By trading for talented but often troubled wide receiver Mike Williams, the Buffalo Bills are taking a risk. But the potential reward for giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft in exchange for Williams is far greater than the risk they’re taking by acquiring him, making the trade a great move by the Bills.
Williams has had more than his fair share of off-field trouble during his career, but he is an incredibly talented player who still hasn’t reached his potential. Despite missing most of last season with an injury, Williams has 25 touchdowns and more than 200 receptions over the first four years of his career — and his best days could still be ahead of him.
Williams has the talent to be a No. 1 wide receiver, and in Buffalo he’ll get that chance, as Steve Johnson is no longer capable of being the team’s top target. The Bills have a promising trio of young wide receivers in Robert Woods, T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin, but none of them have the combination of size and speed nor the exceptional hands that Williams does. He has the potential to be the dynamic playmaker that Buffalo’s offense is missing.
Giving up a sixth-round pick for a player as talented as Williams is nothing. There’s no player available in the sixth round of this year’s draft who can help as much as Williams can. If the move doesn’t work out in 2014, the Bills can easily release Williams without having to make a significant financial commitment to him. Buffalo is risking so little in a move that could have big rewards.
Of course, Williams going to Buffalo means reuniting with Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who was Williams’ head coach at Syracuse. Granted, Marrone kicked Williams off the team after one too many off-field incidents, but Williams is familiar with Marrone and knows what the coach expects from him. This could help him stay out of trouble away from the field and keep his focus on football. Williams is also from the Buffalo area, and returning home may also be beneficial for him and help him reach his potential as a player.
If Williams is able to bounce back from the injury he suffered last season and put his off-field issues aside, this trade could pay huge dividends for the Bills. They desperately needed a talented receiver in the prime of his career, and Williams has the potential to become an important part of Buffalo’s offense.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.