Speculation indicates the Buffalo Bills may well cut Kyle Williams, even though he deserves a much better fate.
Kyle Williams is an affable, hard-working, overachiever, who went from being a fifth round draft pick to a five-time Pro Bowler. And yet, it’s possible his time with the Buffalo Bills could be about to come to an unceremonious end.
Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News writes that Williams is extremely vulnerable to being cut. While it should be noted Carucci was just offering his opinion, there are a couple of compelling reasons behind his rationale.
The first comes down to the defensive tackle being 33-years old, and turning 34 before the start of the 2017 season. The second is his cap hit of $8.3 million, which only includes $1.5 million in dead money.
Starting with the age factor, while accepting Williams is getting up there in age, he has proven to be extremely durable during his 11 years in the NFL. While some people may point to him missing 10 games as recently as 2015, he responded by starting 15 times just last season.
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Turning to the money aspect, while releasing the Ruston, Louisiana native would free up $6.8 million in cap space, you can argue he is worth his salary. Apart from his durability, his productivity during 2016 resulted in a fifth Pro Bowl appearance.
In addition, Williams provides veteran leadership for the defense and is an excellent teammate, which are things you can’t put a price on. (Ironically, these characteristics could result in him taking a pay cut for a second successive year, in order to remain in Buffalo.)
One final factor to consider in all of this, is that the 2010 First-team All-Pro is considering retirement. Despite playing regularly during 2016, he struggled with a back injury late on in the year.
As Williams decides whether to put his body through the grind for another 16 games, he will also take into account where the Bills are headed. Speaking to Jerry Sullivan of The Buffalo News and the rest of the media at the end of the season, he said:
"“I have a lot of things to process, as far as the season and trying to figure those things out moving forward. There’s a whole lot of guys in here who aren’t going to be here, whether it’s retirement or moving in a different direction.”"
Overall, if there’s one player who deserves to go out on his own terms, it’s Williams. Whether he gets the opportunity to do so remains to be seen, especially when you consider the cutthroat nature of the NFL.
If you’re in charge of the Bills, what would you do with Williams? Keep him around for the final year of his contract, persuade him to retire, cut him, or let him decide what he wants to do? Share your thoughts in the comments section.