Mike Williams Contract Details: Buccaneers cap space limited next year

USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cap space aplenty this year, but they'll have to make tough decisions next year given Mike Williams' contract.

The initial reports suggested that Mike Williams' six-year contract (five-year extension) was worth $40.25 million with $15 million in guaranteed money, but NFL.com's Ian Rapoport says the details are a little different. According to him the first two years are guaranteed at $10 million, while he gave some details on the structure of the contract as well.

Rotoworld has a few more details, though, including the note that Williams is eligible for annual $600,000 workout bonuses starting in year two. The Bucs love putting workout bonuses in contracts. According to Rotoworld, the total guarantee equals base salaries in year one and two, and a year one roster bonus of $1 million. It seems more likely that that's a year two roster bonus, otherwise it would count as a signing bonus for cap purposes.

It's not entirely clear what the details are, then, but here's my best guess:

Year Salary Bonuses Cap
2013 $7.2M
$2.2M
2014 $1.2M $1.6M $3.8M
2015 $5.2M $1.6M $7.8M
2016 $5.6M $1.6M $8.2M
2017 $5.9M $1.6M $8.5M
2018 $4.15M $1.6M $6.75M

This comes to a total of $37.25 million, three million short of the announced total of $40.25 million. Presumably those are unlockable through incentives -- an annual $500,000 Pro Bowl bonus would make the numbers correct, for instance. As for the guaranteed money - the difference may be whether the year three salary is guaranteed for skill or injury only.

Incidentally, if these numbers are indeed correct, then there's a chance the Bucs have handed out a signing bonus. The CBA states that the difference between the year one and year two salary is to be counted as a signing bonus if the second year salary is less than half the first year salary. That would mean a lower year one cap hit, but an extra $1M cap hit in every other year. That's reflected in the cap numbers above.

So what does this mean for the Bucs' cap?

Well, they still have plenty under the 2013 salary cap to operate. They had $19.1 million before signing Williams, and that will now come down to $16.9 million, if my numbers are correct. They have some $125 million committed to next season, which is exactly the global salary cap this season. That number should come down a little as they cut players this season, but it won't go far below $125 million.

But the Bucs should be able to carry over a significant amount of cap space to next year. A rough estimate would be carrying over some $10 million, which would give the Bucs some $10 million in cap space to round out the roster next season. That cap space could be even The good news: that's plenty of room to maneuver.

The bad news: that's not enough to re-sign Josh Freeman, if that's what they want to do. Odds are you'll see some hard decisions next offseason, and Donald Penn, Davin Joseph, Connor Barth and Michael Koenen could be in for pay cuts or even new jobs.

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