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December 31, 2010 @ 11:21 am
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/2 Votes

Cadillac Plans To Explore Free Agency

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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Bucs RB Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams plans on testing the market as a free agent this offseason. Williams has played six years with Tampa Bay but is now a backup.
Buccaneers running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams has had a rollercoaster six-year run in Tampa Bay. From being named the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 2005, to suffering two devastating knee injuries in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008, to finishing second as the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2009. After six years in Tampa Bay, Williams is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason and his time as a Buccaneer may be coming to an end. Williams wants to test the free agent marketplace and does not sound interested in re-signing with Tampa Bay until he sees what other options are available. The Bucs' game at New Orleans on Sunday could be Williams last in red and pewter.

“I mean, I am a free agent so I’m going to explore my options,” said Williams. “The Bucs have been good to me. You know I love playing here. The fan base is awesome. We’ll see how things go.”

Williams has fallen to backup duty after the emergence of rookie running back LeGarrette Blount. This year, Williams has carried the ball 124 times for 430 yards (3.5 average) with two touchdowns. Blount, a 24-year old rookie, is only 59 yards away from 1,000 yards on the season. He has carried the ball 182 times for 941 yards with six touchdowns. He has averaged 5.2 yards per carry. The 6-foot, 247-pound Blount has started the last six games over Williams.

As Blount pushed his way into the starting lineup Williams excelled in backup duty as a third down back. Williams enjoyed a better average per carry and performed well for Tampa Bay as a pass receiver and pass protector against the blitz. Williams has a career-high 46 receptions for 355 yards and one touchdown in 2010. With Blount firmly entrenched as the Bucs starter and running back of the future, Williams will explore the open market to see if there is a starting spot available to him or an intriguing competition to be a starting running back. If those opportunities aren’t there Williams is open to re-signing with the Buccaneers and resuming his current role as Blount’s primary backup.

“No doubt. As you say as a professional athlete you always want to explore your options if you have the opportunity,” said Williams. “At the end of the day we’ll see how the thing goes, but I do enjoy playing with these guys. I think [quarterback Josh Freeman] is going to be a heck of player, so is Blount. I like playing here. We’ll see.”

Last year Williams ran for 823 yards (3.9 average) with four touchdowns. His one and only 1,000-yard season came as a rookie when he ran for 1,178 yards with six touchdowns and a 4.1 average. It was the only season where Williams averaged four yards per carry.

The 5-foot-11, 217-pound Williams will be 29 years old next season and has two reconstructed knees. Thus it is unknown what kind of demand there will be for Williams heading into his seventh NFL season. This year Williams played on a one-year tender contract that paid him $2.22 million. Williams is a favorite of current Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, and of former head coach Jon Gruden. If Gruden gets back into coaching he or Allen could make a push to sign Williams, the player they drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 09:32

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  • avatar

    Agree that Caddy was a big part of the victories this team experienced. I think if you went back over game tape footage and saw the crucial 3rd down pickup he made on draw plays or check down passes you would see that this team would not be 10-6 without Caddy. This doesn't even take into account his excellent pass blocking. He may not get the spotlight like Blount but make no mistake....he was every bit as important in crucial situations. He will be hard to replace.
  • avatar

    Doubtful Caddy gets any good offers. The Bucs are high on Lumpkin, who is very very similar to Cadillac. Then there is the return of Kareem Huggins next year, who really is a change of pace back. If Caddy returns, it will be as a cheap option
  • avatar

    earnest graham will not be with bucs next year,he get hurt every year,bring back caddy.
  • avatar

    Williams has become a decent receiver out of the backfield (remember his struggle in the early years?) and knows where to be as the checkdown guy. His pass protection's pretty good, too. But we have to assume Blount will master both skills in his second year and there are other backs in "Buc school" as well. So that leaves rushing ability and, unfortunately, Caddy's early season problems moving the ball won't be overlooked. Look for the Bucs to offer a contract to him late in the spring or early summer if at all. Much respect for him and what he's done but the business of football is business.
  • avatar

    jongruden: I think Cadillac has a much better chance remaining with the team than Ernest Graham, whose contribution is in decline. Cadillac seems to have found his niche while the oft-injured E.G. has become an afterthought. Your bias for the two players is showing.
  • avatar

    It's in the best interests of the team to move on without him. If Blount went on IR, the team would be screwed. Same thing with Earnest Graham. Get on with the youth movement. It's worked really well so far. The only exception I would make would be Ronde Barber IF Raheem is truly satisfied with his production. The Bucs are on the verge of really being a dynamic team year after year. The backup players should be guys who are fighting for their future, not riding on their past.
  • avatar

    Caddy!!!! Please no used car lots for you. Stay and be a great blocker and teach Blount for another year or two. Then we can put you in the show room as a CLASSIC true BUC. Love you man no matter what you decide. I wish you the best but hope you stay a BUC as long as you can help us. GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • avatar

    Can't blame him for wanting to test the free agent waters. Someone out there might be willing to pay him a long term big money contract. Doubtful, but some team may view him as a necessary piece to their puzzle. Remember when Al Davis made unknown backup Tommy Kelly the highest DT in the league a few years ago?
  • avatar

    Tampa fans love this guys feel good story of coming back from two knee surgeries enough to overlook his non-productive stats. Even earlier this yr when I was hammering Caddy for his play fans stood up for him by saying " he has no lne in front of him its not his fault" while he is a good blocker in the backfield and catches the occasional pass out of the backfield he is very replaceable. I personally don't think we need caddy. See ya Caddy! Hello Earnest Graham
  • avatar

    Caddy needs to come back. He is the best pass protecting RB I've seen in a long time. They need to sign him to a 3 year deal and make him a captain.
  • avatar

    Cadillac isn't going anywhere. He's saying that because that's what his agent told him to say. He'll be back. True Buccaneer.
  • avatar

    I was randomly going through NFL team stats the other day. Did anyone else know the Bucs are ranked 7th in the league in rushing? We're ahead of the Vikings, Steelers and Falcons. Caddy is part of that equation and I thank him for that. I don't think he'll find a starting job in the NFL. He'll find a dual role at best. I hope he stays but we do have Huggins coming back off of injury this year. He looked pretty good in pass pro when I was at the opening game against the Browns. Also, if all the good DE's are gone by the time we pick in the draft maybe M. Ingram could be an option. However, I'd love to see Caddy finish his career as a Buc. I've always preferred him over Ronnie Brown and Cedric Benson, even on Caddy's bad seasons.
  • avatar

    caddy will not get a starting running back job. He's a third down back, that's all he'll get paid for here or anywhere else.
  • avatar

  • avatar

    Caddy, you should check out the other offers and then get your butt back here. You are loved by the fans and it would be difficult to replace you. Thank you for the great plays....
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