A Slippery SlopeApril 7th, 2014
Joe is still trying to piece together the puzzle the Bucs created for themselves by trading No. 2 receiver Mike Williams to Buffalo for a sixth-round pick.
Yes, Joe knows Bucs coach Lovie Smith had put his foot ,saying he was “not going to put up” with all repeated distractions– let’s be honest here, trivial distractions — caused by Williams and family.
Mattress in the yard? Stripper pole (allegedly) in the living room? Loud music? A kitchen fire? Joe never realized these were high crimes against society, and Joe is having a hard time figuring out how they can undermine a football squad. It’s not like Williams was regularly dragged off to jail in cuffs or, you know, speed-bagging a cabbie going down the road 55 mph.
Apparently, Joe isn’t the only one perplexed by the trade, which was executed not quite two weeks after Williams got knifed by his brother. So too is Leo Howell of SBNation.com. He had an outstanding breakdown of the Williams trade and the its ramifications. Howell believes Lovie is now treading a very slippery slope with his players.
(BTW, Joe on Twitter last week trashed SBNation for running blatant lies that fools call “April’s Fools jokes.” Lies are not jokes. At least the Bucs’ site there wrote one that was so over the top it was obvious from the first sentence. Yeah, you can mock Joe for what he does and there are a lot of people who would erupt in glee if Joe ever decided to retire this site, but at least Joe does not and will not knowingly publish blatant falsehoods and lies, like one of the top college quarterbacks in the country was transferring and the phony trade of Pro Bowl player. That’s simply outrageous and Joe hopes whoever typed and Twittered those two stories is reprimanded. Think Joe will go to those two sites for news? Hell no!)
Williams was traded for off-the-field reasons that include no violent crimes, no drug busts, and nothing but signs of an immature young man with too much time on his hands.
Will this be the new standard in Tampa Bay? Will players who make the headlines for any reason other than football be on their way out as quickly as they arrived? If so, where does that leave Akeem Spence, who was arrested for speeding and drug possession earlier this offseason?
It’s a slippery slope to get rid of a talented player because he was immature off the field, because while it does set an example for other players as to how they should behave, it also means the Bucs’ front office has drawn a line as to what is acceptable behavior and what is not.
Let’s say Lovie cuts Spence (he hasn’t yet), Spence is not a critical player on Lovie’s defense. Williams was a critical player on the offense. And in an area the Bucs aren’t the strongest (Vincent Jackson is 31 and the stat nerds don’t like him), wide receiver is now easily the weakest area on the roster.
Let’s be honest here: Allegedly driving 100 mph with weed in the car (feel free to do some math there) puts lives in danger, especially Spence’s. Joe knows of no one who has been hospitalized as the result of a mattress in the front yard or a stripper pole (allegedly) in the living room or loud music.
As the offense is currently constructed, with the exception of Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson, there are question marks all over the place.
If the Bucs rid themselves of Williams because he was hanging with rappers, then how is that different than the Eagles reportedly wanting to distance themselves from DeSean Jackson because they thought maybe he was flashing gang signs? Are people really that paranoid over Aaron Hernandez?