Mike Williams will head into his fourth Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp with the knowledge that many more will follow.
On Wednesday morning, shortly after Buccaneer players finished reporting for the start of Training Camp 2013, the team announced that it has signed Williams to a new six-year contract. The deal will replace the final year on his original four-year pact and extend through the 2018 campaign. Williams will discuss his new contract during an 11:00 a.m. ET press conference on Wednesday to be carried live on Buccaneers.com.
By keeping one of their homegrown talents in the fold, the Buccaneers have also kept intact one of the NFL's most prolific starting wideout duos. Last year, Williams combined with Vincent Jackson to produce to catch 135 passes for 2,380 yards and 17 touchdowns. The two tall and rangy receivers gave quarterback Josh Freeman multiple downfield threats, with Jackson leading the NFL at 19.2 yards per catch and Williams putting up a career-best mark of 15.8. The five-year contract that Jackson signed last year as one of the NFL's most coveted free agents runs through the 2016 season.
Williams has been a very steady producer since he was drafted in the fourth round out of Syracuse in 2010, with at least 63 receptions in each of his first three NFL campaigns and an average of nearly eight touchdowns per year. His 23 touchdown catches from 2010-12 rank as the most any Buccaneer receiver has ever posted in his first three seasons.
The 6-1, 212-pound Williams has also been very durable, playing in all 48 Buccaneer games during his three NFL seasons, with 47 starts. He has produced four 100-yard games during that span and averaged a strong 14.2 yards per grab.
Despite being the 14th wide receiver drafted in 2010 – and the second wideout selected by the Buccaneers that year – Williams led all NFL rookies in receptions (65), receiving yards (964) and touchdown catches (11). His 11 receiving TDs set a new Buccaneer single-season franchise record for all players, not just rookies.
Last fall, Williams was a key part of a newly-prolific Tampa Bay offense that set franchise records for most yards (5,820) and most points (389) tallied in a single season. He enters his fourth season needing only 713 receiving yards to crack the Buccaneers' all-time top 10 in that category.
Williams and his fellow Buccaneers reported to One Buccaneer Place on Friday morning between 6:45 and 7:30 a.m. to begin training camp. The team's first practice is on Thursday morning, beginning at 8:30, and is open to the public. Click here for more information regarding open training camp practices.