On Tuesday night, news broke that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams had died at the age of 36. Williams was reportedly killed in a construction accident at a site he had been working at, suffering injuries that he later succumbed to.
Williams is the second Buccaneers receiver from the 2010s to have died before the age of 40. Vincent Jackson, who played with Williams for two seasons and combined for 17 touchdowns in 2012, died back in 2021 at the age of 38.
News of Williams death stunned Bucs fans and his former teammates who played with him during his time in Tampa Bay. Tributes poured onto social media from all corners of the league, including one from Gerald McCoy that hit hard on a number of different levels.
Gerald McCoy posts heartbreaking tribute after Mike Williams' death
For three years, McCoy was teammates with Williams in Tampa Bay. More than that, the two seemed as though they were destined to rise to become faces of the franchise together, with McCoy the leader on defense and Williams a hot young rookie who played his way into a $40 million contract a few years after being drafted.
McCoy posted a touching and absolutely heartbreaking tribute to Williams after news of his death circulated on social media.
In paying tribute to Williams, McCoy points out the absolutely tragic fact that four of his former teammates have died -- all of them before reaching the age of 40.
All three were paid tribute to by McCoy in his remembrance of Williams.
Jackson died in 2021 as did Geno Hayes who was only 33 years old. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim died in 2017 at the age of 30.
There's no getting around how hard that is to comprehend, and it's impossible to stomach the tragedy of it all. It's another sobering reminder of just how short life is, and really hammers home the humanity that is oftentimes forgotten when covering the game.