Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams was scheduled to be arraigned Monday for charges of trespass and criminal mischief. But instead, he turned in a written plea of not guilty and after receiving an arraignment waiver, he next will be due in court March 27 for a pre-trial phase.
But he might not make it there at all, because Williams' attorney, Stephen Romine, told the Tampa Tribune that he expects the matter to be resolved before that date.
Williams was charged after a Dec. 13 incident in which he allegedly caused about $200 worth of damage to the front door of an acquaintance. According to the police, Williams wasn't "authorized, licensed or invited, [but] willfully enter[ed] or remain[ed] in the property of Gabrielle Edwards."
Williams had kept himself clean for the past three seasons. During his rookie season in 2010, he was arrested and charged with DUI. Off-field issues in college also contributed to his fall to the fourth round of that year's draft.
It sounds like new Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith won't let these kinds of issues linger.
"We're disappointed in some of the off-the-field issues that have come up," Smith said at the NFL combine last week. "We just won't put up with it, it's as simple as that. But coming in you have to set your program up on how you're going to do things and that takes a while to get that done."
Said new general manager Jason Licht: “He has to prove he shouldn't make headlines off the field. So start with that."