In an eyebrow raising move, the Texans have granted a Hail Mary workout to veteran wide receiver Roy Williams. Confirmed on Wednesday by Williams’ camp, the former Cowboy turned Bear is scheduled to work out with the team on Thursday. Williams is last remembered as adding little by way of value to the Chicago Bears offense in 2011.
The fact that the Texans are looking at veteran wide receivers no less than 48 hours from the start of training camp suggests a few things. First, the Texans are looking for some additional experience to back up Andre Johnson; or second- it means nothing and these guys will be passed over, leaving it up to Johnson and the new draft picks Posey and Martin.
Roy Williams was initially drafted with Detroit in 2004 after playing Longhorn Football at University of Texas. Williams was thrust into a leadership position in the 2004 season when the first string WR, Charles Rogers, became hurt in the first quarter of the first game of the season. Williams proved as a rookie that he definitely had skills, racking up 817 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2004, all while playing with a compromising ankle injury. In 2006, Williams scored 7 touchdowns and had 1,310 receiving yards which was good enough to lead the NFC that year. In 2008, Williams was traded to the Dallas Cowboys and signed on to play there through 2014 for $54 million. However, Williams’ performance did not match up to the hype and he was released in 2011. Williams was then picked up by the Bears in 2011 for a one year contract. In Chicago, Williams was ineffective and unmemorable as a receiver having his second worst year in receiving yards and yards per game respectively.
The buzz on Williams has been relatively quiet until this week when news broke that he would be trying out for the Texans. Most fans are not happy about this development, especially since Williams has arguably not been a decent receiver in over 4 years. What is interesting is that during the entire offseason, no other teams have been interested in offering him a tryout which speaks volumes about his perceived value to any team’s offense.
However, given the 8 year experience gap between Andre Johnson and rookies Devier Posey and Keyshawn Martin, perhaps there is a relevant argument to make about needing experience (regardless of how valuable) on the roster. One thing is for sure – if the Texans do pass on Williams or any other WR for that matter, it signifies that the team is placing complete faith in Johnson’s health this season and the guts and playability of Posey and Martin.