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Bills trade for Buffalo native Mike Williams, pending physical


The Buffalo Bills are rolling the dice a change of scenery will be just what Buffalo native Mike Williams needs to rescue his professional career.

The Bills today announced they have traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 26-year-old Williams. The deal was first reported by ESPN, reportedly for a sixth-round draft choice. The trade is contingent on Williams reporting to the Bills and passing a physical.

Williams is entering his fifth year in the NFL. He played just six games in 2013 before going on injured reserve because of a torn hamstring. In Williams' first three years, he made 193 catches for 2,731 yards and 23 touchdowns.

But the Bucs were willing to give up that type of production because of Williams' off-the-field issues.

On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Times reported Williams is being sued by an insurance company for alleged damages to a rental property. That follows a previous lawsuit brought against him by his landlord.

Just last month, he was stabbed in the thigh by his brother. He's also facing a misdemeanor charge for trespassing and aggravated battery.

Combined, those issued proved to be too much for new Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith to deal with.

Joining the Bills will reunite Williams with his coach at Syracuse, Doug Marrone. That's interesting, because Williams quit the Orange in 2009.

"We feel Mike is a player who has the ability to help our team improve. With regard to our time at Syracuse, I feel that is in the past for both of us," Marrone said today in a statement released by the Bills. "Today, Mike has an opportunity to get a fresh start to his career here in his hometown and regain his form as a productive player in the National Football League.  We look forward to getting Mike into the facility and start our work preparing for the 2014 season once the players are free to report on April 22."

Marrone started his statement by describing Williams as a "competitive, tough wide receiver who has the size and athleticism to add competition to our receiver position group."

The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Williams has 215 catches for 2,947 yards with 25 touchdowns in 54 games (52 starts) in his career. He finished second in voting for the Associated Press' Rookie of the Year in 2010 after starting his professional career with 65 catches for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Williams' is the second Buffalo native to join the Bills' roster this offseason, after the team signed cornerback Corey Graham as a free agent last month.





  • Buffalo Bill Nelson

    Not to brag or anything like that, but I predicted this back in early March when the Bills signed Graham, Rivers, Williams and Spikes. This kid can play. I hope he stays clear of trouble. That gives us 5 players named Williams. Any out there to be drafted?

    In all seriousness, if they have enough cap space to absorb his dead money, Stevie may be a goner. He's just too expensive. Or, they may use Williams' presence to force Stevie to restructure his contract.

    • Harvsbuddy

      That's actually seven Williams on the roster now.

      • Guest

        Actually the prefer to be call Bills not Williams :)

      • JD Gram

        The prefer the less formal "Bills" instead of Williams :)

      • JD Gram

        Not only that they have EJ,CJ,TJ .....

        • Buzz saw

          And 49 others who want a BJ

    • Mr.Niagara Falls

      They are called the "Bill's" aren't they..hence all the players named Williams'

      • The General

        Ha, I never even realized that.

    • Harvsbuddy

      Hey!?!? Are you THE Bill Nelson?

  • The 14221

    Great move by Whaley,

  • Bill W

    Does the off-the-fields antics bother anyone? Are the Bills becoming "Club Bad Boys?"

    • Harvsbuddy

      That's where you rely on your veteran leadership like Fred Jackson and Kyle Williams.
      Also, this is likely his last opportunity to clean up his act.
      If he can't behave in his hometown with his hometown team, his career is over.

      • Lloyd M. Jr.

        He has to PERFORM, first above all.

    • BullGuy

      When the Oakland Raiders pass on a guy like this, you know the problems with the player run deep.

      • The 14221

        Not necessarily.

  • Steve

    If there is anyplace that could give this guy an increased chance of bad behavior, it's his hometown where all of his friends and family live. Hopefully he can stay out of trouble.

  • Millhouse

    Remember the Bills campaign of about 5 years ago of only signing "high character" players?

    • BillyT92679

      Where did that land them?

      • Millhouse

        The same place that they are now.

        • Lloyd M. Jr.

          RIghty-o. There are times when small sacrifices need to be made in order to get quality players, warts and all.

        • BillyT92679

          The high character stuff was always euphemistic for "we can't sign anyone talented, so at least these tomato cans aren't scumbags".

  • Skip Bayless

    No. Thanks.

  • Mr.Niagara Falls

    The heat is on the present Bills leadership. If the Wilson estate sells the team within a year how long do you think Russ Brandon on down will be around? Win or lose they will be gone. The new owner will want to rid himself of all the losing culture around One Bills Drive. So Marrone et al start shinning up your resume's , for you will be looking for jobs in the next year.

    • Scott

      I'm betting Mary Wilson hangs on to the team for a few years. Why? Well if they can turn this team around and make it a contender, what will that do for the value of the team?? It will INCREASE in value. I'm sure her attorneys are advising her not to be in any great big hurry to sell. They are locked into a multiple year lease, which would be very expensive for any potential buyer to get out of. Mrs. Wilson would be farther ahead if she held on to the BILLS for a few years, there's no dire need to sell. The BILLS are a money making team..

      • Buzz saw

        And the basis of your knowledge is? I'm sure you make schlit up

      • zbubble

        She has to sell unless she has about 350 million dollars on hand to give to the IRS for the Estate tax (aka Death tax) they're going to come looking for.

        • elmo

          Spouses don't pay estate taxes. She will have to pay capital gains taxes if she sells.

          I think the team will be worth less if it starts winning. The real money is in moving the club, and it will be harder politically for a new owner to move a successful team selling out all home games.

          • zbubble

            You're right about the tax, I was thinking of children.

          • Scott

            Move the team??? Where L.A.?? You've got to be kidding. L.A. already had 2 teams, remember the Raiders and the Rams! It failed twice, neither team was supported. It's a lousy market for NFL. Toronto? Smaller stadium, and furthermore if Canada is such a GREAT market why are the BILLS the only ones playing over the border? Why haven't any of the other owners embraced it? The BILLS are NOT going anywhere.

          • Michael

            LA didn't necessarily fail with the Raiders, Al Davis was pulling his crap like he usually does, the Ram's wanted a new stadium and weren't getting it. To think LA wouldn't support it's own team is a little crazy I think. They support all of their other teams quite well. Bad ownership with the Raiders and Rams. If they only sell out half their games, they will be on par with the Bills.

          • Scott

            Maybe, but as you stated The Rams wanted a new stadium and wouldn't get it. That to me shows that there is a serious lack of commitment in the L.A. market. Unlike here, they are upgrading the stadium to keep it fresh and entertaining and also looking into the possibility of a new stadium. Don't forget any move would require an overwhelming approval by the other owners and the Commissioner. It appears that they aren't willing to let that happen.

          • Lloyd M. Jr.

            If anything, most likely the Jacksonville Jaguars and/or the San Diego Chargers... maybe even the Arizona Cardinals... would be the prime teams to relocate to LA.

          • Michael

            No way the Cardinals are going anywhere. Not sure where you pulled that one from. New stadium, long time ownership, great fan support... and a pretty good team too.

          • Lloyd M. Jr.

            I will apologize for mentioning the Cards. Maybe the Rams, if they don't get the upgrades/new stadium approved in St. Louis, might give SoCal a fresh look.

          • Michael

            It seems like the Rams have a good chance of going back to LA, they can get out of their lease after this season.

          • Michael

            From what I hear LA isn't big on public financing for stadiums. That may have been the big holdup before. It's not the market that's an issue, it's who will pay for a new stadium.

          • Scott

            There you go, you need PUBLIC support to make a go of it. If they are struggling to get it then that is a major issue for any team to even consider moving there. There is public support for the BILLS here. They do very well at ticket and memorabilia sales. At times they do struggle,with attendance, but overall the market supports the BILLS. When you have something that works and is profitable, it makes no sense to move or change.

          • Michael

            If they can get a stadium built in LA, it will be much more profitable than Buffalo. PSL, merchandise, higher ticket prices...., hopefully the new owners want to stay and will work with the state on building a new stadium together. That's our only hope.

      • Jamie Rozek

        Even if they found a buyer tomorrow, it could take a year or more to actually complete the sale.

    • Lloyd M. Jr.

      Messrs. Littman and Ovderdorf need to be shown the EXIT door right now; no delays or debates. Replace these two with advisors who are willing to spend some more for quality.

  • Faustus Goodman

    I'm cautiously optimistic about this deal. He's a needed piece (WR) in the puzzle with a low-risk return (sixth round pick). With the other FA signings, I believe it puts the Bills in a better position to drop down the draft order, thus grabbing more picks.

    • Lloyd M. Jr.

      Dumping Stevie(me me me) Johnson and going hard after DeSean Jackson would have helped the Bills even better.

      • PPS

        I would have cut Stevie Johnson after he dropped that pass in the Pittsburgh game.....

        • Lloyd M. Jr.

          The dropped pass in the 2010 game with Pittsburgh, I would've forgiven.
          His antics the next season(2011), however, ought to have been more than enough to send him packing. They signed that doofus again, and he has not shown himself to be all that reliable or dependable even now.

          • PPS

            So true Lloyd!!!!! Doofus....perfect!!!!!!

  • Rich

    Speaking of character...any chance we can sign O.J.?

    • Lloyd M. Jr.

      Maybe go after Maurice Clarett? Richie Incognito for a second tour of duty with the Bills?

  • REcallGrisanti

    He will fit right in with the cast of other legendary criminals and millionaire misfits.

    • Rollo Tomasei

      Who exactly would that be ?

  • doubleeagle

    glad to get him out of tampa.nothing but trouble here.he will not be missed.hope for the bills sake he fails phy.out-law from the word go.

  • Buzz saw

    He GOT stabbed, not committed a stabbing. He's being sued over a kitchen fire in a rental apt. I don't see drug arrests, wife beatings, gun charges, rape, assault, car theft, DUIs, 12 babies with 11 women, bar fights, strip club bills unpaid, or any other practice commonly associated with NFL players. So let's wait and see if he can play...

    • HowardFinesucky

      He's been in trouble of various sorts here in Tampa for over two years.

      • Buzz saw

        Yet Tampa gave him a contract extension

  • zbubble

    Since Tampa was ready to move on from Williams, the Bills probably realized Mike Evans isn't getting past the Bucs at #7. Now with Watkins and Evans both off the board before the Bills pick, they can focus their attention on Ebron or one of the OTs.

  • WHAT?

    If he can get his act together and play like he did his rookie year, this is a major addition. It's also potentially a major distraction.

  • Fennario

    America is the land of second plus chances, the Bills need a receiver, he'll have Stevie for a role model er...the bills need a receiver and Williams is very good, he's a local guy, c'mon how about some love and support Bills fans?

  • Bob Mead

    Why the Bills would welcome this guy is beyond me. I spend the winter in the Tampa Bay area and Williams is in the news every two weeks and it is never for anything good. He destroyed a home he rented and recently had to pay $50,000.00 in repairs after he was evicted. His brother recently stabbed him after a scuffle and Williams lied to police as to what took place. He broke down the door at his girl friend's home and police were involved. He's 26 years old, not a teenager, so I don't envision any changes in his lifestyle. Maybe he'll fail his physical with the Bills
    because of his stab wounds. One can only hope.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.