The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are closing in a contract extension for wide receiver Mike Williams that will prevent him from becoming a free agent at the conclusion of this coming season.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports Williams could have a new deal within “weeks if not days” and the player said “it’s very close.”

Williams was a very productive No. 2 target opposite Vincent Jackson last season when he made 63 receptions for 996 yards (15.8 average) and nine touchdowns. As a fourth-round draft pick, he had 65 catches for 964 yards and 11 scores in his 2010 rookie season.

Williams’ current contract calls for him to earn a base salary of $1.4 million this season.

“I see the changes in Mike over the last year,’’ Bucs coach Greg Schiano said, per the report. “Mike is becoming such a more seasoned pro. Mike always had the passion for the game, way back from when I knew him when he was at Syracuse. I mean, this kid loves to play football.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune