The debate on if Mike Williams should remain a Buccaneer is now over. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent the troubled receiver to the Buffalo Bills for a sixth-round draft pick in next month’s NFL Draft.
General manager Jason Licht released a brief statement on Friday.
“We thank Mike for his contributions to the Buccaneers over the last four seasons. At this time, we felt this was best for both sides and we wish Mike well going forward,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht.
The Bills agreed to take on Williams’ $1.8 million salary without restructuring the deal according to reports. Williams will be reunited with Doug Marrone his former coach at Syracuse who is now the head coach of the Bills.
Williams troubles began to surface and were first exposed in a PewterReport.com article on January 30 that detailed the previous regime’s issues with Williams, and that they were considering trading the former 2010 fourth-rounder. Sources told PewterReport.com late last season that Williams off-the-field behavior, that included late-night partying and social media exploits were concerning, and also that Williams had amassed over $200,000 in fines for missed rehabs, late attendance and other rule violations.
Since the January 30 PewterReport.com article Williams earned a handful of other negative headlines that frustrated new head coach Lovie Smith and Licht. In February the Tampa Bay Times exposed Williams partying ways in a feature that included over $43,000 in damages to a Tampa rental home, loud parties, five 911 calls and a lawsuit brought against Williams for damage to the home due to a kitchen fire.
Williams also made headlines this year after being charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and trespassing after a property damage claim was made against him in connection with a dispute with a former girlfriend. Williams agreed to an intervention program that will result in those charges being dropped if he completes the program.
The loss of Williams certainly creates a hole on the Buccaneers roster. Despite the headaches, Williams was a talented and productive player for Tampa Bay. In four seasons as a Buccaneer Williams had 215 receptions for 2,947 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Buccaneers currently hold the No. 7 selection in next month’s NFL Draft and wide receiver may become a target with that pick.
Williams on-the-field production earned him a new contract with the Buccaneers in 2013 when the Buffalo native signed a $40.25 million extension to keep him in Tampa Bay.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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