initial reports by PewterReport.com back on January 30 were correct and that the Buccaneers can get out of the Williams contract without a huge cap hit.
According to sources who gave Pewter Report.com the knowledge of the out clause late
last year, and confirmed by FOXSports1 Insider Mike Garafolo on Monday, Tampa Bay
could release Williams and only be on the hook for this year’s $1.2
million base salary, not the $6.4 million as some reported. Williams is
also due a roster bonus of $600,000 that may also be guaranteed, bringing
the total cap hit to $1.8 million.
On January 30 PewterReport.com's Scott Reynolds wrote: "That’s why Dominik dropped the base salary to just $1.2 million in 2014 so he could release him if Williams’ 2013 performance didn’t warrant the pay increase and the extension, or Williams lost his focus, which several members of the organization were concerned about. With a big base salary and a bonus in 2013, Williams was essentially rewarded for his past deeds – two seasons in 2010 and 2012 in which he was just a few yards shy of 1,000 yards in each campaign with a combined 19 touchdowns in those years. But the contract extension could basically be viewed as a one-year deal as his salary drops significantly in 2014 – by design – giving Williams the incentive to keep working hard to earn the higher balance of his big contract, which takes place from 2015-17."
Williams was involved in what is now a well-publicized stabbing on Sunday afternoon and according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the incident was not a case of “roughhousing” as initially claimed. A warrant has been issued for Williams’ brother Eric Baylor who has been charged with aggravated battery domestic violence.
Speaking briefly at the NFL owners meeting in Orlando on Monday morning, Bucs general manager Jason Licht said the Bucs have yet to speak to Williams about the incident.
"We've reached out to Mike," Licht said. "We've yet to hear from him. From what I understand, he's been treated and released, so that's a good start. We're trying to gather all the facts we can.
"Obviously, our primary focus is making sure that he's OK. I know he's been treated and released. I just want to make sure that he's OK and that's our main concern.
“(We are) disappointed just that we had a player in that situation that could have been seriously injured.”
Jason La Canfora also reported Monday morning that the Buccaneers have attempted to trade Williams but have had no takers, mainly based on his off the field issues.