ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders waived struggling wide receiver Mike Williams on Tuesday, becoming the second team in six months to cut ties with the 10th pick of the 2005 draft.
Williams was acquired from Detroit in April along with quarterback Josh McCown for a fourth-round pick. The Raiders hoped that reuniting Williams with his former college assistant at Southern California, Oakland coach Lane Kiffin, would revitalize his career.
Mike Williams, WR
Games/starts: 28/7 Rec: 44
Instead, Williams injured his hamstring at the end of his first minicamp practice and missed the rest of the offseason workouts. He was healthy at the start of training camp but was unable to show the ability that made him so coveted when he entered the draft.
Williams was a frequent target of criticism from Kiffin and had two gaffes in Oakland's 13-9 loss at Tennessee last week. He committed an illegal shift penalty to wipe out a third-down conversion and then dropped a pass on fourth-and-14 with 1:17 remaining.
Williams, who played in six of Oakland's seven games, had seven catches for 90 yards this season.
The Raiders did not announce a corresponding move but they could activate running back Michael Bush off the physically unable to perform list or sign receiver Tim Dwight, who recently worked out with the team.
Little went right for Williams after he tried to follow Maurice Clarett into the 2004 NFL draft as a sophomore following a favorable court ruling. But an appeals court overturned the earlier ruling and upheld the league's right to bar players who had been out of high school less than three years.
Unable to return to college because he had signed with an agent, Williams had to sit out in 2004 after catching 30 touchdown passes in his first two years at USC.
He was drafted by the Lions the following year with the 10th pick and had 29 catches for 350 yards and one touchdown as a rookie. He was fined by coach Steve Mariucci for being late to meetings and his situation got worse the following year after Rod Marinelli took over and brought in Mike Martz as his offensive coordinator.
Williams played sparingly in 2006, making eight catches for 99 yards and one touchdown, before being traded to Oakland. With the pick from the Raiders, the Lions drafted defensive back A.J. Davis, who was released from the team's practice squad in September.
Oakland also released receiver P.K. Sam from the practice squad.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press