Kyle Williams will be an unrestricted free agent in about two weeks. Whether he'll continue to be an NFL defensive tackle for a 13th season is something he has to decide.
Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane could not shed any light on whether Williams will continue his career, which includes five Pro Bowls and unrivaled leadership in the Bills locker room. But they did make it clear that if Williams wants to keep playing, they want him to keep doing it in Buffalo.
"You know how I feel about Kyle and what he's meant to our community in Buffalo over the years and what he's meant to our football team," said McDermott. "He meant a lot to me this past season in connecting my message to the locker room at different points throughout the year. So the leadership part of that was big for us. These things will work themselves out over time. I think the fit is important and the fit is there, obviously. It's got to be right obviously for Kyle and his family and our situation as well."
Beane has made a point of staying in contact with Williams' agent to try and gauge whether the defensive tackle is leaning one way or the other.
"Yeah, we've been in communication with him and his agent," said Beane. "Hopefully we'll get something done sooner rather than later, but it takes two. He's got to his due diligence and we do as well. At some point, there would be a we need to know. I'm sure they're feeling the same thing on their end."
With or without Williams on the 2018 roster, Buffalo has a clear and present need at the defensive tackle position. The club has just two defensive tackles under contract on the roster in the form of Rickey Hatley and Adolphus Washington.
If Williams chooses to continue his career and re-sign with the Bills, it will alleviate the need somewhat, but Buffalo will still need to bolster the position with at least one to two additions in either free agency or the draft.
That decision presumably must come in the next 10 to 12 days because the Bills have to know what their plan needs to be at the position going into free agency come March 14th. But as of right now, Beane was not going to speculate on what Williams is thinking right now.
"I don't know," Beane said. "He hasn't communicated that to me. We haven't had an in-depth conversation since he and I personally talked the day after the season. We talked again when he came to town for Eric (Wood)'s deal, but mostly I've been working through his agent. To be honest with you, I don't know. You'd have to ask Kyle what he's contemplating on. But yeah we want Kyle back."