Mike Williams wasn't the first wide receiver selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft, but he's certainly been the best. And now Williams is about to be rewarded for his solid play on the field over the past three season.
The Bucs are looking to extended Williams, who was a fourth-round pick out of Syracuse, and have begun negotiations with his agent, Hadley Engelhard.
"We've had some dialogue and we'll continue to have some dialogue when we get to the (NFL) combine next month,'' Engelhard told the Tampa Tribune. "Both sides have acknowledged that Mike has outperformed his contract.''
That contract was a 4-year/2.33 million deal that Williams signed as a rookie. He has escalator clauses in his account that could allow him to reach up to $1.4 million next season, but Williams' play suggests he deserves much more than that.
Williams exploded onto the season as a rookie and lead all first-year players with 65 catches for 964 yards in 2010. He also set the Bucs franchise record with 11 touchdown receptions, eclipsing Joey Galloway's old mark.
Last season, with Vincent Jackson demanding attention on the other side, Williams caught 63 balls for 996 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns. He averaged a career-best 15.8 yards per catch.
"Both sides are thrilled with the way Mike has played," said Engelhard. "Three years, 48 starts, the numbers just speak for themselves. At this point it just makes sense for both sides to negotiate a long-term deal.''
Buccaneers101.com is happy that the Bucs are being proactive and looking to lock Williams up for the long haul. While he may never be a dominant No. 1 guy, he is one of the NFL's best No. 2 receivers, and he and Jackson should make things exciting for years to come.
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