Kyle Williams has been an irreplaceable member of the Buffalo Bills’ defense and locker room since he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL draft. Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News isn’t letting that stop him from speculating on Williams’s future, however.
In his latest mailbag, Carucci devotes a few lines to the possibility that Williams may be released for salary cap-purposes before this upcoming season. He notes that Williams is “extremely vulnerable” to becoming a cap casualty, as his age (34 in June) and cap hit ($8.3 million) point to a release. Add in that cutting Williams would save the team approximately $7 million, and Carucci’s point makes sense from a stone-cold business standpoint.
Although football is a business, the dynamics of a team and a locker room are entirely personal. Releasing Williams does more than open a gaping hole on the team’s defensive line. It tears a Meatball-sized hole in the team’s leadership on the field.
Even if one were to ignore Williams’s age and leadership, his production on the field is still very strong. He was named to his fifth Pro Bowl this year. He led all AFC defensive tackles in both solo tackles and total tackles. With this year being the last of his current contract, it gives the team no wiggle room in reworking the deal, aside from signing him to another extension and kicking the can further down the line.
Kyle Williams won’t be in Buffalo forever, but he most definitely should be there in 2017.