The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were engaged in contract talks with Mike Williams and his agent before the start of free agency, but eventually delayed the talks until after the draft. Those talks are now expected to start again, Pewter Report has learned from Williams' agent Hadley Englehard.
Mike Williams has been very productive for a fourth-round pick, but the one year left on his contract will pay him a relatively meager $1.4 million, giving Williams a relatively weak negotiating position. Williams is unlikely to be paid as a true number one receiver in part because he faltered in that role in 2011 and in part because of Vincent Jackson's presence on the roster and his hefty $11 million per year price tag. Williams has been productive, but he has failed to top 1,000 yards in a season.
Williams is more likely to get a contract similar to deals signed by Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline, averaging around $6 million per year. Perhaps his best case scenario is Antonio Brown's contract, who received a six-year, $43 million contract after just two years in the league after posting 1,108 yards receiving in 2011. Brown's contract averaged $7.2 million per year, but he only received $8.5 million in guaranteed money.
The Buccaneers currently have $19.1 million in salary cap room which ranks fifth in the league, but they surprisingly don't have a lot of cap space to spare for next season, when Josh Freeman's contract ends.