The Buccaneers and Mike Williams are "very close" to a contract extension according to the receiver who spoke to the media after practice this week. Williams is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract and is set to earn a reported $1.44 million dollars in 2013.
Nabbing a mid-round draft picks that performs above his draft status is a great problem to have for any NFL front office executive. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik now has to deal with some of the “headaches” that comes with finding players who out perform their initial contracts.
Contract extension talks with Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams have heated up according to 2010 fourth-round draft pick Mike Williams.
"All I can say about that is that it's very close," Williams told the Tampa Bay Times beat writer Rick Stroud on Wednesday following the second day of the team’s mandatory mini-camp.
Earlier this spring, representative from Williams’ camp told PewterReport.com that Mark Dominik asked for talks to be postponed until after the draft so that the Bucs general manager could focus on adding more talent from the college ranks and trading for Revis.
Williams, who is entering a contract year, has outperformed his rookie contract, and both sides appear eager to get a deal done. Williams has mentioned on Twitter that he wants Tampa Bay to make him a Buc for life.
Head coach Greg Schiano talked about Williams on Wednesday.
"I see the changes in Mike over the last year," Schiano said. "Mike is becoming such a more seasoned pro. Mike always had the passion for the game, way back from when I knew him when he was at Syracuse. … But all the little things about being a pro, I think Vincent (Jackson) has brought that into the room and certainly for Mike and for all those guys."
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound receiver had a bounce-back year in 2012 with the arrival of free agent import Vincent Jackson, catching 63 passes for a career-high 996 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns while playing opposite the Pro Bowl wide receiver. Williams had a career-best three 100-yard receiving games in 2012, including a career-high seven catches for 132-yard performance in which he had a 61-yard touchdown in a 28-13 loss to St. Louis.
The Syracuse product entered the 2012 campaign with just three catches of at least 40 yards or more and recorded six games in which he had a catch of at least 40 yards, including three receptions of over 60 yards. But Williams showed off his big-play ability with a career-high 65-yard catch in a 24-22 loss to Washington, and then came back in the next game and had a 62-yard touchdown catch to give Tampa Bay a 7-0 lead in a 38-10 victory over Kansas City.
When teams attempted to double team Jackson, who posted a career-high 72 catches for 1,384 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season in Tampa Bay, Williams often got open and produced.
The Bucs obviously see the value of keeping a good thing going and want the receiving tandem to stay together for several years.
While it is unknown exactly how much Williams and Englehard are looking for, Jackson, the team’s primary receiver, makes an average of $11 million per season. With Williams being the secondary receiver, he could be seeking a contract similar to that of Anquan Boldin’s new deal with San Francisco, which will pay him $25 million over four seasons – or perhaps more.
Calls to Williams’ agent Hadley Englehard were not returned by Thursday morning.– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
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