2012 NFL Free Agents: Mario Williams Would Regret Not Signing with the Bills

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 14:  Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans looks on during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 14, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills made an aggressive pitch to sign Mario Williams on the opening day of free agency, yet he still left Buffalo late last night without a new deal in place.

Williams, a former first overall draft pick and dominant defensive end of the Houston Texans would be a perfect fit with the Bills in Buffalo as they transition to a new defensive scheme. Last season, the Bills played a 3-4 defense but lacked the requisite talent at linebacker to continue in that scheme.

This year, the Bills will play a four-man front featuring what looks set to be the best defensive tackle pairing in the whole league.

Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus didn't get to play together too much during Dareus' rookie season, because Williams landed on IR for the second season in a row, but both are physically overwhelming players who can dominate multiple blockers at a time.

Last season, Williams started out the season as the nose tackle, with Dareus playing defensive end prior to being injured. From there, Dareus moved into his position and still succeeded despite the added attention.

Now that the two will be able to work together, focusing solely on penetrating through interior linemen and swallowing up running backs, the Bills defense as a whole should drastically improve. That combination of defensive tackles hasn't been seen since the Williams Wall—consisting of Pat and Kevin Williams—was at its peak in Minneosta.

Couple this with a secondary that finished sixth in the NFL with 20 interceptions last year in spite of playing without their best pass-rusher upfront—a front lacking pass-rushers in the first place—and Williams won't find a better situation in which to attain an All-Pro level of production in the NFL.

Even though the Bills lack a complementary starter at defensive end for the 27-year-old, the combination of dominant defensive tackle play and an opportunistic secondary would afford Williams the two things he is desperate to have on the football field: a hesitant quarterback and few double teams.

Every defensive end in the NFL wants to be left one-on-one with offensive tackles; very few of the good ones are actually allowed to do so because of their reputations. If any offenses overcommitted to Mario Williams in a Bills uniform, they wouldn't do so for long because of Dareus and Kyle Williams' ability to rush the passer.

For this reason, and because of his obvious physical talents, Williams could easily challenge Michael Strahan's sack record despite never coming close during his time in Houston.

With the Texans, Williams was paid an awful lot of money but played on a poor all-around defense for the most part. Just as the defense improved last year, he was moved to linebacker and subsequently injured for the season.

The Bills want to make Williams one of the highest-paid players in the league, so money shouldn't be an issue if other teams offer him contracts.

Williams and the Bills would be a perfect marriage. Playing in a division with Tom Brady—and potentially Peyton Manning if the Dolphins win the race for his signature—Williams could have a huge impact on the division as a whole.

The Bills did beat the Patriots last season with a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick, while their season as a whole was severely hurt because of injuries to key players.

Signing with the Bills wouldn't be a case of signing with an irrelevant franchise. Signing with the Bills could see Williams bring the Bills back to the spotlight.

If the Bills do indeed bring in Williams, their next step should be to draft a bookend defensive end in the first round of the draft, such as Nick Perry, Quinton Coples or Courtney Upshaw.

Playing on a defensive line with Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and a rookie first-round pick—not to mention with one of the biggest contracts for any player in the league in his back pocket—why would Super Mario want to play anywhere else?

The option is there for him to play in Jacksonville, while the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears have been mentioned by others at times, but why would Williams want to disappear into the Jacksvonille night or play second fiddle in Chicago to Julius Peppers—or worse still, play linebacker.

Williams is a dominant defensive end. The Buffalo Bills are a dominant defensive end and a few minor easily-added pieces away from an elite defense.

It really is that simple.

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