Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams was placed on the injured reserve in Week 9 with a hamstring injury, and he averaged just 36 receiving yards per game in the first season of a six-year, $40.25 million that was team-friendly but risky due to the length of the deal. The Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds reports that the old Buccaneers regime of Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik- you know, not the most lenient- became frustrated with Williams for his partying. Reynolds states that he was also busy posting photos to his Instagram account and rapping, which may have contributed to the meetings and rehab sessions he missed.
The Buccaneers fined Williams a total of $200,000 for being late or missing meetings and rehab sessions, and they viewed his antics as unprofessional. It will be interesting to see what Lovie Smith and Jason Licht think, since Schiano and Dominik obviously aren’t making the decisions anymore. I think Williams is safe, but the Buccaneers set up the contract wisely so that they could easily release Williams if he had a disappointing 2013 campaign. It would be unfair to cut him now, though, since he was only a disappointment due to his injury and shouldn’t be cut just for excessive partying.
Smith has a reputation for working well with players, but there’s also a new regime in Tampa Bay that could be willing to cut ties with Williams and be more inclined to use a first-round pick on top-notch prospect Sammy Watkins. My belief is that Williams will most likely stay, but this report still gives us something to chew on even if the Schiano Order is mercifully out.
What really struck me as odd was the part in Reynold’s piece that stated the Buccaneers under Schiano and Dominik were prepared to release Williams in favor of Rutgers product Kenny Britt, who is a much, much bigger headcase than Williams.