Mike Williams is more accomplished than any of the Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers other than Jeremy Maclin. He had three consecutive seasons with more than 60 catches for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and that’s production the Chiefs would happily accept from their No. 2 receiver.
His history will make Williams one of the most intriguing players at offseason practice later this month when the Chiefs begin full-squad workouts. Williams’ run of 60-catch seasons ended in 2012, and he’s fallen off drastically since then, getting to the point last season where he was out of football.
The Chiefs think Williams, who will turn 29 on May 18, can get it back.
“He came in for a workout and really displayed some of the traits that he had earlier,’’ general manager John Dorsey said. “I sat down and talked with him extensively for about 30 minutes, and then I wanted everybody within the building to sit down and talk with him. And you know what? He is a very genuine guy, driven to get back his career that he got derailed on.
“You see the person and the sincerity of his words, and I think that’s first and foremost, and how driven he is to be that guy. So we’ll see what happens.’’
Asked what impressed the Chiefs in Williams’ workout, Dorsey said, “His ability to come off the line, ability to run routes, ability to catch the ball, ability to run some of the routes that we run during the games. He still has those really big hands. He’s just a larger type of catcher that, if you can get him back to where he was, you may have something there. We’ll see. It’s going to take a while.”
Williams signed a six-year, $40.25 million contract with the Buccaneers in 2013. He then battled a hamstring injury all season and was put on injured reserve in October. He finished the season with 22 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
The following April, Williams was traded to the Buffalo Bills. By October, he was asking for a trade and in December the team placed him on the waived/injured list. After going unclaimed, he was released by the Bills.
Williams was suspended by the NFL for first three games of the 2015 season for and undisclosed reason. He spent the entire season as a free agent. The Chiefs signed him last Monday.
“He understands you don’t get a lot of chances in the National Football League,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “He understands how sensitive this league can be at times and that you better keep your nose clean or you’re not going to be in it very long. I think that’s where he’s at right now in his career and he looks forward to the challenge.
“He’s a pretty good player now and at Tampa Bay when things were going good for him those first few years, he was a tough one to stop. We look forward to bringing him in the mix and seeing what he can do.”