The Tennessee Titans have signed wide receiver Mike Williams, whom they have been interested in since this past offseason.
Williams, a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2005, was a player the Titans targeted this off-season, but lost out in April when he was traded to the Oakland Raiders along with Josh McCown for a fourth-round pick. The Titans had dangled a sixth-round pick in exchange for Williams.
The Raiders waived him after he dropped a fourth-down pass against Tennessee in a 13-9 loss on Oct. 28 at LP Field.
Williams made light of that Thursday, saying he had helped the Titans to one victory already.
“I mean if you have to look at it I've already contributed to a win for the Titans ... I'm already on the right track,” Williams said.
Williams, who played for Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow at Southern California, auditioned for the Titans on Nov. 6, and Tennessee has had interest in him since that time.
“It's good coach Chow is here,” Williams said. “It's funny because everybody thought that me and [Raiders coach Lane] Kiffin were just a tight connection. We have a relationship, but the relationship with coach Chow is a lot different and a lot stronger.”
He is looking forward to a fresh start after struggling in his two other stops with losing teams.
“I took my bumps early in my career,” Williams said. “I’m only 23. It's an opportunity with a team that has a bright future and is moving forward, something I'm not used to being around. So I'm just here happy to be a part of a young group of guys, a good group of guys, and a couple guys I knew from the past. It's a good opportunity for me. I’m just going to take this and run with it.”
Williams was one of four players the Titans were considering taking when they had the sixth pick in the 2005 NFL Draft before settling on Adam “Pacman” Jones, who is now serving a season-long suspension.
Williams, who had sat out 2004 after unsuccessfully challenging the NFL for entry into the draft after his sophomore season at Southern Cal, was selected by the Lions, but had a disappointing two seasons there, catching just 37 passes in his time there. Williams had 29 receptions as a rookie.
The 6-5, 230-pound Williams had seven catches for the Raiders this season before being let go.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said as late as Wednesday there was no update regarding the receiver, even though a contract was in the works and completed in time for Williams to be on the practice field Thursday.
Fisher said he hoped Williams, who will be inactive Sunday at Cincinnati, can establish himself after a rocky start to his NFL career. Over the years, the Titans have found starters like Frank Wycheck, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Lamont Thompson and Tony Brown in similar fashion.
“I think everybody deserves a second chance,” Fisher said. “We’ve done that at times before and we’ve gotten production out of players. So we’re just going to see where this goes. I’m not going to make any predictions as to how soon he’ll be up and active. He’s got a lot to learn. He hasn’t been doing much over the last month or so since being released. So we’re just going to take it one day at a time.”
The Titans also added kick returner Chris Barclay from the Cleveland Browns practice squad.
“He’s got some experience as a kickoff returner. That’s primarily why we brought him here,” Fisher said.