The Buffalo Bills plan on releasing defensive end Mario Williams after this season, the Associated Press initially reported on Thursday. A source confirmed this pending release to The News.
Releasing Williams saves the Bills $12.9 million under the salary cap, a logical move considering he hasn't been a fit in Rex Ryan's defense, has been outspoken about it and indicated he wouldn't take a pay cut to stay. Buffalo is hoping to re-sign several of its own players this off-season. Tackle Cordy Glenn, guard Richie Incognito and inside linebacker Nigel Bradham will all be free agents.
This off-season, the Bills will be looking to find new pieces in Ryan's defense. After leading the NFL in sacks last season, they're 31st this year. Williams, who had 38 tackles and five forced fumbles the previous three seasons, has had his worst year since going No. 1 overall in 2006. He has only 17 tackles and four sacks in 14 games.
Multiple times, Williams has said he's been dropping into coverage more than he ever has in his career.
Now, the Bills seem ready to move on and build this defense in Ryan's vision.