The Buffalo Bills have lacked success in the latter rounds of the NFL Draft in recent years. Over a decade has gone by since they drafted someone in the last four rounds who earned a Pro Bowl nod.
Fortunately, that player is still on the roster, and his most recent Pro Bowl appearance came at the end of last season. He may be old, but the longest-tenured Bill isn’t done yet.
Name: Kyle Williams
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 303 lbs
College: Louisiana State
Draft: Round 5, Pick 134 by the Buffalo Bills (2006)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Williams is entering a contract year with the Bills, one that is costing the team $8.3 million against the cap. The Bills would gain an extra $6.3 million in cap space to roll over into next year if they were to release him.
2016 Recap: After missing most of 2015 to a knee injury, Williams rebounded to his usual productive self in 2016. Playing in 15 games, Williams recorded 64 tackles (42 solo) and five sacks. He finished the season with a Pro Bowl appearance, which he’s done in each of the last five seasons that he saw the field for more than six games.
Positional Outlook: While it will be interesting to see who ends up landing on the roster as a reserve defensive tackle, Williams is in no danger of losing his starting job. He’ll open the year alongside Marcell Dareus and he’ll keep going until he just can’t do it anymore.
2017 Offseason: The big news around the 34-year-old earlier in the year involved his possible retirement, but he decided in March that he’d return for a 12th season with the Bills. He hasn’t earned a whole lot of press in training camp, but everybody already knows what he can do.
2017 Season Outlook: Kyle can’t play forever, but he’s still a productive player who isn’t starting for the Bills simply on reputation. There were games last year where he looked like he lost a step, but he’d come right back with his old quality play the next week. Another five-sack season isn’t at all out of the question. Really, his biggest obstacle to another productive year s the uncertainty around his partner on the inside...but that’s a story for another day.