Aching For Mario Williams

January 1st, 2016

Bucs fans are ready with open arms. But should they be?

News out of Buffalo surrounding stud (former stud?) defensive end Mario Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, is stunning and intriguing, and exciting Bucs fans already in 2016.

This Buffalo News story on Williams about to play his last game for the Bills is a must-read for any NFL fan.

It’s a great piece by Tyler Dunne in which he presents quotes that support Williams being a quitter and a complainer thieving a giant salary from the Bills this season. But the flip-side is also laid out — that Williams is simply a superstar totally out of place in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense.

Williams, who turns 31 this month, had racked up a whopping 38 sacks during his first three seasons in Buffalo as a 4-3 defensive end. And then in came Ryan with a new scheme that Williams openly trashed.

The Bills are expected to cut Williams after the season in order to save about $12 million salary cap space — and ditch a guy who has been invisible this season.

The Bucs could use a guy like Williams, the old Williams, the guy who was on a Hall of Fame-caliber path before this season.

Just the thought of a premium quality defensive end to replace the current Bucs trio — sackless George Johnson, undrafted rookie Howard Jones and pass-rush challenged Will Gholston — at right defensive end is enough to make any Bucs fan celebrate.

The Bucs have a fat pile of money under the salary cap next season.

Joe’s primary concern is not whether Williams can still perform, but whether Williams would want to play for the Bucs. Lots of teams will covet his services. Joe would expect the Falcons and Cowboys (when they give up on sleazy Greg Hardy) to lead the way in the NFC. Five straight losing seasons might not be attractive to a guy seeking a change of scenery.

43 Responses to “Aching For Mario Williams”

  1. DooshLaRue Says:

    3 questions that need to be answered before he becomes a Buccaneer defensive line Star:

    Is he nice?
    Will be help opposing players off the ground?
    Does he wanna have fun?

    If yes to all 3, then he will compliment our mighty D rather nicely.

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    NO NO NO!!!!!

    Come on, people! When is it going to sink in that signing players who are 30+ leads to disaster????

    Mario would cost a fortune and probably get injured halfway through the season!

    Good Lord…I can see why he would be a good fit…but his production is already plummeting and blaming it on a new scheme instead of his declining years is silly.

  3. Ufcguy32 Says:

    Ya bc dwight freeney has been soo terrible this year. ….oh wait. Smh

  4. AceofAerospace Says:

    I vote no. I didn’t dig through my neighbors Christmas trash, even though there were some pretty impressive boxes out there. Only Lovie Smith waves pro bowlers. If Rex is waving him, it’s about a lot more than money.

  5. Tom Edrington Says:

    Way, way, way past his prime.

    Beat-up, overpaid old dog.

    It’s like, hey, let’s go out and get that 2006 Chrysler with 400,000 miles on it and pay $100,000 for it.

    Come on, it’s a New Year, let’s get real!

  6. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Lol @ Bonzai. The Bucs simply can’t do this because they have so much talent on the roster in the form of undrafted free agents who can’t create any pressure whatsoever on QBs. The Bucs can’t sign him anyway because they have no cap space! Oh wait….

  7. Architek Says:

    Don’t keep taking others cast-offs!

  8. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    Great insight, DooshLaRue. Lol

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    I wonder if it’s possible for a very talented player to get poor results playing in a scheme that doesn’t fit his talents and skills?

    Oh wait, let’s ask Verner and Banks and Goldson and Barron and … uhh, never mind, the list is too long.

  10. ndog Says:

    Are you people crazy, a guy is pissed because he is playing out of position and wants to prove how good he still is and you don’t want him? Plus even if he is average he is better than ANYONE else on the dline. Yes I said ANYONE on the dline not defensive end.

  11. Scott Says:

    Oliver Vernon or Cameron Wake (one will re-sign), Mario Williams, Bruce Irvin .. all guys i could see that fit scheme wise

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We’ve got the money…..depends on what other options are there….

  13. Scott Says:

    Marios team mates said he basically gave up or checked out. So if we do give him a chance he would need to really want to be here.

  14. biff barker Says:

    He be a great addition if we can get him at a fair price.
    Our suck eggs pass defense will never work without a rush. Ask Banks, Verner, Barron etc.
    Williams age, if he’s healthy, is not as significant since DE’s rotate heavily anyway.

  15. Brett Says:

    He’s underperformed for several years and he has been in the league 10. He hasn’t been injury-free either.

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    Just go all in then on DE in one draft. lol

    1st DE
    2nd DE
    3rd DE
    4th DE
    5th DE
    6th DE

  17. FortMyersDave Says:

    Getting him is a reach JOE! He will go to greener pastures than Tampa unless he is damaged goods…. Build the DL via the draft and land a nice WR via free agency should be the goal of our Bucs….

  18. what? Says:

    We didn’t sign “old, beat up” Dwight Freeney because “we weren’t a playoff contender”.

    If we had, we’d be a playoff contender.


  19. destro44 Says:

    I would like us to sign him. He’s a while lot better than any DE we have on the roster even if he is old and declining. If we sign him I would still look at adding at least one more DE as well. My nightmare is that he is more likely to sign with Carolina or Atlanta, and torment us for the next few years.

  20. Tiny Tim Says:

    I do believe in scheme not fitting the talent. Look no further than Demarco Murray in Philly. Having said that, I would be on board with Mario Williams coming to tampa. He has had multiple double digit sack seasons and 95 career sacks in 10 years. While we are at it, lets bring in Von Miller too. Throw the bank at Miller!!!!

  21. Tiny Tim Says:

    Brett Says:
    January 1st, 2016 at 10:07 am
    He’s underperformed for several years and he has been in the league 10. He hasn’t been injury-free either.


    2012 – 10.5 sacks
    2013 – 13.0 sacks
    2014 – 14.5 sacks
    2015 – 4.5 sacks (scheme related)

    Jesus people. Google is your friend. No need to write ignorance when you can simply look up the truth. Your perception or opinion is not fact. BTW…He was only injured one year and he still managed a Jaques Smith 5 sacks. Google is your friend. This is the real tiny tim

  22. ndog Says:

    We need to replace every player on defense with the exception of McCoy, LVD, Spence and Kwon. So we need to sign any player with talent that is willing to come and ALSO draft all defense. Not only to add talent but make a point that what has happened the last two years is not acceptable. We need 7 new starters on defense and that can easily be done through the draft and free agent. I am 100% serious as you can land 3-4 starters in the draft 3-4in free agency then retain who we want to from the current defense as backups. Just let the youth and talent play cause these guys can’t cut it physically or mentally. I was a big believe in McDougall at saftey but he makes a ton of mental mistakes so he is at best a backup.

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    If he’s not a leader that wants to win badly, then the Bucs don’t need him imo.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    ndog…I can live with that.

  25. LargoBuc Says:

    Scheme related? This isnt the first year he has played in a 3-4. Unless Rex mobed him to olb or from olb to de. Or maybe Rex runs a two gap when Mario is used to a one gap, or vice versa. Im not sure off the top of my head. Im going to have to do a little research but at first glance, my gut says stay away.

  26. godzilla13 Says:

    I read yesterday that he is talking with the Saints, ex Bills, Byrd? Are you kidding me. If Williams wants to play in Tampa, sign him. Oliver Vernon is another one I would sign. Including players who will be released, there is enough money under the cap to rebuild this team. The more needs that are filled in FA, the more we can focus in the draft on less positions of need.

  27. ChanEpic Says:

    Tiny Tim, well said. And may I also add that adding Mr. Williams(at the right price) will add another #1 pick to a team needing, let’s say a different kind of leadership, on the DL. Adding a former #1 pick who is aging but not OLD and has consistent performance pretty much his whole career. Joe is right, it isn’t about if we can sign him it’s if he will sign with us. The Bucs WILL go after him because it’s kind of a no-brainer.

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    Sign as many good DEs and DBs as our $50M will buy – go heavy at the same positions in this year’s draft and then let whoever is here fight for a starting job or roster spot in training camp/pre-season. Open competition – all spots except DT, WLB and MLB are wide open for the taking.

    We have some talent at starting spots on D beyond McCoy, McDonald, LaVonte and Kwon – but truthfully most of it is back-up quality and needs to be further developed, relegated to the bench or replaced.

    Next season will be telling as to whether Lovie is the proper coach to lead this team back to “relevance” and beyond. I personally believe that you will see a resurgent top 10 Defense next year to go along with a talented and dangerous JW led offense – once focused attention is paid towards defensive talent acquisition by L&L.

    Time will tell – but I think this is the last year all the negative whiners here on JBF will have any reasonable excuse to constantly bitch and moan. So bitch up a storm while you still have the chance “fans”….

  29. Waterboy Says:

    Gerald McCoy is 27 or 28 so if Williams is considered old at 30 McCoy is not far behind him. I’d say sign him as a temporary patch as long as they don’t over spend but I’d still say draft a young DE high in the draft to eventually take over. Also if his preference is a 4-3 system that should cut down on a lot of the competition for his services because there aren’t many teams still running 4-3 defenses. I thought that I read a few months back that only 5-6 teams run a 4-3.

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Pickgrin…that’s kind of what I was getting at. Just go heavy on DE S and DB in the draft, plus FA. Bring in like 7 DE’s if you have to. All we need is 2. I put lol, but I kinda wasn’t joking. Hell bring in 15 DE’s if you have to, they’re bound to find atleast 2 good ones.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    With that I mean carry 7 DE’s into the season with you, if you have to. The wait for edge rush has been far too long.


  32. JollyBucsFan Says:

    I find it hilarious and borderline psychotic for any bucs fan to say no to signing him, are you mental? My old and “past his prime” grandma would provide more pressure on the QB than our Sh!!tty defense. Im sure Mario Williams would be a drastic improvement, im sorry but he isnt too old to help. especially in the right defensive schemes. Is this an effing comedy? you complain about the pressure all year but you dont want to sign a guy you easily have the money for. Gimme a friggin break ya morons

  33. Jb0922 Says:

    I love all this talk of drafting a de. You guys obviously have not been paying attention to the class coming out. There is 1 maybe 2 pass rushing de this yr. One of the weakest positions in all the draft. Chances are neither good one will be there when we draft. So let’s reach for a guy and wait 3 yrs for him to develop while we roll another 30mill of cap space over again. There are some good running stuffing de coming out but only 1 who projects as a double digits sack guy

  34. Buccfan37 Says:

    Williams sounds overrated, overpaid and over the hill. Yeah, let’s go snatch him up and plug him in. Lovie seems to be struggling backing up his defensive merit accolades from days of yore.

  35. Jb0922 Says:

    Guy averaged 11 sacks over the last 4 yrs why would we want him when we have Howard Jones and George Johnson?

  36. MadMax Says:

    Id go after Mario but only if its reasonable.

    And Bosa’s day is done…targeting, smdh!

  37. lurker Says:

    “If he’s not a leader that wants to win badly, then the Bucs don’t need him imo”

    why not? lovie’s not a leader that wants to win and he is here.

  38. softastissueMcCoy93 Says:

    They need a Williams like signing. Give him one of them deals if he make the roster his salary is ganrunteed for that year. If hes cut then it wont effect the team, just like Revis deal. Then draft a 1st round DE.

  39. Buc1987 Says:

    Jb0922…mere technicalities.

    They don’t HAVE to BE from the draft they can go the FA route focusing on just DE if they like. Just load up on them, and make cuts appropriately.

    That’s my point anyways.

    There’s also been quite a few DE’s that became studs in the NFL that weren’t exactly highly regarded as elite in college. Not enough of them of course, but it does happen.

    Just load up on DE and secondary. I’ll be happy with that.

    Oh and pick up another weapon for Winston in FA.

  40. Buc1987 Says:

    Buc1987 Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation…

    Ha ha ha I live on this site, so I know most of filtered words. Yet sometimes I get this for no reason at all. “Your comment is awaiting moderation”

    It’s like going to the fridge for a snack and being told no you can’t have it in your own home.

    Funny Joe, funny.

  41. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    It’s funny how people up here wanted Hardy regardless of his past actions and now people don’t want Williams because of his past on field problems. Williams is better than all of the ends on this team as well as on the last few but people don’t want him. We have to build this team through the draft and I mean players good enough to earn a 2nd contract but if there’s no one who fits the bill this year then we have to go the best in free agency. Don’t over pay but throw enough loot his way to get him interested. They said Ronde Barber was a systems corner maybe Williams is a 43 system DE.

  42. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    Use the $ in free agency on williams or olivier Vernon from Miami for de. And sigh Marvin Jones from Cincinnati. Draft a corner or safty in first round ( Ramsey or VH3) I really like the dt coming out this year (Kenny Clark or the guy from Alabama) take best player availible after first round. Don’t draft for need. Don’t reach

  43. Trubucfan22 Says:

    The reason he went to buffalo in the first place was for the money. I expect that to be his motivation this time too. We can out bid any team. And we have a bigger need at DE than any team. 3-4 DE is very different than a 4-3 DE. Im not sure if he played DE or OLB in buffalo this season, but either position is very different than a 4-3. It’s the same reason Jared Allen wanted out of Minnesota. Since a lot of teams have switched to 3-4 recently, it makes it a strong chance for the bucs to land him. And i would be super happy about that.