Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams has been at the center of a few off-field stories in recent months and years, with several 911 calls to his house since last summer. However, none of those incidents was as dangerous as yesterday’s, when Williams was hospitalized yesterday after being stabbed by his brother. The Bucs receiver, who said the stabbing was an accident, has reportedly been released from the hospital, and we wish him a speedy recovery. However, the incident casts more doubt on Williams’ long-term future in Tampa Bay.
Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports (via Twitter) that Tampa Bay had been open to dealing Williams, but that off-field troubles, including this most recent incident, will limit outside interest. With a trade unlikely, it’s possible that the Bucs may ultimately decide to simply cut ties with the troubled receiver. Williams is playing on a contract that runs through the 2018 season, but most of the guaranteed money was paid in 2013, as Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports noted today (via Twitter).
Garafolo and La Canfora (Twitter links) have confirmed that although Williams’ modest $1.8MM base salary for 2014 is guaranteed, his $5.2MM base for 2015 is not fully guaranteed. With no prorated bonus money on the contract, the Bucs could release Williams and carry just $1.8MM in dead money on their cap in 2014.
Of course, before making any decisions on Williams’ future, the team would like to touch base with him. However, GM Jason Licht said today that neither he nor head coach Lovie Smith has been able to talk to Williams since yesterday, despite an attempt to reach out (Twitter link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times). As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, Licht intends to continue looking into the situation in an attempt to find out how Williams is doing “health-wise [and] how his mindset is.”