- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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We are entering Day 3 of Buffalo's full-court press on Williams. The Bills are trying to make Williams one of the NFL's highest-paid players and a building block for their defense.
Here are some thoughts on the possible pairing:
Let's ignore all the contract stuff for a second and assume Williams signs with Buffalo. On the field, he would be a perfect fit for what the Bills need. Buffalo's pass-rush was atrocious last year, and Williams is one of the most dynamic pass-rushers in the NFL. Buffalo is switching to a 4-3 defense and needs defensive ends. Williams fills one side. Also, the trio of Williams and defensive tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams would make for arguably the NFL's best defensive line. It would certainly be the most stout group of defensive linemen in the AFC East.
Now, back to the contract negotiations. This is dragging out longer than expected. The Bills had a plan to throw the money truck at Williams and figured they would have an answer either way fairly early. Most elite free agents sign within the first couple of days. But Williams seems legitimately torn.
Also, nothing is a guarantee in free agency until the pen hits the paper. Williams is physically in Buffalo, but rest assured his representation is fielding calls from other teams and probably comparing numbers with what's being offered in Buffalo. That may be contributing to the delay. The Bills learned this lesson the hard way this week during Robert Meachem's visit to Buffalo. The Bills thought they were close with the receiver. But Meachem's reps also were hard at work with the San Diego Chargers, who came up with a better offer.
Finally, this decision is almost as big as quarterback Peyton Manning's with the Broncos, Titans, Cardinals or Dolphins. It's a game-changer for Buffalo. If the Bills land the biggest defensive free agent on the market, it sends a message that they are serious about winning this year. With that in mind, today could be a great day or a bad day for the Bills.
Thursday is a huge day for the Buffalo Bills franchise. We most likely will find out if Buffalo can close out a contract signing with former Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams.