The Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday morning that the team has signed Aaron Williams to a contract extension. Terms weren’t released by the team but according to Mike Garafolo the deal is for four years and $26 million.
Pro Football Talk cites a source saying Williams’ deal includes a $6.5 million signing bonus and $14.625 million guaranteed.
Williams was slated to enter the final year of his four-year, $5.2 million deal this season.
The former 2011 second-round pick was a complete disaster at cornerback his first two years in the league and seemed destined to join a long line of Buffalo Bills early round draft pick busts. However, Williams converted to safety last offseason under then-defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and the results were astounding. Sure, Williams was still occasionally prone to getting beat and drew too many boneheaded penalties, but he also picked off four passes in 2013 and had a consistent impact in Buffalo’s improved defense.
The Bills said the deal is completely independent of any other deals being worked on with other free agents, but the reality is this pretty much assures Jairus Byrd is gone. There’s no way the Bills are going to commit over $14 million in annual salary to a pair of safeties.
I don’t mind Williams getting signed. I’ve been adamant after watching Andy Levrite and presumably Byrd walk away over the past two offseasons that the Bills need to start being more proactive in extending young players before they reach their contract year. I do, however, worry that Williams isn’t established enough for my liking. Clearly the Bills are rolling the dice with this move. According to Spotrac Williams for the time being becomes the sixth-highest average paid safety in the NFL.