On Tuesday, it was announced that 4-time Pro Bowler, Mario Williams, was going to be cut by the Buffalo Bills. The 31-year-old former #1 overall pick (2006) has been with the Bills since 2012, when he signed a 6-year, $100 million contract.
The Richland, North Carolina native has been a very vocal player over the past few seasons, saying that the Buffalo Bills have not been using him to maximize his potential on the football field. While this would almost certainly be a negative for any team, Williams simply wants to compete. I don't see anything wrong with that. If anything, I think it is a good sign.
But where could the 6-foot-6, 292 pound defensive end land?
The answer may surprise you.
The New England Patriots are going to be in the market for some defensive end help. While Bill Belichick would almost certainly not sign Mario Williams as this team is currently constituted, the Patriots are in an interesting, and surprisingly appealing, situation.
Chandler Jones is set to be a free agent at the end of this season, and will almost certainly cash out on a massive deal. Long and lanky defensive ends are hard to come by and, from an outsider's perspective, Chandler Jones is one of the best at his position. If you have read our work in the past, you will know that most of us are not a fan of Chandler Jones. He is a great guy, but on the football field he tends to disappear in crucial situations.
Chandler Jones has the unique ability to get a sack, or perhaps even a fumble, early on in a game, then disappear until the Patriots are up a couple touchdowns at the end of the 4th quarter. If you solely looked at the stat line and saw that Chandler Jones had 2 sacks, you would think that he had a great game. Hell, at one point this season, he was even leading the league in sacks. But the Patriots, and any team for that matter, need players that give you a full 60 minutes.
I'm just not sure if Chandler Jones is that guy.
With Jones' inconsistent play coupled with his potentially massive deal looming next season, the Patriots should look to trade the Syracuse product. If the Patriots are able to land an early 2nd round pick for Jones, they could draft an impact receiver or running back, and negate the loss of their 1st round pick from Deflategate.
However, how would they make up for the lost of Chandler Jones?
Funny you ask! Mario Williams wants to compete for a Super Bowl. At the age of 31, Williams still has a lot of football left to play, but could be looking to hang up his cleats in the not-so-distant future if he is not able to revitalize his career with a new team and threaten for a Lombardi Trophy.
With a chance to stick it to the Bills, it would not surprise me at all if Mario Williams decided to sign with the New England Patriots to a two or three year deal to finally capture a Super Bowl. If this were to happen, the Patriots would be able to gain a valuable draft pick, cut ties with a player that already has a foot out the door, and bring in a proven, hungry Pro Bowler.