It hasn’t quite been the ideal scenario for Mario Williams up to this point if Buffalo. Less than half a season after jumping ship from Houston to become the highest paid defensive player in all of football, his team is falling apart, his performance has been lackluster and the grumpy fans in Buffalo are already turning on him.
I got a lot of flack out there from Bills fans calling me “bitter” for saying I was okay with letting Mario walk and stating that him leaving was the least bothered I had ever been about my team losing a big free agent. Then, I was heckled even more for calling out those who called me bitter earlier this season when Williams already seemed to be falling out of favor in New York.
Regardless of the fan reaction I’ve received, it doesn’t change the fact that a guy who received that type of contract should be more of a presence on the field than he has been up to this point. Sure, 3.5 sacks through seven games isn’t atrocious, but it isn’t even tops on his own team. And I realize it isn’t all about sacks, or at least it shouldn’t be. But just 13 tackles shows how weak he has been against the run, too. In short, he hasn’t been awful, but he isn’t even living in the same universe as the highest paid defensive player in football.
When questioned about his play, Williams has talked about suffering from an ailing wrist condition. Of course, this was after blasting the replacement referees after his slow start. But the big news today is that he is pondering the decision to have surgery on his wrist that he claims has been slowing his progress this year. Little is really known about it and the severity, as details are still rolling in. But, obviously, this would cause him to miss some time. And, what a coincidence that the next game on his schedule is against the team he left to join Buffalo.
It’d be easy to be a typical homer fan and say that facing the Texans has him scared or what not, but I’m not like that. But what I will say is that I’ll reiterate my stance on Mario from earlier this year.
The reason that I was okay with him leaving town was twofold; One, his heart isn’t always in it. It’s easy to look at a guy hot dogging it out there and accuse him of taking plays off. But with Mario, it is more than just an assumption. It’s hard to get him fired for anything other than his sports cars. And, two, he hasn’t been healthy for a full season since 2009, ironically his last pro bowl season.
In the last three years, he’s missed 14 games due to injury and this will be the third straight year he duplicates that trend if he does indeed opt for this surgery. I never like to apply the “injury prone” tag to a player, but if it happens for the third straight season, it begins to stick on its own. And, truth being told, he played through injury a lot of his career prior to 2010.
With the fans in Buffalo turning on him, if he misses an extended amount of time with this injury, the future might not be too generous to Mario up north. But, he made the decision to take the money and run and I never blamed him for that. You’re only young once. But Buffalo also made the decision to pay out the nose for a player that I fear to tell you, just isn’t what was advertised.
Filed under: Buffalo Bills