Bills’ Williams informs agent to end trade talks
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Bills receiver Mike Williams put an end to any talk of him wanting out of Buffalo.
Though still not happy about being benched last weekend, Williams took his future into his own hands by saying he wants to continue playing for his hometown team and has ordered his agent Hadley Engelhard to stop seeking trade offers.
”I had to tell him, `I don’t want to be traded,”’ Williams said following practice. ”At the end of the day, you’ve got to tell him, `I’m the boss, and I want to be here.’ So that’s what I had to do.”
The comments were Williams’ first since general manager Doug Whaley revealed on Monday the Bills granted Engelhard permission to seek a trade. It happened a day after Williams was listed inactive for the first time this season in a 37-22 loss to New England.
Williams said Engelhard informed him of his intentions to seek a potential trade following the game. Williams also defended his agent by saying Engelhard was merely doing his job.
Though Williams accepted coach Doug Marrone’s decision to deactivate him, he was still hurt by the move.
”I mean, you ask yourself if you’re a touchdown-scoring machine, and you feel like you can help the team win: Would you be disappointed?” he said. ”Of course I’m disappointed I ain’t playing. Anybody that’s competitive, they’ve got to be disappointed. I might as well retire if I’m not disappointed.”
Williams is now turning his attention to getting a chance to crack the Bills’ 45-player roster on Sunday, when Buffalo (3-3) hosts Minnesota (2-4).
Marrone didn’t provide any hints as to when Williams will get a chance to play again.
Williams was benched because Marrone needed to open a roster spot after learning starting defensive tackle Kyle Williams had a good chance to play after missing the previous week with a right knee injury.
Williams became the odd-receiver out because fellow backup Chris Hogan also plays a role on special teams.
Marrone was annoyed by the distraction Williams created, even though he’s aware it was the player’s agent who prompted the trade request.
”Yeah, I’m not going to lie,” Marrone said. ”Someone else’s problems all of a sudden become my problems.”
The benching was a first for Williams, who grew up in Buffalo and played under Marrone at Syracuse. He had never been listed inactive when healthy during his previous four seasons in Tampa Bay.
And it was the latest setback for a player who was expected to play a vital role in Buffalo after the Bills acquired him in a trade with the Buccaneers in April.
Williams had 216 catches for 2,947 yards and 25 touchdowns in 54 games in Tampa Bay.
In Buffalo, he’s had difficulty getting on the field behind rookie first-round pick Sammy Watkins and second-year receiver Robert Woods. Williams has eight catches for 142 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown in a 23-17 loss at Houston last month.
Williams said the benching caught him by surprise after he had spent the week practicing with the starters, and also putting in extra time working with the Bills scout team. He was also unhappy with the timing of the decision, saying Marrone informed him on Saturday.
”I wear my emotions on my sleeve,” Williams said. ”I’d be upset every week I don’t dress. … But also know that I’m a team player, too. It was nothing like I was trying go away from the team or anything.”
Williams was upbeat during the practice period that is open to the media on Wednesday.
”It was nothing different. I didn’t change my routine,” he said. ”I keep on playing for the Bills, keep on practicing hard.”
The only thing different is his objective.
”I wasn’t one of the top 45 last week,” Williams said. ”Hopefully, I’ll be one of the top 45 this week.”
NOTES: The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 28. … DT Marcell Dareus was excused from practice because of family reasons. He is expected to rejoin the team Thursday. … Long-snapper Garrison Sanborn was limited in practice because of a knee injury. Without revealing who, Marrone said the Bills worked out two free-agent long-snappers as a precaution.
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