Lions could part ways with Williams, Johnson

Posted May 07, 2011 @ 3:32 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The player that Lions GM Martin Mayhew called "a stick of dynamite" could help blow up two veteran receivers' existence in Detroit. Second-round WR Titus Young, the player Mayhew was talking about, has become the instant odds-on favorite to win the slot WR spot, adding even more speed and explosiveness to the Lions' offense. That spot was a sore one the past two seasons, as WRs Bryant Johnson and Derrick Williams failed to contribute readily. Johnson had only 18 catches in 14 games, doing little as the third receiver, and Williams, a former third-round pick, continued down the path of a bust with only nine receptions in 18 NFL games, including three in seven games last year. Young won't be on the field full time, as the Lions often will employ two-TE sets or use a fullback. But he could be an occasional weapon, especially on third down. Johnson is too expensive to keep as a fourth receiver, and the team might just part ways with Williams, who also lost his RS job to Stefan Logan. That likely would open the door for a bargain-basement veteran addition at receiver, perhaps someone who could mentor Young, who some people believe needs to mature and be managed a little bit to become a pro.