Extending Mike Williams

May 7th, 2013

MikewilliamsLondonWhen was the last time the Buccaneers gave one of their own a whopping contract extension before said player’s contract was played out?

It’s been a long while. Joe can’t recall.

That brings Joe to Mike Williams, who is entering the final year of his four-year, $2.3 million contract, which also has additional incentives in it. There’s been loads of published chatter about how the Bucs are eager now to lock up Williams for years to come. But Joe is skeptical this will get done.

Why would the Bucs want to drop the necessary pile of guaranteed cash on Williams now when they could let him play out 2013 on the cheap and still potentially franchise Williams for 2014, if they can’t re-sign him after this season? The 2014 franchise tag still would be less guaranteed money (about the same gifted to Michael Clayton) than it would take to secure Williams long-term today.

There is the theory of using this season’s remaining mile of salary cap room to front Williams money to help keep cash available to re-sign other top Buccaneers down the road. But it’s rare around the NFL, and un-Buccaneer-like, to drop a bag of cash on a young guy (Williams turns 26 next week) when it’s not necessary.

The Tampa Bay Rays do a masterful job locking up talented players by waving lottery tickets in front of their faces before they have to, ones the players cash in versus waiting for bigger paydays. It doesn’t happen often in the NFL.

Joe suspects the Bucs will toss a calculated carrot in front of Williams to see how hungry he is.

13 Responses to “Extending Mike Williams”

  1. Luther Says:

    The guy has been a solid receiver who got better when there was a goto guy on the other side. Lock him up and lets put this behind us. I was extremely happy we drafted him once I realized he was that guy that torched the Bulls.

  2. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I think it was Donald Penn

  3. Joe Says:

    @LUVMYBUCS – Actually Penn was not under contract when the Bucs gave him a new deal in 2010. He didn’t sign his tender offer.

  4. T in Orlando Says:

    I would think the Bucs would want to keep the Franchise Tag available for Freeman, if needed. If Freeman has a great year, and subsequently Williams has a great year, they won’t be able to tag both.

    Get Williams signed, 4-5 years, around $6 mil/yr, Guarantee first two years salary, plus a roster bonus or two.

    As far as the argument of not paying him because he has 1 year left on the cheap, that’s fairly backwards logic for a player whose worst year out of 3 so far has been “only” 65 catches, 771 yards and 3 TDs. He’s a very good #2 WR, who may still develop into a solid #1.

    If you don’t pay him now, you’ll likely not get the opportunity to pay him next year, because, barring injury, some team will likely try to bring him on as their number 1, and be willing to pay him as such (probably just south of Dwayne Bowe money), pricing the Bucs out of it.

  5. Jonny 3.3 Says:

    I like MWill and hope he remains a Buc for a long time. But the guy needs to stop being casual in his route running at times. He is preventing himself from being a good/reliable receiver.

  6. Tiny tim Says:

    Okay Jonny 3.3 may be mistaking. Mike is a good route runner.

    Joe, it is best to lock him up now. Both sides want it done and it makes no sense for the bucs to allow him to play out this last season. Another huge season and his price goes drastically higher which could prevent the bucs from signing him. The bucs have identified Williams as a core player and they have the means to sign him now. He has clearly outperformed his rookie contract more than any player drafted in the Dominick era. Pay him now because he deserves it.

  7. Sneedy16 Says:

    Maybe the Bucs want to pay him, but his agent is telling him to hold off until next season so he can get more money.

  8. DieHard_Bob Says:

    Mark Dominik mentioned recently that they don’t just plan for this year, but for several years in the future when making deals and signing contracts (like the Revis deal) so if they decide to sign Williams long term now I’m sure they have a good reason. I’ll trust that Dominik knows what he’s doing and leave the business end to him.

  9. Adam Says:

    Just a personal note, I’ve met Mike Williams 3 times out in public and he’s one of the nicest football players you’ll ever meet. He’s a good dude and I hope he gets his pay day.

  10. Biff Barker Says:

    The Bucs should table a home team friendly offer using the franchise tag as a chip, but agree we’ll want that option for Freeman.
    Thought I saw back when his agent was looking at the Stevie Johnson deal as a baseline. $5M a year?
    Problem is we don’t have anyone on the roster that can replace him. Yet.

  11. Bucfan Says:

    I think he’ll get a new deal and heavily front load it this year. Still have money 16 mil in cap space so future salary is available. I’d say a 6 year 35-40 million deal.

  12. BirdDoggers Says:

    Williams is proving to be a good WR. Historically the Bucs haven’t drafted well at the position. They’ve relied on signing free agents to shore up the position. In this case, Williams is proving to be a draft bargain and a guy worthy of resigning. I say keep the homegrown player instead of going into the unknown.

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yep, your right. To quote Coach Schiano “Details, Details gentleman”