ORLANDO, Fla. -- Just about a month ago, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said he wanted wide receiver Mike Williams to stay out of the headlines.
Well, Williams is once again the center of attention. Williams was stabbed over the weekend. The injury wasn’t serious, but the incident could have an impact on Williams’ future with the team. This isn’t the first time Williams has had off-field trouble.
Although Williams has $6.4 million guaranteed remaining on his contract, the team could make a statement by releasing him. Coach Lovie Smith doesn’t like off-field distractions and Williams may be one. We don't know all the details of the latest incident, but Smith addressed Williams' off-field issues in February.
“There’s a pattern here and it’s disturbing. No one is bigger than this football team,” Smith said at the scouting combine. “He has to understand that. 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.”
Again, we don't know the circumstances of the latest incident, but it sure looks like the pattern Smith referenced has added another layer. That probably doesn't bode well for Williams' future.
There already has been speculation the Bucs could draft wide receiver Sammy Watkins in the first round and that’s likely to get stronger.
I’m at the NFL owners meeting and will try to catch up with Licht and Smith to see if they’ll comment on Williams’ future.