BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Receiver Mike Williams is returning home to Buffalo after being acquired by the Bills in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday.
The trade, contingent on Williams passing a physical, addresses a significant need for the Bills by adding an experienced, proven starter to what had been a young group of receivers. In exchange, the Bills gave up a sixth-round draft pick.
At 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds, Williams has topped 900 yards receiving in two of his four seasons. That includes 2010, when he led NFL rookies with 65 catches, 964 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He comes to Buffalo with a hefty price tag a year after signing a six-year, $40 million contract. Injuries limited Williams to just six games last season, when he finished with 22 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
Williams grew up in Buffalo, where he was a high school star. He then spent three seasons at Syracuse, where he played under current Bills coach Doug Marrone before abruptly quitting the team during his junior season.
In a statement released by the Bills announcing the trade, Marrone addressed the falling out at Syracuse by saying he feels that is now in the past.
"Today, Mike has an opportunity to get a fresh start to his career here in his hometown, and regain his form as a productive player in the National Football League," Marrone said. "We feel Mike is a player who has the ability to help our team improve."
Williams also missed the entire 2008 season after being suspended for violating the school's academic integrity policy.
With questions about his departure from Syracuse, Williams' stock dropped entering the 2010 draft. He was eventually selected in the fourth round, 101st overall, by the Buccaneers.