The Buffalo Bills have informed defensive end Mario Williams that he will be released, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. Coming off his least productive season in four years in Buffalo, Williams spent most of 2015 at odds with first-year head coach Rex Ryan.
During the season, the pass rusher was vocal about his unhappiness with Ryan's scheme. The Bills went from the leading the league in 2014 with 54 sacks to dropping all the way to No. 31 with only 21 sacks in their first year under Ryan. Williams, who put up three consecutive double-digit sack seasons, had just five sacks in 2015. The year before, he led the team with a career-high 14.5 sacks.
While Williams has excelled as a pass rusher ever since the Houston Texans selected him with the first overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, he was given a lot more responsibility this season in Ryan's complicated scheme. Not only were his sack numbers down from previous years, but he recorded just 19 tackles in 15 games and didn't look as solid in run support as he had in the past.
Williams had two years left on a six-year, $96 million contract, and even before Ryan came in and took over the Bills this past offseason, he was considered a potential cap casualty. After his disappointing season, his release was considered only a matter of time.
Now the 31-year-old hits the free agent market, where some team will surely be willing to give him a big deal, despite his age.
* * *
NFL Draft: How every team can avoid screwing up in the 1st round