Willson re-signed Friday with the Seahawks on a one-year contract, ESPN.com's Adam Caplan reports. The 27-year-old has been a fixture in two-tight end sets for much of his four seasons with the Seahawks, but he's rarely made a major splash as a receiver. Willson was targeted a career-low 21 times in 11 appearances in 2016, and he's unlikely to see much more volume during the upcoming campaign so long as Jimmy Graham enjoys relatively sound health.
Willson is expected to explore all his options in free agency, which could rule out a return to the Seahawks, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports. Willson has reached the end of his rookie contract, meaning he's free to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. After recording 74 catches for 976 yards and seven touchdowns through his first four seasons, Willson's production is strikingly similar to that of his former college roommate, Vance McDonald, who was guaranteed $9 million over three years from the 49ers back in December. With Jimmy Graham set to count $10 million against the cap next season, and after Seattle spent a third-round pick on Nick Vannett last year, Willson could very well end up elsewhere this offseason.
Willson scored on an eight-yard reception for his first touchdown of the season Thursday in a 24-3 win against the Rams. Willson caught all three of his targets. Even though he had a better game than Jimmy Graham (one catch on two targets for 31 yards), he's still safely behind Graham in the pecking order.
Willson (knee) practiced fully Wednesday, John Boyle of the Seahawks' official site reports. As long as he sustains such a workload this week, Willson will uphold head coach Pete Carroll's belief that the tight end is poised to end his DNP streak at one game Sunday in Green Bay. By doing so, Willson will serve as the primary backup to Jimmy Graham.
Head coach Pete Carroll expects Willson (knee) to be available for Sunday's game at Green Bay, Liz Mathews of 710 ESPN Seattle reports. Previously absent for four games this season due to an MCL sprain in his right knee, Willson appears as if he'll miss just one this time around due to a sprained PCL. If so, he'll slot in as the No. 2 tight end behind Jimmy Graham in Week 14.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3 Year Avg||31||20||282||2||13||14.10||40|