The rise and fall of young Kyle Williams was a rocky one. Full of high points and unbearably horrible moments that changed the outcome of an entire season. On Tuesday, Williams was finally cut by the San Francisco 49ers. He actually never made it through waivers and was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday. Good for Alex Smith to gain an old teammate to help fill a void that was created after Dwayne Bowe was arrested for marijuana. This might not even happen exactly, but Williams had his best season with Smith at quarterback, only to see his touches go down quickly after his departure. Ever since Colin Kaepernick took over, Williams has been the number two receiver on the depth chart, but was far from becoming a dependable target on the field.
Even as a returner Williams just was never able to live up to his own hype. Out of the 21 punt returns for 170 yards and the 28 kick returns for 673 yards, the end zone was never touched once. He somehow managed to return a kick for 94 yards and still couldn’t score. As a wide receiver on 80 targets only 47 of them were caught for 574 yards. A hefty 12.2 YPC average is a nice little stat. Then you look that he only scored 4 touchdowns in 38 games and realize that San Francisco was never meant to be for Williams.
After being Drafted by the 49ers in the 6th round of the 2010 draft, Williams was targeted once for a reception of 8 yards. He followed that up with a career year of 20 receptions for 241 yards and 3 touchdowns. After a year shortened by a knee injury (ACL) in 2012, he returned in 2013 to his new role as the 2nd wide receiver behind Anquan Boldin to no avail. Williams was never able to grasp that opprotunity while filling in for the injured Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, both of whom should be together on the field shortly. Manningham as of week 10 and Crabtree possibly by week 12 or 13.
I really thought that I could get through this article without talking about the infamous 2011 NFC Championship versus the New York Giants. How do you fumble not once, not twice, but three times!? By overtime the guy had no business being in the game, let alone returning a punt. It was just inexcusable to think of how Williams did not properly fair catch a ball or avoid contact during such a pivotal moment.
With that now off my chest and Williams off my team, let’s look to the future. The spot that Williams could not succeed at is now opened to Jon Baldwin. The 6-4 receiver out of Pittsburgh has the right build to become a big target for the offense. Also, LaMichael James will assume the role of punt returner with Anthony Dixon taking over as kick returner for now.