Bucs' Mike Williams stabbed in leg, search on for his brother

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams sits on the bench as the Carolina Panthers control the field during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 24, 2013.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams sits on the bench as the Carolina Panthers control the field during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 24, 2013.
Published March 24, 2014

TAMPA — Troubled Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams had another 911 call to yet another lavish home he is renting Sunday evening. This time, he was the one who needed help.

Williams, 26, was hospitalized briefly after witnesses said his brother stabbed him in the thigh while roughhousing, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office.

He was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital and released after what was described as a relatively minor laceration.

Deputies received a call around 5 p.m. and responded to Williams' home that he rents in the gated community of Avila at 17027 Candeleda De Avila in northwest Hillsborough County.

"We are trying to get in contact with the brother to see exactly what happened," said sheriff's spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez. "Witnesses said they were horsing around, but the brother was not on the scene when we arrived."

An arrest warrant has been issued for Williams' brother, Eric Baylor, 23, on a charge of aggravated battery/domestic violence, the Sheriff's Office said. Williams was stabbed in the left thigh with a kitchen knife, officials said.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith, when reached at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, said, "There was an incident involving Mike and we are gathering information. He may have been the victim."

The Bucs released a statement saying they were aware of the incident: "We are aware of the situation that occurred at the residence of Mike Williams and are working with him and the authorities to get additional information. While we have limited knowledge at this time, our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of all involved. We will refrain from further comment until we can get a better understanding of the situation."

It's not the first time Williams has had trouble at his home. While living in a 5,400-square-foot home in the Sanctuary on Livingston development in Lutz, Williams' lifestyle resulted in at least five calls to 911 from June to September last year, a lawsuit and threats of eviction. Williams agreed in September to pay more than $43,000 in damages (plus attorney fees), extend his lease by one month (at $6,000) and surrender a $3,600 security deposit.

Williams, a fourth-round draft pick by the Bucs in 2010 out of Syracuse, also faces trespassing and criminal mischief charges after an incident in December and has a hearing set for Thursday.

Before Sunday's stabbing, Williams' future with the Bucs was in question, eight months after he signed a six-year, $40 million extension.

"There's a pattern here and it's disturbing," Smith said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis last month. "No one is bigger than this football team. He has to understand that.

"Have I been disappointed in Mike Williams? Of course," said Smith, who acknowledged that the team had worked to help resolve the situation. "There's a standard. We're just not going to put up with it, no matter who it is. You have to be good on the field and off the field. Simple as that. And if you're not doing what you need to do, one or the other, you have problems and that's where Mike has to take care of a few things."

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter

We’ll send you news and analysis on the Bucs, Lightning, Rays and Florida’s college football teams every day.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Before Williams moved to Avila, the Sheriff's Office was familiar with calls to his residence in Lutz.

There have been five 911 calls to the property since June, ranging from a kitchen fire to roommate Tyshawn Edwards telling police in the middle of the night he partied too much at a Bucs game and someone may have spiked his drink.

Williams and his friends didn't leave the property when the lease was up at the end of August, prompting a call to 911 for trespassing. After threats of eviction, he signed the September agreement.

When asked last month what Williams has to prove to the new Bucs regime, general manager Jason Licht said: "He has to prove he shouldn't make headlines off the field. Start with that."