After spending the past six seasons harassing quarterbacks for the Houston Texans, defensive end Mario Williams _ one of the NFL’s top pass-rushers _ has found new motivation in a whopping contract and a new home in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills.
“I’m ecstatic, very excited. I can’t wait for the opportunity,” Williams said Thursday after signing a six-year deal potentially worth $100 million. “There’s no pressure. I’ve played against great quarterbacks. And I’m looking forward to playing against these quarterbacks, chasing them down and making things happen.”
Williams‘ deal, which includes $50 million in guaranteed money, is the richest ever given to an NFL defensive player. It came after two days of talks, which started when the Bills flew the former top draft pick to Buffalo on a private jet Tuesday, shortly after the NFL’s free agency period opened.
“We got a lot better,” Buffalo general manager Buddy Nix said, noting that the Bills addressed their highest offseason priority by bolstering what had been an anemic pass rush. “Good things come to the people that wait. So you guys have been waiting, and we’ve got a good thing here.”
Though the contract was agreed to shortly after noon, the news conference to introduce Williams was delayed by more than two hours as the two sides worked out the final details.
“The No. 1 guy for us from Day 1 was this guy,” Nix said. “Obviously, you don’t do anything until he hits free agency, but it’s been a long process. And it’s been fun, especially since it turned out right.”
Williams‘ addition immediately improves a defense that had difficulty applying pressure since Aaron Schobel was released before the 2010 season. Buffalo managed just 27 sacks in 2010, and 29 sacks last season, 10 coming in one game.
Listed at 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, Williams is a two-time Pro Bowl starter and had a franchise-best 53 sacks in six seasons with the Texans. Williams was limited to playing just five games last season as a result of a torn chest muscle. He also missed three games in 2010 after having surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Williams said he’s healthy, and is accustomed to the playing in the spotlight.
The Texans were initially questioned for overlooking running back Reggie Bush by drafting Williams with the No. 1 pick in 2006.
“The only pressure and motivation I have is to come in here and do what I need to do with my teammates and for us to succeed,” Williams said.View Entire Story
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