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February 22, 2011 @ 5:36 am
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Want Cadillac Back In 2011

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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The Buccaneers want to re-sign Cadillac Williams and have him return to the team in 2011 and reprise his role as Tampa Bay's third-down back. Williams, who is entering his seventh NFL season, will be an unrestricted free agent this year.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to re-sign Cadillac Williams, but whether that will happen or not will depend on how much the six-year running back will command on the free agent market.

Members of the Bucs’ brass want Williams to return because he excelled in the role of the team’s third-down back when rookie LeGarrette Blount established himself as the feature back after the first third of the 2010 campaign en route to a 1,000-yard season. Williams began the season as the starter, averaging 2.5 yards per carry, but finished with a 3.5 yards per carry average, rushing for 437 yards and two touchdowns on 125 carries.

As good as he was as a rusher, Williams was even better in the classic third down back role, catching a career-high 46 passes for 355 yards and the game-winning touchdown against St. Louis. The Auburn product was also the Bucs’ best pass protecting back in blitz pick-up.

With Blount already established in the starting running back role, Tampa Bay will not be in the market for a featured runner like Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams or Indianapolis' Joseph Addai. The Bucs will be looking for a backup player and some inside One Buc Place believe that Cadillac Williams is the best available option because he knows the offense, has proven he can stay healthy for the past two seasons and he has great leadership ability. Williams served as a great role model for Blount and took the rookie runner under his wing on and off the field last year.

As much as the Bucs want Williams to return, it will likely come after he tests free agency. Yet after suffering two devastating knee injuries in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008 and losing his starting job in 2010, the runner up to the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2009 isn’t likely to command starter’s money or a starting job in free agency, which will should help Tampa Bay retain him.

But before Williams entertains the idea of possibly re-signing with the Bucs, he told PewterReport.com at the end of the 2010 campaign that he will explore free agency.

“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.

“As a professional athlete you always want to explore your options if you have the opportunity. 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.”

It would take a monumental offer in terms of money and likely an offer for a starting job to sway Williams from his loyalty to the Buccaneers, however.

“No doubt,” said Williams. “Like I tell a lot of people. There is not a lot of loyalty in professional sports. I can’t do nothing but tip my hat to the Bucs. Going through what I went through there were guys waiting around and helping me through those tough times and not giving up on me. It means a lot. I’m very thankful and honored.”

In 2009, Williams ran for 823 yards (3.9 average) and 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. This year Williams played on a one-year tender contract that paid him $2.22 million. Williams is a favorite of current Washington general manager Bruce Allen, who drafted him in 2005, and the Redskins could be in the market for another running back.

If Williams does return to Tampa Bay, the Bucs' backfield will likely be set for the 2011 season. Blount would be the starter with Williams and Earnest Graham, who is expected to log more carries as a halfback this season, as the primary backups. The Bucs also have Kregg Lumpkin, who can play halfback and fullback, in addition to fullback Erik Lorig.

Halfback Kareem Huggins is still recovering from a severe knee injury in 2010 that ended his season. He is expected to start the 2011 campaign on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list and cannot be counted on this season.

Should Williams not be re-signed by the Buccaneers, Tampa Bay would likely be forced to spend a mid- to late-round draft pick on another running back.
Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 10:01
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    if he refused on the deal teamates should give him a purple nurple in the lockeroom....mccoy and price can hold him down while ronde squeezes and twists some sense into him....adam from ny
  • avatar


    give him 2 mil for this upcoming season and tell him to shut the f*** up...love ya caddy!...adam from ny
  • avatar

    @scubog- again, I like Caddy my son has his jersey and his clock, his poster etc. fact of the matter is isn't productive anymore, i actually get mad when we give him the ball especially on that last drive against Detroit. He can easily be replaced and wouldn't matter that he's gone. I like Graham too but his days are behind him as well .
  • avatar


    ... good assessment ILoveMeSomeFire... may not be set at all those spots, but clearly strong enough that we will be much better with DE and LB upgrades... And keeping Caddy is obvious, stupid debate....
  • avatar


    Gee Jongruden, you're still down on Cadillac even though he played exceptionally well in his new role last year. What he has that "anyone" doesn't is the trust of Josh Freeman. No, after his injuries he was not the same player he was coming out of Auburn; but he has re-invented himself and found a niche as a productive member of the team when others would have given up. I feel the same way you do about Ernest Graham; nice story, average, oft-injured player. Both will be back with the team in training camp, but I think Cadillac has a better chance to stick.
  • avatar


    I think resigning Cadillac is a no brainer- Look at what Cadillac has done and what he had overcome all the problems and Re-Hab He went thru. Why in the world would you let him go, He is better than ever, for atleast a yr. They could groom Locke RB from Kentucky for the future. I'm sorry Graham is the one that Tampa needs to trade away. Can you imagine with Blount and Cadillac in the same backfield, With rookie Locke in the reserve. Tampa Running attack will open the passing attack more fearce. And finally Tampa bay will compete with the big boys again. And this time Tampa has a lot of payback in 2011. Its gonna to show that Coach Moris will be Coach of the Year in 2011. And Tampa will push into the playoffs with strong offensive and defensive efforts. Better than 2002. GO Bucs.
  • avatar

    We are set at CB with Biggers and Lewis being the future next to Talib. We are set at Safety with Lynch and Grimm with Asante and Jackson being there for depth. We are set at QB with maybe a 3rd stringer needed if we can deal Johnson. We are more than set at WR. We apparently need at pass catching late round TE. We are set at FB. With Larsen getting another year and bringing back Joseph and Trueblood we are set on our line unless there is a massive upgrade at RT. I think we should have no excuse to go after DeAngelo Williams or Addai at RB, what the hell would be wrong with having two solid options at RB. We seem to be too worried about change of pace. We are solid at DT for years to come so all that truly leaves is DE and LB. I say the first 5 rounds should be dedicated solely to DE and LB. I am all for BPA but I can almost guarantee that there will be a solid DE and/or LB on the board close to value in whatever picks we have. I think if we could use FA and the draft to do what ever we could to solidify our DE and LB positions like we were willing to do for DT last year then we could really solidify this team for years to come. I say try to get the best LB's and DE's we can in FA and draft the best options possible and we can finally turn the two weakest positions on our team for the past couple years into a strength and be a solid team in every which way. We know we have good back ups that got plenty of playing time last year so this year for once, just one time only, lets not waste pics on more potential back ups. Lets get some God Damn DE's and LB's in here and rock the socks off of these Mother Fuckers next year...
  • avatar


    at the right price only...Lumpkin and Graham are pretty much the same as him and if they get as many chances as he did might even be better...and that Lorig is some blocker.
  • avatar

    I like E. Graham and I started liking Caddy last year after he became the 3rd down back. Never really liked Caddy before but He did a great job in pass-pro for us last year. All that said, I do not think that we need them BOTH. EG, I don't believe, is as good a blocker. Yes they made him a FB, but that was just to try and keep him on the field. How good of a blocker and receiver is Lumpkin?? I think we have too many of the same type RB's on our team. We probably need to keep 1 of those three, maybe 2, but definitely not all 3. Lumpkin, I believe, is the youngest and has the most potential. Unless we get Caddy cheap I say we just keep Lumpkin. He was said to be impressing late last year. That would give us more space on the roster to store some future starters and solid depth. I know they are all fan favorites, but they will be gone someday, might as well make it now while you have some good replacements.
  • avatar

    What would we ever do without his 3.3 yds a carry. He is a great feel good story but he just isn't a productive player anymore since the acl injuries. We can find anyone who can block and catch the occasional pass out of the back field. Bye Caddy thx for the memory of your rookie yr. and well thats about it. At least you can have more time to hang out with your buddy Clayton
  • avatar

    Also, Bob Sanders a Buc? Come on. Not gonna happen. Let it go. No way we pay the money we would need to to get him. Someone will def overpay. He is better at free safety and we need more size at the ss, not another FS.
  • avatar

    So, theyt really want caddy back? I know he knows the offense, but he is hardly the ideal 3rd down back. His intagibles are what put him over and add value. The guy knows the offense and looks fresh. They must have real concerns about the availability of a legit 3rd down back via free agency that Freeman feels comfortable with. The draft will produce a decent speedback but being a 3rd down back means more than being fast. Caddy can get the job done. Wodnering couldn't EG do the same job though? Didnt they say they wannted to get him more involved in the passing game? Wouldn't letting caddy go accomplish this? Clearly graham is a great catcher out of the backfield and better blocker. I say let him walk if his price isn't lower than waht he made this year.
  • avatar


    @ villarreal--Tanard has been my favorite player since he almost killed Dallas Clark coming across the middle. Tjak will petition the NFL for reinstatement around training camp time at the earliest. Any team contact with him before reinstatement is against NFL policy. IF he's clean, (big IF--he could always Ricky Williams) he's been out of football for a year, and will have no offseason or training camp conditioning. He hasn't played with Morris the defensive playcaller all that much yet. It will take him a while to get back into the grind. Back too soon & he risks injury. Just a guess, but he becomes a viable option by week 8-10. (?) If he plays very well, and sticks to his NFL probation/drug testing, the Bucs could get him cheaply on a new deal for 2012-as long as the Aztecs weren't right about the end of the world. Huge IF's and a long process--put him in the back of your mind, and hope for the best.
  • avatar


    This may change once the actual signings take place, but everything I read seems to indicate to me that the Bucs are very confident in their starting players on offense. They aren't drafting starters-so they say. The picks they indicate intrest in on offense are situational players not every down guys. They are looking to their FA's in Joseph, Trueblood, & Caddy. If the coaches & front office really belive that then I find that encouraging for their potential. I vote no on Bob Sanders. Bucs have a huge competition at saftey. CC already gave Asante some love as an acending player to watch. Sanders could come in take reps away from others, win the job, get hurt, and be out. Something I like to call "doin' the Leftwich."
  • avatar


    "With Blount already established in the starting running back role, Tampa Bay will not be in the market for a featured runner like Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams..." - Why not? You're paying Blount peanuts. I know it won't happen, but Blount AND Deangelo in the back field? Wow.
  • avatar


    I agree, why not? He split carries with Stewart and both got 1000yards the prior season.
  • avatar

    off te subject.. does anybody know what is going to happend to Tanard Jackson??? we should take a look at OJ Otogwa or bob sanders if if he wont come back
  • avatar

    Anybody think the Bucs will go after Bob Sanders now that the Colts have cut him,or should they? Im curious to see what everyone thinks.
  • avatar

    Caddy was a beast last year and needs to be re-signed at all costs honestly. I watched almost every bucs game online and literally this dude never missed a block or an assignment. Yea no way hes a starting running back anymore but in that 3rd down role he might be a top 3 rb in the league, counting chester taylor and kevin faulk. The bucs dont win 10 games without him this year and wont next year if they dont bring him back. Im not a caddy fanatic neither. He's just an exceptional backup.
  • avatar


    Makes no sense to retain him and bring in a RB late in the 4th or 5th round. Retain him or not, I say target Shane Vereen in the third.
  • avatar

    he definitely excelled as the 3rd down back, whether it be in pass protection or catching the ball in the flats. i've kinda been an anti caddy fan the last couple years, but he really impressed me last year.
  • avatar


    Let him explore FA and it will tell him that no team will trust him to be a lead back anymore (knees & recent history). His best option will be to re-sign as our 3rd down back, assuming the Bucs anti up a decent offer.
  • avatar

    Although his days as a starting back are behind him there is no doubt Caddy has value as a third down back in this system. His work ethic and determination is a good example for the young guys as well.
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