INDIANAPOLIS – At the end of the 2016 season, Kyle Williams sounded like a man uncertain about his playing future.
Now two months later, the Buffalo Bills' Pro Bowl defensive tackle is ready to return in 2017. The Bills announced Wednesday that Williams will be back for the final year of his contract. He explained why in an interview with The Buffalo News, pointing to his interactions with new coach Sean McDermott, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and defensive line coach Mike Waufle as a primary factor.
"Just kind of hearing what their vision was for where we were headed and what we were going to be doing and the way that he wanted to do it," Williams said. "And honestly feeling like I still could play and I could play at a high level, you know, that had a lot to do with it. So all those things come into factor, but being comfortable with him and what he wanted to do and really kind of liking what his vision for our team was.
"More than anything, he talked about us winning. Going out and feeling like we had good pieces in place, things that we could build on to have a winning football team, and me being a big part of that and having an opportunity to continue my career with the Bills and see my commitment all the way through."
Williams will turn 34 in June and is entering the final year of his contract, so it's understandable if a prolonged rebuilding project wouldn't appeal to him.
"We're trying to win and that's what he's interested in doing," he said of McDermott. "You know ... I never really said that I didn't want to play anymore, I just said that I don't know that I would be part of a new regime's plans or if I wanted to be part of the plans if they were going to do a major reconstruction of everything, because in all honesty, if they were going to do a mjaor rescontrcution I'm probabably at the top of the chopping block there. But from my understanding, he wants to win, he wants to win now, and I want to be a part of it. I want to see everything I've wanted to accomplish, I want to see it through to the end, so that's kind of how we got here."
Williams will have a salary-cap charge of $8.3 million. He said the Bills have not approached him about lessening that in the form of a pay cut. He's also healthy this offseason, after having to rehab a knee injury at this time a year ago.
"I've been working out for a while now and getting back into it the same way I would any other offseason," he said. "I'm always exctied when I don't have really any issues going into the offseason. Obviously I had that back strain which took a couple weeks to get better, which is better now, but I don't have a big rehab in front of me like I did last year."