Williams in Buffalo for a second nightContract talks with DE continue
By John Kryk, QMI Agency
|Defensive end Mario Williams remains in Buffalo as contract talks continue. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP)
Presumably, Mario Williams rushes passers a lot faster than he rushes contract decisions.
For crying out loud!
Whereas most NFL free agents are taking only minutes or hours to grab at lucrative NFL offers flying at them, the superstar defensive end — formerly of the Houston Texans — was about to go on his third day of mulling the Buffalo Bills' big-bucks offer.
Early Wednesday evening, the Bills announced that Williams, 27, will spend a second night in Buffalo, after a second day of unresolved contract talks.
No information about the status of negotiations was immediately known. It is Bills club policy not to comment on such, and Williams' agent did not return phone messages left with his assistant.
Reports indicate the Bills were prepared to make Williams the highest-paid defender in the league — a contract that would eclipse that of Julius Peppers of the Chicago Bears, who earns $15.25 million a year. The top five defensive ends in the NFL earn an average of $10.6 million.
Bills GM Buddy Nix told QMI Agency last week that "if there's a guy out there who can come in here and make us better, we're going to go after him. We May not get him ... but we're going to make a run."
After the even more deliberate Peyton Manning, Williams is seen by most experts as the jewel of 2012 free agency. The 6-foot-6, 286-pounder was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2006 draft, and has racked up 53 sacks in six seasons.
The Bills flew Williams into Buffalo early Tuesday evening, immediately after the 4 p.m. EDT free-agency signing period began. Team president Russ Brandon, Nix, head coach Chan Gailey, defensive co-ordinator Dave Wannstedt and other Bills reps were present either at the dinner they'd arranged for Williams, or the talks at the Bills' administrative offices afterward that lasted deep into the evening.
Reports Tuesday night indicated a deal could be imminent, but Williams went to bed without one.
It was assumed by many that Williams would fly off to meet with another club on Wednesday morning, but he spent the whole day in Buffalo.
Before noon he underwent what the club termed a "routine physical with team doctors off site," before returning to the club's headquarters, where he toured facilities.
Around lunch hour, Buffalo TV sports reporters waiting at the local airport for another reason recognized Williams along with Wannstedt. Williams told the reporters he was awaiting the arrival of his fiancee.
From there, the couple was taken on a tour of neighbourhoods in and around Orchard Park, where Ralph Wilson Stadium is located. Meetings between the couple and the Bills resumed back at One Bills Drive, and ended early Wednesday evening.
"(Williams will) be sleeping on all that Ralph Wilson's organization has presented to him in Buffalo tonight," said a story posted at the team's website.
An earlier report at ProFootballTalk.com said Williams was scheduled to fly out of Buffalo on Wednesday night.
As long as Williams remains in Buffalo, the Bills would appear to have a good shot to land him.
"If he does leave, you figure he's not coming back," ESPN.com's senior writer John Clayton told Buffalo's WGR 550-AM radio.
All the while, the Bills' desperate, long-suffering fans were practically holding their breaths. Yeah, they're probably looking a little blue — if only because they're so tired of feeling blue. Buffalo hasn't made the playoffs since 1998.
That Williams flew straight to Buffalo before anywhere else on Tuesday was a shot in the arm.
That he might dump them after two-plus days of talks would be a shot in the head.