Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley says that he wants veteran defensive linemen Kyle Williams and Mario Williams to retire as members of the organization.
Oh, that tweet's not about the Williamses at all, is it? Well, it's also ever so slightly misleading. Whaley tells Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News that the Bills will "get the ball rolling" on the Marcell Dareus contract extension "once the dust settles post-draft, maybe even before then," calling his re-signing the team's "priority No. 1" after the draft. Which he has (basically) said before. We suggest skipping the tweet and heading straight to the article, lest your expectations not be met.
In discussing how the Bills could potentially free up cap space for a Dareus deal this year, Mario Williams' contract is brought up as one that could potentially be restructured. Whaley said that the idea would be to extend Williams' deal and make it more cap-friendly, and with the aforementioned retire-as-a-Bill end goal in mind.
"He could free up the most and make it the most logical, because what we would do is not only restructure, but extend him similar to" what the Bills recently did with defensive tackle "Kyle Williams, so these guys retire as Buffalo Bills," Whaley said. "We want to set a precedent that we retain our own and we have them retire as Buffalo Bills. I think that’s a sentiment we’re trying to show the players on our roster now.
"Not only are we getting good players, but we’re retaining our good players as long as possible. And everybody wins. Mario gets a couple of more years, he’s going to retire with a Buffalo Bill, and we get some cap relief."
Here's the thing, though: according to all reported details about the Kyle Williams contract extension, the Bills actually cost themselves $1.55 million in cap space over the next two years, with his cap numbers rising in both 2015 and 2016. But yes, his odds of retiring a Bill did increase, as well, when an extra year was tacked onto his deal. He'll be a few months shy of his 35th birthday when the deal expires.
We do know, though, that a Mario Williams restructure of the three remaining years on his current deal would only create massive cap numbers in 2016 and 2017, meaning that the only reasonable way to save cap space is to add years and a healthy amount of cash into the equation. And yes, that would increase Williams' chances of retiring a Bill, too, depending on how many years are tacked onto the deal. (Williams turned 30 in January, and will be 33 when his current deal expires.)
But then, this is also a team that was talking about cutting veteran running back Fred Jackson earlier this month, so maybe this "retire a Bill" mantra is just lip service - or a mandate being put in by the man that allegedly saved Jackson's spot on the roster, team owner Terry Pegula.