Maybe the bridge between Mario Williams and the Bills isn’t completely burned after all.
The former All-Pro defensive end told Josina Anderson of ESPN.com that he’s open to staying with the Bills in 2016.
It had pretty much been a foregone conclusion that the Bills would release Williams and save $13 million in salary cap space. But Williams, who had five sacks in 15 games last season, said he’d possibly accept a pay cut to stay with the team.
Williams had 10.5 sacks in 2012, his first year with the Bills. He followed that up with 13 sacks in 2013 and 14.5 sacks in 2014. The Bills were second in the NFL with 57 sacks in 2013 and led the league in 2014 with 54 sacks. But in Rex Ryan’s defense Williams was used less frequently as a pass rusher and the Bills plummeted to 31st in the NFL with 21 sacks.
Teammates weren’t always thrilled with Williams’ effort during the 2015 season. But the steep drop in the Bills’ sack numbers coincided with Ryan’s arrival.
So perhaps Ryan’s defense needs to adjust to Williams at least as much as Williams needs to adjust to Ryan’s defense.