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July 8, 2011 @ 8:35 am
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PR Predicts: RB Cadillac Williams

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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Does Pewter Report think RB Cadillac Williams will be back in Tampa Bay? Why could he leave? Will Williams have a lot of interest in free agency? Find out the answers and the prediction of Williams’ future with the Bucs.
PewterReport.com continues this series of articles that predicts whether a Bucs veteran free agent will be back with the team in 2011.

Williams, 29, is entering unrestricted free agency after playing his sixth NFL season. The 5-foot-11, 217-pound Williams was a first-round pick, fifth overall, of the Buccaneers in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Williams started the first nine games of the season before leaving the starting lineup due to ineffectiveness. Rookie LeGarrette Blount surpassed Williams as the lead ball carrier after Williams struggled to get the ground game moving and averaging 2.5 yards per carry to start the season. Going to a backup role revived Williams and he excelled as the Bucs' third-down back. Williams did a good job as a blocker, pass receiver and third-down runner. For the season, he ran for 437 yards on 125 carries (3.5 average) with two touchdowns. He caught 46 passes for 355 yards and one score.

Williams started out his career by being the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 2005 when he ran for 1,178 yards (4.1 average) and six touchdowns. That year, Williams helped the Bucs win the NFC South and finish with an 11-5 record.

In 2006, Williams ran for 798 yards and one touchdown in 14 games. Williams lost the majority of the 2007 and 2008 seasons due to torn knee ligaments. After the first injury there was concern by Williams and the Buccaneers that he may never play again. 

In 2009, Williams came back healthy and took hold of the starting running back position over veteran Earnest Graham and free agent addition Derrick Ward. Williams finished second for the Comeback Player of the Year award after he ran for 823 yards (3.9 average) with four touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 217 yards and three scores.

Williams definitely has supporters at One Buc Place that would like to see him back. He is a team leader and is very popular in the locker room. Williams’ boisterous personality is a motivator for the team in practice. Some with the Bucs feel that Williams has one more good season left in him as a third-down back. 

The Bucs do not feel that Blount is an every-down back at this point in his young career. Blount does not have the skills in the passing game, a complete understanding of the Buccaneers offense nor the proper decision-making ability in blitz pickup for that role at this time in his young career. Williams struggled with the same aspects early in his career and the Bucs would insert veteran Michael Pittman into the game on third down in 2005.

The price to re-sign Williams should be extremely affordable. There are younger and more accomplished running backs that are scheduled to hit free agency, so re-signing Williams should not command a significant contract. A running back nearing 30 years of age with two rebuilt knees is not a recipe for a lucrative contract in the free agency marketplace.

Tampa Bay has fortified the running back position with the drafting of sixth-round pick Allen Bradford. The Bucs also like seldom-used backup Kregg Lumpkin. The Buccaneers have some depth with their third-down back as well with Graham being more than capable of handling those duties, and he is under contract for 2011. Williams also does not play on special teams, and backup running backs have typically been core special teams contributors for Tampa Bay.

In the Bucs' pre-draft meetings, general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris were said to not be enthusiastic about bringing back Williams. The Buccaneers could use the roster spot for a younger running back that could have a long-term future and a back that could serve as a backup that could handle a large amount of carries if there was an injury to Blount.

Williams may also want a chance to compete to be a starter. That does not seem likely at this point in his career coming off 2010 when he lost his starting spot, but he may want to go to a team where he will have a bigger role.

Pewter Report’s prediction is that Williams will not be re-signed by Tampa Bay.

G Davin Joseph

DE Stylez White

DE Tim Crowder

WR Maurice Stovall

LB Barrett Ruud

TE John Gilmore 

RT Jeremy Trueblood 
Last modified on Sunday, 10 July 2011 16:31

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  • avatar

    I've been a Caddy homer and was disappointed to see him go for many of the reasons already stated. However, I'd like to add one more reason to bring him back. He made Free feel very comfortable with his blocking skills. Free has stated this numerous times. Maybe his presence would make our QB more confident....lthat's not a bad thing. Also, Caddy has intangibles which by definition cannot be measured. Some of them though that can be named is locker room presence, his close relationship with Blount and other players, and just the sheer raw power of his example of overcoming incredible odds....those things do add up. I saw bring him back. I'll leave it to the rest of you to figure out the best contract arrangement.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
  • avatar

    While I'd like to see Caddy come back because he's a great team player and great blocker, he just doesn't offer much else (although his YPC went up significantly after Blount took over and relegated him to a 3rd-down back). I think the FO will turn the FB position over to Lorig, who did great at the end of the season, and is a much bigger and more physical FB; and they will move Graham to the 3rd-down back role. They'll probably let Lumpkin and Bradford battle it out for backup carries while playing special teams, and hopefully pick up a guy like Locke to put on the practice squad. Our stable of backs will look completely different over the next couple years compared to years past; and that's a very good thing.
  • avatar

    Agree with macabee to expect the unexpected this year ... but if it comes down to keeping Caddy or Graham, I think it will be Graham. Recent injuries notwithstanding, Graham is a first-downer on that sideline fullback pass (a la #40) and Caddy hasn't got the power to pull it off. Graham can protect Freeman and has better hands for the checkdown when necessary, IMO.
  • avatar

    Caddy is 29, has average hands , is an above average pass protector, is slow with very little explosion or cut back ability anymore, he never really had any speed but he use to be an amazing runner with the way he kept moving his legs gaining yac. Sadly after 2 blown knees, I don't see him ever returning to that form again. He's only valueable as a pass protector and im almost positive there will be someone else better in UFA or FA. I think he should be let go to make room for somebody else but I think there will be no interest for him in FA so we will resign him to a short term deal to maybe mentor his replacement.
  • avatar

    First, expect the unexpected. It is hard to predict precisely what the Bucs will do with Cadillac and other on-the-bubble players this year. IMO, this uncertainty revolves around 3 important issues, (1) How long before the lockout is over, (2) Will the CBA expand 2011 rosters, and (3) Will the CBA require annual cash minimums on salaries (a floor). The longer the lockout persists, expect more veteran players like Cadillac, Graham, or even Stylez White to be re-signed to short-term contracts. If the NFL allows 2011 expanded rosters due to the impact of the lockout on rookies and FAs, then expect some on-the-bubble players to be held over on 1 year contracts. If the new CBA requires a cash salary floor, people like Jason La Canfora and others expect the Bucs to be big players in FA. Even Mark Dominik said on PFT Live that when the lockout is over, he will first concentrate on UFAs, then FAs, and lastly, drafted rookies because they are already locked down and the anticipated rookie wage scale will minimize holdouts. Because of this, the blogosphere has been associating Reggie Bush with the Bucs. So expect the unexpected and because of the lockout, I reserve the right to be totally wrong about everything I have just said!!
  • avatar

    I knew when I saw this piece that JonnyG would be all over it in his desire to part ways with #24. Trueblood could block for him as they both hit the exit; right Jonny? I will say, you surprised me with the favorable comments. I always believe we should re-sign all of our F/A players and let them compete. That said, I do think it will be difficult for a 29 year old running back who has no role on Special Teams to maintain his roster spot. I also think it will be a challenge for the oft-injured Ernest Graham as Pink mentioned. No one knows much about Kregg Lumpkin and Kareem Huggins is another mystery. Since we typically keep three tailbacks I would not be surprised to see this area addressed by bringing in F/A's from outside to compete or perhaps find a spot on the Practice Squad.
  • avatar

    @scubog- "Trueblood can block for Caddy on his way out" thats good stuff! Let me add a wrikle- as Trueblood is paving the way he is penalized for a late hit on Dominick.
  • avatar

    Caddy vs. Lumpkin - Caddy every time. Not sure what is going on with Huggins - anybody know anything?
  • avatar

    I think we should re-sign Cadillac to a front loaded 3 year contract, but that's me. This story is about will the Bucs actually keep him. I'm on the fence on that one. My first reaction was to say the Bucs will keep him for all the reasons FLBoyInDallas gave. Then I remembered E. Graham. I think he's just as good a 3rd down back as Caddy only ironically he's more injury prone over the last 2 seasons. He's also older than Caddy. If I had to make a choice on what the Bucs will do I say they keep Caddy over Graham because of the age difference and the fact that Graham has no future in the offense, only special teams.
  • avatar

    for the right price ,yes....he stopped a lot of hits on our qb.
  • avatar

    one point to think about is to ponder the situation of Blount's relationship to Caddy (ie: in his wedding party, off field friendship, blounts constant talk of caddy's mentoring importancehelping him learn the game),.., IF. the option of not having a steady 3rd down back this year, cadillac adds an intangible as well as mentioned above his value to #5.....this may be something for the team to consider...jmo
  • avatar

    personal relationships have nothing to do with that decision, its all about " what have you done for me lately" Otherwise we would have brought Dunn back for yrs- lol
  • avatar

    If they have someone who can block and catch passes just as efficiently as Caddy on 3rd down then by all means let him sign elsewhere. But if they don't, it would be the height of stupidity to let him leave. If it's all about #5 why would you intentionally allow #5 to regress with his available help on 3rd down? It makes absolutely no sense at all. I'm not saying Caddy is necessarily that guy, but if you don't have a better, more complete option then why let him go? Having a highly capable 3rd down back who can handle all phases of that duty is essential if you want a great passing game!!!!!
  • avatar

    If Caddy wants to come back, you resign him. Period.
  • avatar

    Carnell = good story but very very average RB. Wish him the best.
  • avatar

    I don't think we should resign him but I would bet he will resign, he is one of Morris boys and he is a good blocker and third down back.
  • avatar

    ''Pewter Report’s prediction is that Williams will not be re-signed by Tampa Bay.'' Yay! Best news I've heard all week!
  • avatar

    I would resign Caddy. He's a good utility RB.
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