The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded embattled wide receiver Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills.
Williams has been caught up in recent legal trouble – including a stabbing incident with his brother inside his Avila home. Williams' brother, Eric Baylor, later turned himself in to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
After signing a six-year deal worth $40-million last July, not much has gone right for Williams. He played in just six games before surgery on his hamstring ended his season.
FOX 13's Kevin O'Donnell spoke to new head coach Lovie Smith at the NFL combine in February, and a trade was always likely.
"There's a pattern here and it's disturbing. No one is bigger than this football team. He has to understand that," Smith said then. "Have I been disappointed in Mike Williams? Of course. There's a standard. We're just not going to put up with it, no matter who it is. You have to be good on the field and off the field. Simple as that. And if you're not doing what you need to do one or the other, you have problems and that's where Mike has to take care of a few things."
Bucs GM Jason Licht released this statement Friday: "We thank Mike for his contributions to the Buccaneers over the last four seasons. At this time we felt this was best for both sides and we wish Mike well going forward."
The Bucs send Williams to Buffalo in exchange for a sixth-round pick. It's an interesting move considering Williams' history with the Bills' current head coach, Sports Director Chip Carter tweeted.
"Bucs trade WR Mike Williams to Bills for a 6th-round pick. Doug Marrone was Williams' coach at Syracuse when he quit. Now he's the HC in Buffalo," he wrote.
It also leaves the Bucs searching for another threat at wide receiver besides veteran Vincent Jackson.
By trading Williams, the Bucs get out of his salary cleanly, and they'll head into next month's draft with a great need. With the 7th overall pick, the Bucs will likely target Clemson's Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M's Mike Evans.
In four years, Williams played in 54 games with 52 starts for the Buccaneers, recording 215 catches for 2,947 yards and 25 touchdowns.
FOX 13's Kevin O'Donnell contributed to this report.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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