FILE - Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. Mike Williams will remain a valuable part of the Los Angeles Chargers offense for the next three seasons. The wide receiver has agreed to a contract extension with the franchise on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong, File)
FILE - Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. Mike Williams will remain a valuable part of the Los Angeles Chargers offense for the next three seasons. The wide receiver has agreed to a contract extension with the franchise on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong, File)

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Mike Williams led the NFL last season with seven touchdowns in either the fourth quarter or overtime. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that negotiations with the Los Angeles Chargers on a new contract came down to the late stages.

One day after signing a three-year, $60 million deal to remain with the franchise, Williams was relieved to get it done without hitting free agency.

“I’m excited. Ever since I came here, I felt like they trusted me,” Williams said on Wednesday. “I kind of expected it, but everything was kind of up in the air.”

The deal was completed Tuesday, the deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag for the upcoming season. Williams said talks ramped up over the weekend before the two sides could reach an agreement.

“Everything worked out on both ends. I wasn’t too concerned about the deadline approaching because we were going to keep fighting until the end,” he said.

Williams’ extension includes $40 million guaranteed. He becomes the sixth wide receiver in the league with an average of $20 million per year, but is the youngest in that club at 27 years old.

With Keenan Allen averaging $20,025,000 on his five-year contract, the Chargers are the only team with two wide receivers averaging at least $20 million.

Los Angeles hopes Williams can continue the contributions of last season when he set career highs in catches (76) and yards (1,146).

Williams, the seventh overall pick by the Bolts in the 2017 draft, was a red-zone threat in 2018 before excelling on deep routes the next two seasons. Last year, he displayed that he could excel on any route.

He had 46 receptions on routes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, nearly doubling his output from 2020. But he also had nine receptions of at least 40 yards, which led the AFC.

“That was what coach (Brandon) Staley and the group wanted me to do: showcase everything that I can do in my game — the short routes — getting the ball in my hands in space and making plays happen with my legs,” said Williams, who had nine touchdowns and averaged 15.1 yards per catch last season. “They wanted me to be a playmaker, and I was able to showcase that.”

Williams is averaging 16.8 yards per reception over the past three seasons, tied for fifth in the league.

The Williams extension also allows general manager Tom Telesco to focus on upgrading a defense that struggled to stop the run last season, and trying to shore up the right side of the offensive line. The Chargers were 9-8 in Staley’s first season but lost three of their final four games to miss the playoffs for the third straight year.

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