While he hasn’t been able to match those totals in recent years, Williams was a very consistent presence between 2017-19. In each season during that span, the Lions’ newest addition was good for between 41-43 catches, 651-728 yards and four-to-six scores.
Unfortunately, injuries have intervened during his last two seasons, with a foot ailment in 2019 slowing his production and a torn labrum ending his 2020 campaign before it even began. With this in mind, it always seemed that Williams may have to take more of a “prove it” deal, which is just what the Lions are providing in the end.
With this mentality, it seems Williams is a good fit for the Lions, who will try to see if he can help them be much better than many expect in 2021.