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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Smith: Bucs WR Williams not being kicked off team

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Published:   |   Updated: March 25, 2014 at 04:17 PM

Mike Williams’ spot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster is safe.

For now.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday that, based on what he knows of a stabbing incident at Williams’ Tampa home, Williams did nothing to warrant being moved off the team.

“I have talked to Mike on the telephone and from what I know there was an incident and he was the victim, and that’s not going to get you kicked off the football team,’’ Smith said during a break at the NFL owners’ meetings at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes hotel. “Nothing has happened that would cause him to be off the football team.’’

Williams, 26, was stabbed in the thigh with a kitchen knife at his Avila home on Sunday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Williams’ brother, Eric Baylor, faces a charge of aggravated battery domestic violence after deputies said he stabbed Williams.

“I’m going to do a lot more research, just as I would with any other player,” Smith said, “but as of right now, we have a player that was a victim. That could change, but for right now that’s what I’m going to stick with.’’

Baylor, 23, turned himself in at the Orient Road Jail late Monday and bail was set Tuesday at $1,000 during a first appearance before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Walter R. Heinrich.

Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies investigating the stabbing issued a warrant for Baylor because Williams and witnesses offered differing versions of what happened and the fact that Bayor fled the scene.

Baylor, of Buffalo, N.Y., is being represented by defense attorney Frank Fernandez, according to jail records. Fernandez could not be reached for comment.

According to an arrest affidavit, the two were at Williams’ home when a fight broke out between the brothers.

“During the altercation, the defendant obtained a knife and intentionally stabbed the victim in the anterior portion of his left thigh near the knee,” the affidavit said. Williams suffered a puncture wound and was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was treated and released Sunday.

The injury was not considered life-threatening. It required three stitches, agent Hadley Engelhard said.

“Right now, until we learn more, we are going to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said Tuesday.

The stabbing is the latest in a series of off-field incidents involving Williams.

The most notable was a December 2013 incident in which Williams, 26, was charged with criminal mischief and trespassing after he caused less than $200 worth of damage to the door of a woman’s Tampa home. A court hearing in that case is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Also, in a lawsuit, Williams was accused of causing about $43,000 in damage to a home he was renting in Lutz. Neighbors of the property said he held late-night parties that were marked by blaring music and cars strewn around the property.

Williams, a 2010 fourth-round draft pick out of Syracuse, signed a six-year, $40.25 million contract before the 2013 season, but missed half the year with a hamstring injury. He has 47 career starts in his first three years, averaging 64 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns.

 

Staff writer Keith Morelli contributed to this report.

rcummings@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7979

Twitter: @RCummingsTBO

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