The first two days of NFL free-agency have seen many big names changing teams and a few signing big deals to stay in place. But in the biggest move outside of who signs Peyton Manning, the Buffalo Bills signed former Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams to a six year $100 million dollar contract.
The contract includes a $50 million dollar signing bonus, which is the largest ever for a defensive player. The Bills have been looking for a pass rusher to fill a huge void on the roster, and with Buffalo reportedly permanently moving to a 4-3 defense next season, Williams is as good as it gets at the defensive end position.
Williams was the #1 overall pick in 2006, over the much hyped Reggie Bush and the home town kid Vince Young, and over six seasons, set franchise records in sacks (53) and had a team record (14) during the 2007 season. Williams was also a two time pro-bowl starter for the Texans before injuries shortened his past two seasons.
Buffalo needed to make this deal happen and pushed all their chips to the middle of the table to sign the highly touted defensive end. General manager Buddy Nix and new defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt flew on a private jet to pick up Williams at his home in North Caroline before bringing him back to the Bills facility as he spent the next few days getting a tour of the team's campus before being joined by his wife on Wednesday for a tour of the city.
Though signing Williams fills a huge need, this team still has a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the football. Hopefully Buffalo can use this signing as a bargaining chip to bring in more pieces vie free-agency. This acquisition may change what the Bills look for in next month's NFL draft, allowing a little more flexibility with their first pick as they now have the disruptive pass rusher they were coveting.
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