Buffalo Bills: 4 Reasons Mario Williams Hasn't Lived Up to High-Priced Contract
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The Buffalo Bills have hardly been known as a free-agent "destination" for the better part of a decade now. Mario Williams changed all that when he came to Western New York this past offseason. So why, after only five games into his first season, are people already saying he's not living up to his contract?
With the way the Bills have looked over their last six quarters, no one on that team is living up to their contract right now.
Between the second half last week against New England, and the debacle Sunday in San Francisco, Buffalo is back to looking like one of the worst teams in the league. They were outclassed and outcoached on both sides of the ball against the 'Niners.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is once again resembling the journeyman QB he was when he originally signed with the Bills.
Yet, as the highest paid player on the team, Williams is bearing the brunt of the criticism from local and national media alike. And rightfully so.
Ahead, we're going to take a look at four reasons why he isn't living up to his enormous price tag as Mario and the Bills continue to disappoint.
1. His Lack of Production
Houston fans seem to have long forgotten Williams already.
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If all you took into account when judging Williams' value were his numbers, his season would still be a total failure so far.
How many sacks a season is $100 million worth? 12? Maybe even 15?
No. 94 is barely on pace for five. To call those numbers underwhelming is, well, underwhelming. Williams only has 11 tackles through five games as well.
Granted, you're usually more concerned with the number of sacks a defensive end has as opposed to how many tackles. So since he's been unable to contribute a consistent pass rush, you'd hope he'd at least pick it up at stopping the run.
But he hasn't.
Especially when that one dimension he's supposed to bring isn't there.
2. His Total Lack of Passion
Buffalo has been outscored 97-31 over their last two games.
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Unfortunately for Bills fans, the tone was set for Williams' season when he no-showed in the opener against the New York Jets.
The most concerning result, though, from Week 1 was the DE's indifference toward comments Rodney Harrison made about him and his team. That was Williams' opportunity to impress Bills fans by taking the former Pat to task for insulting the franchise.
Instead, he claimed he was unaware of the comments when they were brought to his attention.
It would have been nice to hear a tiny flicker of passion from Williams. He's the hope of the franchise, the highest-paid athlete in Buffalo history. Harrison basically trashed the whole Bills organization. He essentially dismissed them as dysfunctional losers with no franchise quarterback and no legitimate chance at winning the Super Bowl.
Super Mario had a golden chance to "protect the shield." He failed miserably, and that's something Bills fans won't soon forget.
3. He's Making All That Money in a City Like Buffalo
Williams has done nothing so far to earn the admiration of Bills fans.
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When you play professional sports in the city of Buffalo, fans expect two things from you. They expect you to give 100 percent every game, and they want you to feel a sense of pride in the city when you put on that uniform.
As we mentioned earlier, Mario Williams is the highest paid player in Buffalo sports history. He doesn't seem to grasp yet the mountain of pressure and responsibility that title carries with it.
And it's no secret that this city is struggling economically.
So for a player who's making the money, to have the start he's had is unacceptable. People who struggle to pay their bills don't want to hear Williams' excuses.
He'll find out how quickly Bills fans will turn on him if he continues to "dog it," and by letting outsiders take potshots at this city and their team.
4. His Lack of Accountability
The NFL is investigating whether or not the Bills should have reported Williams' wrist injury.
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As the weeks have gone on, we've heard Williams talk more and more about a wrist injury he claims has hampered his play. That may be true, but in his situation, it comes off as a built-in excuse.
He already has his coach defending his lack of production so far. That's why he made those remarks about Williams facing double and triple teams against the Pats. Even though it's been proven that analysis was totally off the mark.
Williams was a non-factor against the pass despite facing only one double-team throughout the entire game. He had 25 opportunities in a pure one-on-one setting, and had zero sacks and only two pressures.
For the rest of the season, Mario Williams needs to "own" it. Be accountable. Take the blame for his poor performances and guarantee to be better.
Because that sore wrist doesn't change the fact that he's making a ridiculous amount of money to play a game.