The Buffalo Bills have been busy this week.
Just days after releasing both wide receiver John Brown and defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, while also reworking the contracts of center Mitch Morse and defensive lineman Vernon Butler, the Bills signed linebacker Matt Milano to a 4-year extension on Thursday.
Now, general manager Brandon Beane has worked his magic yet again as the Bills have signed right tackle Daryl Williams to a 3-year extension that is worth $28.2 million ($9.4 million average) with nearly $14 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2021
According to Rapoport, defensive end Mario Addison also took a pay cut, following along with Morse and Butler.
One reason the #Bills have the ability to keep their core together: Several players have agreed to small paycuts (often with the ability to make it back in incentives). DE Mario Addison recently did one, source said, following in the footsteps of Mitch Morse and Vernon Butler.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2021
Coming into free agency, Milano and Williams were two of the top question marks for the Bills and now Beane has answers for both as the pair will return to Orchard Park for the foreseeable future.
This upcoming year will be William’s seventh in the NFL and this past season was a big one for the former Oklahoma Sooner. After spending the first five years of his career with the Carolina Panthers, Williams signed a one-year $2.25 million prove-it deal with the Bills this past season and it paid off.
According to Spotrac.com, Williams had a market value of $7.8 million annually so the Bills might have slightly overpaid for his services. But, with both sides of the line now secured, after re-signing left tackle Dion Dawkins to an extension this past offseason, quarterback Josh Allen will be protected for the next few years.
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Williams Proved His Worth This Season
After dealing with Williams in Carolina, McDermott and Beane gave the offensive lineman an opportunity this past year and he came through with an exceptional performance.
During a year where the Bills saw a lot of interchanging across the offensive line with injuries to Cody Ford and Jon Feliciano, along with the departure of Quinton Spain, the former fourth-round pick was one of the most consistent offensive linemen.
He played and started in all 16 games this past season while also playing in 96% of the offensive snaps. He also only committed six penalties, according to pro-football-reference.com.
In total, the Bills had five offensive linemen that were set to be free agents this offseason and the biggest one remaining may be Feliciano.
Throughout this season, teammates raved about Feliciano’s demeanor and his work ethic after he returned from a pectoral injury that he suffered in the preseason. Earlier this year, after the Bills were eliminated from the playoffs in the AFC Championship game, Feliciano told The Athletic’s Tim Graham and Matthew Fairburn on Tim Graham and Friends that he doesn’t see himself going anywhere.
“Honestly, I don’t see myself going anywhere,” Feliciano told Graham and Fairburn during his appearance on their podcast. “I love Buffalo and I know how they feel about me. I’m going to stay optimistic and I don’t like change. Honestly, when I think of next season, I see myself as a Bill. We’ll see what happens, but I think both sides want the same thing so it’s just a matter of time, I think.”
Ike Boettger, Ty Nsekhe, and Brian Winter are other offensive linemen from this past season that are set to hit free agency.
Signing Williams Could Change Buffalo’s Draft Plans
So far through this offseason, draft analysts have predicted that the Bills would go with an offensive lineman in the first round of the NFL Draft.
With Williams and Milano locked up, the Bills have fewer draft needs than they started with and could go with either a running back or a cornerback with their first-round pick. Beane has always been known for his aggressiveness on draft night.
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