The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded wide receiver Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills for a sixth round draft pick, according to ESPN’s James Walker.
From the Bucs’ perspective, the move is hardly a surprise. Williams has had several off-field issues since he entered the league in 2010. The most recent was his brother allegedly stabbing him in the leg during some sort of dispute. While that may not have been Williams’ fault, Lovie Smith had already indicated he did not approve of the receiver’s antics before the incident.
The fact that the Bills decided to trade for Williams is what really makes the move interesting. As Dave Richard of CBS Sports reminded us, Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone coached Williams at Syracuse. The Buffalo native was suspended for all of the 2008 season for cheating on a test. He later faced another suspension after breaking team curfew.
Marrone reportedly held a team vote to decide whether or not Williams should be allowed to remain with the team after the second violation, and his teammates supported him. When Marrone tried to call Williams to give him a chance to come back, he reportedly could not get ahold of him and Williams had a number of excuses as to why. It was later announced that Williams was no longer with the team.
“It was just a misunderstanding with me and the coach,” Williams said back in 2010. “The mistake I made was walking out of his office out of frustration. I didn’t quit at all. I made three mistakes in my life. Not handing in a paper, getting in a car accident and getting suspended because of my grades and it was my three mistakes. If you say that I am a bad person because of those three mistakes I guess there is a lot worse people than me.”
Apparently Marrone does not hold grudges.