The Bills have made plenty of personnel mistakes, as we all know. Signing Mario Williams to a huge contract in 2012 was not one of them, contrary to the opinion of more than a few.
Let’s go back to early 2012. The Bills were 6-10 with a defense that ranked 30th in points allowed and third-last in sacks. The only edge rusher on the team to speak of was Chris Kelsay. The Bills had whiffed on a Hail Mary-contract with Shawne Merriman. They had gone four straight offseasons of spending only modestly in free agency.
They had gobs of cap room. There were no edge rushers available in free agency besides Williams.
They wouldn’t have been in dire straits if Aaron Maybin hadn’t been a colossal bust. He was cut the previous August. In the NFL, you wind up paying for the sins of your past. Williams wasn’t a leader.
Yes, he tanked last season. But he had 38 sacks his first three Bills seasons. The defense went from 22nd to 10th to fourth those three years. Williams was a good signing, especially considering the circumstances.