12:41pm: Williams took to Twitter to try and convince Bills fans that he wants to stay in Buffalo. “Chill everybody I’m happy with being a buffalo bill [sic]……. I mean come on it’s my dream my agent just did what a agent supposed to do…”
10:26am: Whaley says that he has not been contacted about Williams yet and he has not reached out to any teams, Rodak tweets. Meanwhile, he’s being up front about what he’d expect in a deal.
“If he gets me compensation worthy of a No. 1 wide receiver, which he claimed he is, then we would entertain it,” Whaley said, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR (on Twitter).
10:17am: Bills GM Doug Whaley said that he is “not actively shopping anyone” but confirmed that Williams’ agent requested a trade, according to the Bills’ official Twitter account. Whaley was complimentary of Williams and expects him to stay but also noted that everyone can be moved for the right price, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets.
9:59am: Hadley Engelhard, the agent for Bills wide receiver Mike Williams, has been given permission to gauge interest in a possible trade from Buffalo, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Williams was a healthy scratch in yesterday’s game against the Patriots.
Chris Hogan got to dress in Williams’ stead and recorded five receptions for 72 yards with his first career NFL touchdown. After the game, head coach Doug Marrone told reporters that Williams was left on the sidelines for special teams purposes.
“I brought Mike in on Saturday, and I told him I needed him to do this for the team,” Marrone said, according to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News. “I said, ‘It’s not a great situation, but it’s due to the special teams and everything that we needed to cover.’ We talked to him, and he handled it like a pro, and he’ll be ready to go next week.“
Now, it’s possible that Williams won’t be there at all for next week’s game against the Vikings. There are several teams that could theoretically be interested in the Syracuse product, including two at the Meadowlands. The Jets’ wide receivers outside of No. 1 option Eric Decker are less-than-stellar and the Giants are likely going to be without Victor Cruz for the rest of the season after last night’s injury.
Still, Williams’ contract will be a stumbling block for any inquiring team. ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak reported back in April that Williams’ $5.2MM base salary for 2015 is fully guaranteed, and that’s not including the $1MM roster bonus he can collect on early in the league year. And, while the 27-year-old could be an attractive secondary option for another team, he is far from a star caliber player. Williams appeared to have promise with the Bucs, who gave him his current lucrative long-term deal, but an injury shortened 2013 coupled with a lackluster start in Buffalo has put his talent level into question.
From 2010 to 2012 in Tampa Bay, Williams averaged roughly 64 receptions, 910 yards, and eight touchdowns per year. The trade deadline is on October 28th, which is just 15 days away.