Even with the recent addition of Brandon LaFell, there are only seven receivers signed to the offseason 90-man roster at this moment. That's not even factoring in James Wright coming off microfracture surgery, meaning the Bengals have just six healthy receivers as organized team activities begin soon.
So expect the Bengals to add at least one more veteran receiver that probably is signed to a minimal deal that doesn't even guarantee he makes the final roster in 2016. That's exactly what free agent Mike Williams would be, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise he's working out for the Bengals this week, according to Jim Owczarski.
If you remember Williams (not to be confused with Big Mike who was a major bust for the Lions), you'll recall he was once a very talented receiver who looked like a star on the rise early in his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He averaged 64 catches, 910 yards and eight touchdowns during his first three years in Tampa.
However, injuries, off-field issues and a trade to the Buffalo Bills led to him catching just 30 passes for 358 yards and three scores of his last 15 games from 2013-14. They weren't egregious criminal issues off the field (he was stabbed by his own brother), but they did include a three-game suspension in 2015 by the NFL for an undisclosed reason.
Williams reportedly got workouts with NFL teams through last season, but was never signed as he ultimately didn't play football in 2015. At this point, Williams probably has enough left in the tank to make a run at the fifth or sixth receiver spot on the Bengals' 53-man roster if they ultimately did sign him, and it's not like he'd have a big hill to climb for a starting spot.
Ahead of him at receiver for the Bengals are A.J. Green, Brandon Tate, Brandon LaFell, the injured James Wright, Jake Kumerow, Michael Bennett and Mario Alford. So yeah, Williams would probably potentially make the final roster depending on what happens in the Draft and afterward.
We should expect to see 1-2 receivers drafted and then another 2-3 free agents (NFL vets or undrafted free agents) signed afterward.