TAMPA — Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams believes he has some growing up to do.
Williams, who was traded Friday to the Buffalo Bills for a 2014 sixth-round draft pick, admitted as much during an introductory press conference in Buffalo on Monday.
“Yes, I think I do need to grow up a little bit more,” Williams, 26, told The Buffalo News. “I think with me having a son, it made me realize things a little bit more and how important it is, and what type of future I have for him and my family. A lot of people are depending on me, so you’re right, I do have to grow up.”
Williams, who averaged 65 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns during his first three years in the league, was traded during what has been a problematic offseason for the 2010 fourth-round draft pick. His name surfaced three times in connection with off-field incidents.
Williams was charged with criminal mischief and trespassing after causing about $200 in damage to the front door of a woman’s Tampa apartment in December. If Williams completes the requirements of a misdemeanor intervention program, the charge will be dropped.
Williams was sued for causing about $43,000 in damage to a home he rented in June at the gated Sanctuary of Livingston community in Lutz, where neighbors complained of late-night parties. The lawsuit, filed by landlord Warren Gold, claimed Williams agreed to pay for the damages but failed to do so by the agreed-upon deadline.
In March, Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies said Williams was stabbed in the left thigh with a kitchen knife by his brother, Eric Baylor, during an argument at the Avila home Williams rented. Williams was not seriously injured, his agent said. Baylor faces a charge of aggravated battery domestic violence.
“Two of those stories was actually made up,” Williams said when asked Monday about the Tampa incidents. “They don’t want me to talk about the stories, so I’m not going to get into that. But all cases was dropped.
“I think one of my big mistakes is really trying to take care of too many people and trying to make too many people happy instead of me going out and doing what I have to do first, and then whatever after that. Even with me being in Tampa, people would try to fly down, get 100 tickets, this, that. I learned how to adjust. One big thing is, I learned how to say no.’’