On the current Buffalo Bills roster, three potential starters and cornerstones to the team could call it quits after this season. Kyle Williams, Richie Incognito, and Lorenzo Alexander would be 35 years old by this time next year. They've been in the NFL for over 10 years and Father Time waits for no one.
Williams was a 5th round pick in 2006 by the Bills and he turned out to be a late-round diamond in the rough. He's made five trips to the pro bowl and earned a second-team All-Pro selection in the 2010 season. So far in his career he has racked up 548 total tackles and 41.5 sacks, as an interior defensive lineman those numbers are extremely impressive. Williams has been the heart and soul of the Buffalo Bills for the past few years and has been a team captain for the latter part of his career. If Williams does decide to hang up his cleats at the end of the year, he will surely be missed around the Western New York.
Incognito has been known as one of the toughest guys in the league his entire career. He is in his 4th year with the Bills when he rejoined the team in 2015 after a year out of football. Buffalo gave him a second chance late in his career and it has paid off for both sides. Since he got back to Buffalo, he has made the Pro Bowl every year making his career total jump up to three times. Along with Williams, his leadership is unmatched and would be a big loss on the field and in the locker room.
Over the past year, Alexander has quietly become one of the best success stories in recent NFL history. Joining the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2005 he spent the first part of his career on practice squads. After joining the Washington Redskins in 2006, he was primarily a special teams player and a backup defensive tackle. Alexander jumped from position to position as he found himself on the offensive line, defensive line, and at tight end. In 2010, he made the switch as a linebacker and he never looked back.
When he joined the Bills on a one-year deal with only $75,000 guaranteed he was primarily going to be used as a special teams player. After the injury to then rookie defensive end Shaq Lawson, Alexander was forced into a role that he owned. He recorded 12.5 sacks in the 2016 season and made his first Pro Bowl as a position player. Alexander has been a model citizen his entire NFL career and was the Redskins’ nominee for Walter Payton’s Man of the Year award in 2010. Still playing at a high level on defense and special teams, his retirement would be a hard one to swallow for Bills fans.