The Buffalo Bills released offensive lineman Daryl Williams on Monday morning, the team announced. Williams, a starting lineman for the last two years with the Bills, will be a free agent only a year after signing a contract extension.
There are two reasons why Williams wasn’t a fit for the Bills anymore. The first was the structure of his contract: After a $6.1 million cap hit in 2021, Williams would cost almost $10 million against the cap in 2022. Releasing him saves the team $6.3 million that they otherwise would have spent. The second reason was the emergence of rookie right tackle Spencer Brown, which pushed Williams to guard. A $9.9 million cap hit ranks 25th among NFL tackles, but sixth among guards. His contract didn’t accurately represent the value to the team after the position switch.
It’s also possible that Williams moving on represents a philosophical shift for the Bills under new OL coach Aaron Kromer. The team has now released two of the more physical, road-grading type linemen from their roster. Almost every remaining player is known for his athletic ability first and foremost. So look for the team to reinforce with another lighter-weight lineman with the ability to block on the move, either in free agency or the draft.
Overall, Bills fans will still be thankful for the way Williams locked up nearly 100% of snaps on the offensive line for the last two years, especially amid significant personnel upheaval. Josh Allen couldn’t have led the Bills on two playoff runs in the last two years without Williams contributing his blocking to the fray.
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