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Victor Cruz Contract: Implications for Buccaneers' Mike Williams contract talks

Victor Cruz's contract likely makes Mike Williams' contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quite a bit more expensive.


The New York Giants have agreed to terms with Victor Cruz on a five-year extension. According to Jay Glazer, the extension is worth $43 million in new money with $15.6 million in guaranteed money. That's good for Cruz and the Giants, and it's good for Mike Williams, too. Just not for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Why? Because Mike Williams now has another data point suggesting that he should be paid mucho dinero, and the Bucs won't like that. Williams and Cruz have both spent three years in the league, and their production has been remarkably similar. Williams has a few more touchdowns, but Cruz has been slightly more productive on a per-catch basis.

Games Receiving
Rk Player From To G GS Rec Yds Y/R TD Y/G
1 Victor Cruz 2010 2012 35 23 168 2628 15.64 19 75.1
2 Mike Williams 2010 2012 48 47 193 2731 14.15 23 56.9

Oh, and there's one other crucial difference. Cruz produced those numbers in just two years, as he missed almost all of his rookie season. It means Williams likely won't get the $8.5 million per year deal Cruz received, but he'll certainly get a contract closer to that than the $6 million per year deal I had projected earlier this offseason.

Williams is also in a slightly worse negotiating position, as Cruz was scheduled to earn $2.8 million this season while Williams is making $1.4 million.

In all, given a few other contracts at the wide receiver position, I would expect something between a five-year, $35 million deal and a five-year, $40 million deal for Mike Williams on top of his existing $1.4 million for one year left on his contract. The Bucs are likely to guarantee the first two years of his extension, which would mean around $14 to $16 million in guaranteed money - perhaps a bit more or less, depending on the exact structure.

In all, that deal would keep Williams with the Buccaneers through the 2018 season at a decent cap number, while giving the flexibility to cut him at any point after the 2014 season with no repercussions.

The Bucs and Williams both want to get a deal done before training camp, but Cruz's contract may complicate things.

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