UPDATE (5 p.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills released veteran defensive end Mario Williams, running back Boobie Dixon and guard Kraig Urbik on Tuesday, the team announced.
“We want to thank Boobie, Kraig and Mario for everything they did during their years with our franchise,” Bills general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement issued by the team. “Each of them contributed to our team in a unique way. Days like this are never easy, and this is a part of the business that is difficult on everyone. We will now focus our attention on moving forward as we continue to prepare for free agency, the upcoming draft and the 2016 season.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Mario Williams’ hefty salary and difficulty adapting to Rex Ryan’s world appear to have cost him his Buffalo Bills career.
The Bills informed Williams of their decision to release him after four seasons with the team, ESPN’s Josina Anderson revealed Tuesday on Twitter.
The Associated Press reported in December that Buffalo was planning to jettison Williams, so this move comes as no surprise.
Williams was due to count $19.9 million against the Bills’ salary cap, and releasing the 31-year-old defensive end/linebacker will save Buffalo $12.9 million. Williams was due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 9.
The former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick endured a down year in 2015. He recorded just five sacks last season, less than half his average production in his first three years in Buffalo.
Williams also clashed with Ryan over the Bills’ defensive schemes, which changed significantly in his first year as head coach. Williams also aired his frustrations to the media in 2015.
Now Willams will enter the free-agent market. He could be an impact signing, an expensive flop or something in between, depending on the volume of money he makes under terms of his next contract.
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images
Bills cut Mario Williams.
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