The Buffalo Bills announced on Wednesday that they have signed fourth-year safety Aaron Williams to a contract extension. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1 reports that it's a four-year deal worth $26 million, with another $1.25 million in incentives. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com has the guaranteed figure at $14.625 million. The contract adds on to the final year of his rookie deal, meaning that he is under contract through the 2018 season.
The news comes on the heels of the Bills' decision not to use the franchise tag on Jairus Byrd, though team president Russ Brandon was quick to state that Buffalo's extension of Williams was separate from that decision.
Bills CEO Russ Brandon says Aaron Williams’ extension is "completely independent from any other negotiations" (i.e. Byrd)— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) March 5, 2014
Cue an uncountable number of skeptically raised eyebrows.
Williams, who will turn 24 next month, is coming off a career year after switching from cornerback to safety. Though he did spend the early part of the 2013 season playing cornerback due to injury, Williams' transition was smooth, and he accumulated 82 tackles, four interceptions, 11 defended passes and a forced fumble on the season.
The move locks up half of a very good safety duo for the foreseeable future, though when Byrd leaves for greener pastures, the team will be back in the hunt for a running mate for Williams. This also seems like a fairly hefty deal to give to a player that has missed at least two games (14 in total over three seasons) due to injury.