Bucs Making Wrong Move

Mike Williams came into the league with a chip on his shoulder.
Mike Williams came into the league with a chip on his shoulder. /
The Bucs will play Mike Williams on Sunday.
The Bucs will play Mike Williams on Sunday. /

The NFL is a funny league, as soon as the headlines come out you’re considered guilty of any crime you’re accused of. DUI, Assault, Battery, due process is not something the NFL is particularly fond of. Between fan backlash and the threat of punitive action from the commissioner, teams typically respond in a knee-jerk fashion to cover their own rears and avoid the PR storm that comes with defending an accused player.

As you’ve all probably read, Mike Williams was arrested on suspicion of DUI last night after 2 AM and now the Bucs are left in the precarious situation of deciding what to do with him. The facts are still coming in, but here’s what we know. Williams was pulled over for going 12 over in a 45 speed zone and driving “erratically.” He proceeded to blow a .065 and .061 but was arrested for DUI on suspicion of being under the influence of additional substances that didn’t register through a breathalyzer test.

Now let’s cut through the crap. I don’t know what else was in Mike Williams’ system, neither do the police unless he agreed to submit to a blood screening which, (in light of the breathalyzer results) seems unlikely. It could have been pain-killers, marijuana, who knows. But there are two choices the Bucs could have made in this situation.

They’re going to play Mike Williams on Sunday against the 49ers and claim they’re letting due process of the law play out. That is kind of a moralistic abstention on the Bucs’ part. It’s lacking in integrity, but in all honesty these charges probably won’t stick. As someone that works in the legal profession, I can say with some degree of certainty that unless they have blood-tested evidence that shows definitively that Mike Williams had other substances in his blood-stream, any good lawyer will get those charges tossed out. Chances are this DUI goes no where.

But on the other hand, the Bucs could have used this as an opportunity to teach their young receiver a lesson. I don’t completely agree with Josh about Mike Williams being someone of poor character. I think he may be someone of poor judgment. My father always used to tell me, nothing good happens after 2 AM (it was actually midnight, but he’s an older guy and 2 AM is the new midnight). The point being, whether or not these charges are going to hold up, for Mike Williams to be pulled over at 2:45 AM on suspicion of DUI, he certainly wasn’t doing what he was supposed to.

I think the Bucs should have sat Williams, not for the DUI accusations, let due process play out with that. But because he shouldn’t be out at 2:45 AM drinking and driving on a Thursday night when the Bucs have to fly cross-country to take on the 49ers this weekend. Regardless of blood alcohol content or anything else, just the fact he was in that situation is indicative of poor choices made on his part. I’m not down on Mike Williams, everyone makes mistakes. But part of making mistakes is learning from them. It’s not going to help the Bucs but I think Mike Williams should have to sit on Sunday.