By Brady Henderson
The Seahawks have released wide receiver Mike Williams after a two-year run in Seattle that began as a feel-good story and ended with an injury-filled and unproductive season.
Williams, 28, signed with the Seahawks in 2010 after spending two years out of the NFL. He earned a three-year contract extension after leading the Seahawks in receiving that season, but was slowed by injuries during a disappointing 2011 campaign in which he caught just 18 passes in 12 games.
The Seahawks announced his release on Friday.
“I have nothing but gratitude towards Seattle for giving me the opportunity to play in front of such great fans in a great sports city,” Williams wrote in a text message to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Liz Mathews. “I wish my former teammates [and] coaches all the best and I look forward to a healthy season in 2012.”
Williams’ spot on the roster didn’t seem to be guaranteed given the questions about his health and how unproductive he was in 2011. He was limited during organized team activities and minicamp, still not fully recovered from a broken leg he suffered late last season.
Weight issues led to Williams’ demise before he rejuvenated his career with the Seahawks. He lasted just two seasons in Detroit after the Lions made him the 10th overall pick in 2005. After brief stops with the Raiders and Titans in 2007, Williams was out of football in 2008 and ’09 before signing with the Seahawks in 2010. The contract extension he signed later that season included weight stipulations.
Williams told “Brock and Salk” in February that he planned on losing weight after playing at 240 pounds last season, saying “I’ve got to take a different step and really give myself a chance to be the player that I can be and that I know I am.”
“I’m just really focused on having a great offseason and getting back to form,” he added. “This past season I came into camp and [within] a couple of days I had a foot [injury], and then I had a hamstring, then I had a back. I just never really got going. I was always fighting something along the way. My focus this year is to come in really healthy and go from there. So whenever I’m ready to go I’m just going to do whatever I can.”
Williams apparently wasn’t ready, and the Seahawks have decided to move on two weeks before training camp begins on July 28.
“We would like to thank Mike for his contributions over the past two seasons and we wish him well in the future,” general manager John Schneider said in a team release.
Williams’ release figures to clear up more playing time for some of the Seahawks’ younger wide receivers like Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham, who both played sparingly as rookies last season.
It will also clear up some salary cap room, as Williams was set to make $3 million this season and $3.4 million in 2013.
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what’s next for the Seahawks and Williams