The competition at defensive tackle just cranked up a notch.
One week after rewarding a blue collar player on the offensive line, the Buffalo Bills did the same on defense. Kyle Williams signed a three-year contract Thursday, which could reach $14.4 million. Williams is guaranteed $5.2 million over the next two years.
"We're very flattered," Williams' agent Albert Elias told The Associated Press. "When you're two years into a contract, these types of extensions aren't normally made.... We're really excited about it."
Williams' refined contract consists of a base salary of $12 million over the next five years.
Williams will compete with former first round pick John McCargo and free agent acquisition Spencer Johnson for the DT spot next to Marcus Stroud. He has the leg up heading into training camp too. During OTAs and minicamp, Williams worked with the first team.
Drafted in the fifth round in the 2006 draft, Williams has been one of the most consistent forces on the Bills' shaky defense. In his rookie year, he had 53 tackles and went for 41 tackles with two sacks last season. He was a key player in Buffalo's inspiring 17-16 win against Washington, stifling Clinton Portis to two yards per carry.
Williams was rewarded a roster bonus of $1.75 million and will make a base salary of $700,000 in the '08 – significantly higher than the $445,000 he was set to make.
Last week, the Bills signed Brad Butler through the 2012 season. Both players aren't necessarily game-changers, but key glue players for the Bills to keep improving in the trenches.
Locking up Williams now - to a reasonable contract - could prove to be a very wise move on Buffalo's part.
Look for Williams to bust out for a big season. The addition of Stroud, allows for Buffalo to field a conventional left and right defensive tackle alignment, instead of a nose tackle and a "three technique" tackle. At nose tackle in his first two seasons, Williams mostly ate up double teams. With more attention shaded toward Stroud, Anderson should face more one-on-one situations. His nonstop motor and quickness in short spaces could truly break out in '08.