Kyle Williams made it clear at the end of the 2016 season that his playing future was up in the air.
Nearly a month later, and with a new head coach in place, the Buffalo Bills' veteran defensive tackle sounds like he's closer to making a decision. Speaking with NFL.com writer Conor Orr at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Williams said he's had positive conversations with coach Sean McDermott, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and defensive line coach Mike Waufle.
"I've been in contact with them and I've been picking their brain," he said. "They've been picking mine just kind of seeing the direction they're headed and the views of what we have. I've definitely had an ear back in Buffalo.
McDermott "seems to be on top of things. He's asking me the right questions and he's had some great answers for me. I think he's going to do well."
Williams said it was premature to say with 100-percent certainty that he would be back, but told Orr he's preparing that way.
"You know, I really haven't thought about it right now. Just been down here and the first few weeks of the offseason I've just tried to reconnect with my family and everything like that," he said. "But I always take a month or so off then I'll get back to preparing like I'm going to be back in Buffalo and I'm going to play.
"Talking with them, they want me back and I'm just going to prepare like I am. We'll see where we end up."
Losing Williams would be a massive blow for the Bills, both along the defensive line and in the locker room. He's unquestionably one of the very best leaders on the team, and is still getting it done on the field. The 33-year-old will participate in his fifth Pro Bowl on Sunday after finishing the 2016 season with 64 tackles and five sacks. He has one year left on his contract, and is scheduled to count $8.3 million against the salary cap.