Locking down Williams marks another savvy offseason lever pull by coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik. It also makes Williams the first receiver to sign an extension north of $40 million without a 1,000-yard season on his resume, Rapoport reported.
Still, with Vincent Jackson across the way, Williams is part of a receiving duo that keeps the Bucs in the conversation in the NFC South. His 23 touchdowns since 2010 are the most by any Tampa Bay player after three seasons in the league. Williams and Jackson helped last year's Bucs set franchise records for yardage (5,820) and points (389) in a single season.
Along with a knack for the end zone, Williams has been durable, playing in all 48 games since he entered the league and averaging 64.3 catches per campaign. Williams ranked 16th in the NFL last year with 15.8 yards per reception.
Numbers aside, the NFC South -- with Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan in the house -- is tilted toward field-stretching, vertical passing attacks. Quarterback Josh Freeman has been a mixed bag during his young career in Tampa Bay, but Williams and Jackson give him the pass-catching tools to do damage inside the division.
UPDATE: Rapoport obtained a copy of the officially filed contract to report that Williams is due $7.2 million in 2013, with $5.27 million of that deferred until March 2014. Williams will earn a base of $1.2 million, with a $1 million roster bonus and $600,000 workout bonus in 2014.
From 2015 through 2018, Williams will earn matching roster and workout bonuses -- $1 million and $600,000, respectively -- but with a variable base. Williams will earn $5.2 million in base salary in 2015, $5.6 million in 2016, and $5.9 million in 2017. In 2018, his base dips to $4.15 million.