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Bucs, WR Williams set to continue contract talks Monday
Posted May 10, 2013 by Roy Cummings
Updated May 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM
BY ROY CUMMINGS
TAMPA – It may not be long now before Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams has a new contract.
Williams’ agent and Bucs general manager Mark Dominik are scheduled to begin a new round of face-to-face negotiations aimed at completing a new deal for Williams here in Tampa on Monday.
The two sides actually began this process a few months ago, but the whole project was shelved after a few weeks to allow the Bucs to concentrate first on free agency and then on the draft.
With both of those events now out of the way the Bucs will get back to the business of attempting to wrap up a new deal for one of their most consistent and perhaps underpaid offensive performers.
Williams, who is scheduled to make $1.4 million in 2013, averaged 64 receptions for 910 yards and eight touchdowns his first three years, and both sides agree he has outperformed his original contract.
But that was to be expected. A fourth-round draft pick who was considered by many scouts a first- or second-round talent, Williams initially signed a four-year, $2.328 million contract with the Bucs.
He immediately began outplaying that deal, though, catching 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie. Now he’s on the brink of cashing in and he could be in line for at least a $6 million-a-year pay raise.
That would make his take-home pay similar to that of several other receivers who have recently signed new contracts but have not necessarily produced at the same rate or with the same degree of consistency that Williams has.
Brian Hartline, for example, recently signed a five-year, $30.7 million deal with the Dolphins, but his 51 catch, 749-yard, 1 TD averages the last three years pale in comparison to Williams.
A better comparison to Williams’ likely value comes from Antonio Brown, who recently signed a six-year, $43 million deal with the Steelers. But Brown has only put together two Williams-like seasons.
After catching just 16 passes for 167 yards and no touchdowns as a rookie three years ago, Brown has averaged 69 receptions, 948 yards and four touchdowns the last two seasons.
With the exception of the touchdowns, those averages are right in line with Williams, so no one should be surprised if Williams new contract proves to to be right in line with Brown’s.