INDIANAPOLIS — About the only certainty regarding Kyle Williams' uncertain future with the Buffalo Bills is that it'll likely be decided by more than whether the 34-year-old defensive tackle wants to subject his body to a 13th NFL season.
General Manager Brandon Beane made that clear while addressing Williams' pending free agency at the NFL Scouting Combine Wednesday.
Beane said he has been in talks with Williams' agent, David Dunn. Without being specific, the GM's characterization of the player's future with the team was that it had more to do with dollars than Williams' sheer desire to keep playing.
Beane said the team would like to retain Williams. The preference would be to have something resolved by March 14, the first day of the league's business calendar, but that's not in stone.
"Hopefully, in a perfect world, we have it done before then," Beane said. "Again, it takes two. There would be a point where, you know, hey, we had to allocate those resources elsewhere, and we'll let him know at the right time. It could end up being March 14, but right now I'm not sure.
"We have to put a value on Kyle, on his ability. You can't just give him a blank check and say what you come back and play for. He could say, you know what, I don't want to play for that, or I think I'm this. He is a free agent (so) another team could offer him something that is just something that he can't turn down. That's the unfortunate part in my seat, you know, he gets to make that call. He's in free agency, he's earned that right. In my seat, I don't have a lot of leverage to what other teams can offer. At the end of the day, hopefully we can come to terms on what he thinks is fair, and what we think is fair, and we bring him back."
The Buffalo News reached out to Dunn and Williams for comment Wednesday, but received no response. As of a week ago, there was "nothing to report," according to a source close to the situation.
In an earlier group session with reporters at the Combine, Beane said he did not know whether Williams was pondering retirement.
"He's not communicated that to me, but we haven't had an in-depth conversation since he and I personally talked the day after the season ended," the GM said. "We talked again when he came in town for (the Jan. 29 press conference during which Eric Wood briefly addressed the neck injury that has ended his playing career). Mostly been working through his agent. You'd have to ask Kyle what he's contemplating."