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The Miami Dolphins and Mario Williams agreed to a two-year contract Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
When the acquisition becomes official Wednesday, the Dolphins will have a significant investment made in the defensive front, though the move may be a fall-back plan in the event Oliver Vernon doesn't stick around in the coming days. No matter what occurs, a bounce back could be in store for Williams, who will be returning to a 4-3 defense after one disappointing season within Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme. If he finds more comfort working next to Ndamukong Suh, Williams could put up his fourth campaign of double-digit sacks in the past five years.
Mario Williams is expected to sign with the Dolphins on a deal worth approximately $8 million per season, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.
Williams openly blamed Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme for his poor 2015 season, perhaps knowing that the Bills had no interest in retaining him at his massive 2016 cap hit of $19.9 million. Though unlikely to regain his peak form, the 31-year-old Williams could be headed for a bounce-back season in Miami's 4-3 defense, after tallying just five sacks last season for the Bills. With Cameron Wake (Achilles) uncertain to be ready for Week 1 in the final year of his contract, Williams provides the Dolphins with some insurance. Even if Wake is ready, the Dolphins should have plenty of snaps to go around between him, Williams and Olivier Vernon, as the team could move one of the three inside on passing downs, creating a fearsome four-man pass rush that would also include Ndamukong Suh.
Williams was released by the Bills on Tuesday and is now free to negotiate with any team. The Dolphins, like just about every other team in the NFL, are in need of pass rushers. Cameron Wake is trying to return from an Achilles injury and Olivier Vernon was just given the transition tag, so the Dolphins may be covering their backsides by trying to see what the price would be to sign Williams. The Dolphins are one of 5-6 teams that Williams has stated he would like to visit, so the Dolphins may have to overpay for his services in order to keep him from getting on a plane and leaving Miami, something they are unlikely to do.
This will be one of the most obvious moves of the offseason. Williams simply didn't fit into Rex Ryan's defensive scheme, and his effort was questioned by fans and even teammates as his disappointing season wore on. The Bills are also one of the league's most cash-strapped teams, so the move will save them $12.9 million on the cap this season. Williams is 31 years old, so he's probably starting the downside of his career, but when healthy he's still one of the league's scariest pass rushers. Aside from a sickly five sacks in 2015, Williams put up a combined 38 in his first three seasons with the Bills from 2012-14. He'll be in high demand elsewhere.
|P1||8/12/16||@ NYG||7:00 pm|
|P2||8/19/16||@ DAL||8:00 pm|
|1||9/11/16||@ SEA||4:05 pm|
|2||9/18/16||@ NE||1:00 pm|
|4||9/29/16||@ CIN||8:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|10||11/13/16||@ SD||4:05 pm|
|11||11/20/16||@ LAR||4:05 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|15||12/17/16||@ NYJ||8:25 pm|
|16||12/24/16||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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