Wide receiver Mike Williams was traded to the Buffalo Bills from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a sixth-round draft pick, less than a year after he signed a six-year, $40 million contract and 12 days after he was stabbed in the thigh. His brother was charged in the incident.
Williams, 26, was a fourth-round draft pick out of Syracuse University in 2010 and averaged 64 receptions over his first three National Football League seasons while scoring 23 touchdowns. A hamstring injury limited him to six games last year, when he had 22 catches for 216 yards and two scores.
“Mike has an opportunity to get a fresh start to his career here in his hometown and regain his form as a productive player,” said Bills coach Doug Marrone, who was the coach at Syracuse when Williams was there.
“We feel Mike is a player who has the ability to help our team improve,” Marrone added in a statement. “With regard to our time at Syracuse, I feel that is in the past for both of us.”
Williams has been dogged by off-field issues since his time at Syracuse, where he missed the 2008 season due to academic suspension and quit the team seven games into the 2009 campaign while facing further discipline for misconduct. New Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said this offseason he’s been “disappointed” in Williams’s off-field actions, which included complaints about criminal mischief and trespassing, and a $43,000 lawsuit for damages to a home he was renting.
Smith’s comments came before Williams was stabbed in the leg following a March 23 altercation at his home. His brother, Eric Baylor, was released on $1,000 bond on March 25 after being charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Baylor’s attorney, Frank Fernandez, didn’t immediately return a message left at his office.
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