Tampa Bay Buccaneers star rookie wideout Mike Williams was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of DUI. ProFootballTalk.com reported this morning that Williams was pulled over around 2:48 am for going 57 in a 45 and weaving in and out of his lane. Officers say the 23 year old, who has 40 catches for 627 yards and 5 TD’s, failed a sobriety test and blew a 0.61 and 0.65 on breathalyser tests. These are under the legal limit in Florida, however Williams was nonetheless under the influence of alcohol. Officers also suspected Williams to be under the influence of other substances that can go undetected by a breathalyser test. It has been stated that Williams was “very cooperative” during the whole ordeal. Williams posted $500 bond and was released.
At this point there are conflicting stories. According to Adam Schefter, one Bucs officical told him Williams will start on Sunday and another more recently has told him Williams will not be in uniform against the 49ers.
This is news Buccaneers fans didn’t want to hear, but aren’t surprised. Williams’ draft status was severely hurt by the fact he had some off-field issues while at Syracuse. Williams was touted as first to second round quality, but fell to the fourth round with Tampa Bay’s 101st pick. While at Syracuse, Williams was suspended for academic dishonesty in 2008 and quit the team last year after a traffic incident. The Bucs drafted him knowing these problems existed and Williams was doing excellent up to this point, performing very well statistically and staying out of trouble. Friday mornings arrest, however, puts a damper on things in Tampa.
It’s truly sad to see from both a football fan point of view and a human being point of view. The DUI was for a blood alcohol level under the state limit but nevertheless there was alcohol in his system. How seriously the NFL will take this is unclear at this point. Commissioner Rodger Goodell has been very strict on player conduct off the field and it is unclear whether or not he will come down hard on Williams given his past issues in college. It’s sad to see something like this happen to such a talented person and see them slip back into old ways after such a promising start. You have to feel for Raheem Morris who invested his faith in Williams that he could stay out of trouble; one can imagine his disappointment. Perhaps this will motivate Williams to turn it around before his problems get too big for the Buccaneers to handle.
UPDATE: Raheem Morris announced at a press conference today that Williams will play on Sunday at San Francisco. Williams did not practice today but did make the plane to California.