Factoring in Cruz’s $2.879 million restricted tender for this year, the deal is worth $45.879 million over six years and includes $15.6 million in guaranteed money.
That sets some parameters for the Bucs and Williams because he and Cruz are somewhat similar. They both are young No. 2 receivers. Williams plays opposite Vincent Jackson, and Cruz is New York’s No. 2 receiver after Hakeem Nicks (when Nicks is healthy).
Cruz has had slightly better numbers than Williams the past two years. But the Bucs have made it clear they want to keep Williams, who is headed into the final year of his contract, for the long term.
To make that happen, they likely will have to give him a deal similar to the one Cruz got.