Orchard Park (WKBW.com) The wait is finally over. The Buffalo Bills have signed defensive end (DE) Mario Williams to a long term contract.
Williams has signed a six year deal with the Bills, in a deal that will make him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.
The Buffalo Bills today announced that the team has signed free agent DE Mario Williams. In accordance with team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed, however Eyewitness Sports has learned that Williams deal will include $50 million dollars up front, for a total deal worth close to $100 million.
Williams has recorded 53.0 sacks and 241 tackles (192 solo) and started each of his 82 games played since entering the NFL as the first overall draft choice in 2006 by Houston. The 6-6, 292-pound North Carolina State product was named a Pro Bowl starter following the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Age/Hometown: 27/Richlands, NC
College: North Carolina State
Years NFL/Bills: 7/1
How Acquired: FA-12
2011 Games Played/Started: 5/5
Career Games Played/Started: 82/82
Signed with Buffalo as a free agent on March 15, 2012… entered the NFL as the first overall pick of the 2006 Draft by the Houston Texans
Here is more on Mario from Wikipedia:
Mario Jerrel Williams (born January 31, 1985) is an American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. He was selected first overall by the Houston Texans in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at North Carolina State.
While playing in the ACC for North Carolina State under coach Chuck Amato, Williams played the defensive end position. He was a "blue chip" recruit coming out of Richlands High School, and he did not disappoint, starting at DE all three seasons. He recorded 175 tackles and 25.5 sacks in his 36 game career. In 2005, he was named to SI.com's All-American team and also to the All-ACC first team.
During the 2005 season, he started 12 games, recording 62 total tackles with 24 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, 15 hurries, a safety and a blocked kick.
Bench Press: 450 lbs.
Power Clean: 320 lbs.
Williams left school one year early to enter the 2006 NFL Draft. Coming out of college, Williams was called an elite prospect, “an amazing natural athlete with rare ability” and “an outstanding pass rusher who can dominate a game.” At the NFL Combine Williams ran a 4.66 and a 4.73 forty-yard dash, which was averaged out to 4.70. He also bench-pressed 225 pounds 35 times and had a 40½ vertical leap.
On the eve of the 2006 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans announced that they had signed the N.C. State standout to a six-year, $54 million contract, ending speculation that Houston would draft USC running back Reggie Bush or hometown quarterback Vince Young. Texans GM Charley Casserly stated that while he believes both Reggie Bush and Vince Young will make excellent pros, the Texans chose to improve defensively. One of the main reasons the Texans wanted Williams is because they wanted to slow down Peyton Manning of the division rival Indianapolis Colts. On Saturday, April 29, 2006, Williams was selected as the #1 overall draft pick for the Houston Texans in the 2006 NFL draft. Back in Houston, however, many people booed as he was picked.
It has been reported that more than $26 million of the contract will be in guaranteed money, and provided that Williams lives up to performance goals listed in the contract, the deal could be worth more than $60 million altogether. Many commentators immediately criticized the decision to select Williams ahead of Bush, with Len Pasquarelli claiming that the administration of the Houston Texans was “suffering from astigmatism”, and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons suggesting that all professional sports teams should hire a “Vice President of Common Sense”.
On October 1, 2006, Williams recorded his first sack and a half against the Miami Dolphins' Daunte Culpepper in the Houston Texans' first win of the season 17-15. Three weeks later, Williams sacked Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich and recovered a fumble in the Texans' 27-7 upset. In the 2006 season, Williams accumulated 47 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
Early in the 2007 season, Williams played well, with an outstanding performance in the first game of his sophomore season. The defensive end had five tackles, two sacks, and returned a fumble by Chiefs fullback Kris Wilson for a touchdown. He had particularly big games against the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans, sacking Jay Cutler 3.5 times and Vince Young 2.5 times in one game each. His first sack of 2007 was of Peyton Manning. Before the game Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy compared Williams to Colts Pro Bowl Defensive End Dwight Freeney. He finished the season with 59 total tackles and 14 sacks.
The 2007 season was a year that Williams answered many of the critics that he gained because of his lofty Number 1 draft pick status. In 2007 year, through 15 games, he accounted for 48 percent of his team's sacks, a higher percentage than any other player. Williams was a First-team All-Pro selection by the Sporting News, however, he was not elected to the Pro Bowl but was voted an alternate to the game.
In 2008, Williams continued to prosper, amassing 12 sacks and 53 tackles in 15 games (all starts). This effort included three sacks and one forced fumble in the Texans' first ever Monday Night Football game on December 1, 2008. For his efforts, Williams was selected for his first Pro Bowl as a starter and was a First-team All-Pro selection by the Sporting News for the second consecutive season. He was again selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2009 season.
On December 15, 2010, it was announced that Mario Williams was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season with an inflamed hernia. He had been struggling since September with injuries which had been hampering his play, though he still ranked in the top third in the NFL in sacks with 8.5 through 13 games.
In 2011, During Week 5 versus the Oakland Raiders, Williams suffered a torn pectoral muscle while sacking Raiders QB Jason Campbell for his team-leading fifth sack. He was placed on injured reserve for the second consecutive year on October 12, ending his season.
Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills on March 15, 2012.