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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Mike Williams' contract gives Bucs 2014 flexibility



Mike Williams got his money this week, the Bucs signing him to a $40.25 million contract extension that locks him up through 2018.

But just as important are the details and structure of the contract.

We told you earlier this week that roughly $15 million of the contract was guaranteed. Now, more details are emerging. The guarantee is actually $14.6 million, to be more specific, with a $7.2 million base salary in 2013 that’s fully guaranteed.

But here’s what is interesting, I think. The Bucs and Williams agreed to a base salary of $1.2 million in 2014, with Williams’ cap number at $1.8 million. This is important because 2014 could be a pivotal financial year for the Bucs.

With the team preparing for the expiration of quarterback Josh Freeman’s contract, general manager Mark Dominik will need flexibility. Williams’ contract will help in that regard. This structure seems deliberate, because Williams’ 2015 salary jumps to $5.2 million.

Another key point: The 2014 and 2015 salaries are guaranteed, meaning that unless Williams grossly underperforms, you should expect him to remain in Tampa Bay for at least the first three years of this deal.

After that, the Bucs have options because Williams’ salary will be non-guaranteed.

[Last modified: Saturday, July 27, 2013 10:04am]


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