Alabama in the Pros

Patriots release tight end Michael Williams due to serious knee injury

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

His one-year contract with the New England Patriots lasted just two months.

Tight end Michael Williams was released by the team on Friday, according to a tweet from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Williams spent last season on injury reserve after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee on June 8, 2016. Despite missing his team win Super Bowl 51 over the Atlanta Falcons, he did re-sign with New England on March 9.

Before getting traded to the Patriots, Williams was a seventh-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2013.

He played tight end throughout his five-year career at the University of Alabama; however, he would serve at offensive tackle after the Lions selected Eric Ebron at tight end. A broken hand during NFL preseason placed Williams on injury reserve as a rookie, and he would be traded to the Patriots in exchange for a seventh-round pick on Aug. 25, 2015. Prior to the NFL, Williams was a four-star tight end under Crimson Tide’s head coach Nick Saban. A native of Reform, Ala., he had 51 receptions for 503 yards and seven touchdowns in his career.

Although he came in a dominant 2008 recruiting class, Williams ushered in the era of premiere blocking tight end that can also catch passes when needed. As a run blocker, he cleared the way for four 1,000-yard backs – including the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram. Williams earned three BCS national championships (2009, 2011, 2012) and two Southeastern Conference championships with the Tide. He received a Super Bowl ring from the Patriots, but as a free agent, the 26-year-old now looks to see which team may be in need of his services heading into next season.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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