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Mr. Laz
07-20-2006, 05:31 PM
Mike Williams fined more than $400,000 last year
Thursday, July 20, 2006
By Tom Kowalski

Mike Williams signed a hefty contract with the Detroit Lions as a first-round draft pick last year, but the wide receiver was forced to give some of that money right back.

According to a source close to the situation, Williams was fined more than $400,000 last year for violating team rules, mostly for arriving late to meetings and being overweight.

Williams, the 10th overall draft choice, signed a five-year, $13.5 million contract (with $9.5 million guaranteed) last Aug. 1, but had to return some of it immediately because of the fines. Williams was chronically late for morning meetings during training camp and was also out of shape.

According to terms of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Lions could impose a maximum penalty of $457 per pound per day that Williams was overweight. Also, the team could fine a player $9,300 each time he was late for a meeting. Those fines could also be doubled and tripled for repeat violations.

It is unknown how many times Williams was late, or how much and how long he was overweight, but then-head coach Steve Mariucci imposed heavy fines to try to rectify the situation.

It apparently hasn't helped. During the first mandatory three-day minicamp this spring under new head coach Rod Marinelli, Williams was sent home for the final two days after he was late for a meeting and a rehabilitation session for his sore hamstring. It is not known if Williams was fined for those infractions.

Lions spokesman Bill Keenist said Wednesday the club would not comment and Williams was unavailable. Players report to training camp next Thursday. Camp opens on July 28.

Because last year's fines were imposed after taxes, Williams had to "earn" more than $600,000 to pay the fines. Williams made $230,000 in salary last year and is scheduled to make $350,000 in salary this season so, not counting the bonus money, Williams will be playing for free in his first two seasons.

In an ESPN.com story last season, Michael Smith wrote that Williams had either missed or was late for at least 10 training camp meetings. Williams denied the story at the time, saying, "I was late to a couple meetings in the preseason, got fined, big deal. They asked where I was. Well, I overslept . . . It's not a chronic problem. I guarantee there's nobody in football that could be late to 10 meetings or be absent to any kind of amount of meetings and not be suspended."

Because of the constant violations, Williams could have been fined and/or suspended by the Lions for "conduct detrimental to the team" but the club never took that step.

However, Williams was late so often the team encouraged him to move closer to the Allen Park practice facility, which he did. During training camp last year, Williams lived about 30 minutes north of the facility but, during the season, he moved to a residence within a half-mile of the building.

Williams could have some difficulty making the Lions roster this season. Roy Williams and Corey Bradford are expected to be the starting wide receivers with Mike Furrey in the slot and No. 3 position. Because of his kick return abilities, Eddie Drummond will fill the No. 6 receiver spot.

That leaves Charles Rogers, Scottie Vines, Glenn Martinez and Mike Williams to battle for the final two roster spots at No. 4 and No. 5 on the depth chart.

Mike Williams will have to show up on time during this training camp if he hopes to make the team -- or any money. The fines this season have been increased to roughly $582 per pound per day for being overweight and about $11,000 for being late to a meeting.

Mecca
07-20-2006, 05:40 PM
If they cut Mike Williams.......I'll laugh cause he'll get signed by a team and end up being good they just have no clue how to use the guy.

Rain Man
07-20-2006, 05:42 PM
How do you go from being a high #1 pick to being in danger of not making the roster in two years? That's inexplicable.

And it would sure hurt to draw $600,000 in fines when you're making $230,000.

CHENZ A!
07-20-2006, 05:43 PM
I hope they cut Rodgers, then we get him.

Rain Man
07-20-2006, 05:45 PM
I hope they cut Rodgers, then we get him.

Will you donate your collar bone for a graft?

CHENZ A!
07-20-2006, 05:50 PM
Will you donate your collar bone for a graft?

No doubt! I got two of em... wait. :hmmm:

58-4ever
07-20-2006, 05:53 PM
I bet Kiper will eat his words in a few years when Williams is out of the league. He wouldn't stop saying during that draft that Mike Williams was the #1 player on his board. What a joke.

ChiefFan31
07-20-2006, 06:15 PM
How in the HELL did Matt Millen keep his job this offseason????

I mean really...

HemiEd
07-20-2006, 06:31 PM
I bet Kiper will eat his words in a few years when Williams is out of the league. He wouldn't stop saying during that draft that Mike Williams was the #1 player on his board. What a joke.

I had forgotten about that, you are right. ROFL

KCWolfman
07-20-2006, 06:35 PM
How in the HELL did Matt Millen keep his job this offseason????

I mean really...
That is a more disturbing thought than the original article.... and I agree with the sentiment entirely.

Garcia Bronco
07-20-2006, 07:13 PM
I told everybody and their mother this guy was a loser...LMAO

Dave Lane
07-20-2006, 08:12 PM
Yeah I mean why take Derrick Johnson when you can have this guy. Millen is a complete fool...

Dave