Mario Williams is entering his third season with the Buffalo Bills. Williams has been one of the NFL’s most dominant pass-rushers during his eight-year career (six with the Houston Texans), recording 76.5 sacks and 325 tackles. On March 15, 2012, he signed a six-year contract worth a reported $100 million, the largest payday for a defensive player in league history.
Early Years & College
Williams was born in Richlands, N.C., on Jan. 31, 1985. Williams, a powerful and agile defensive end, attended Richlands High where he graduated early, with impressive grades. Williams recorded 87 tackles and 13 sacks as a senior, while seeing action at running back. After graduating, Williams went to North Carolina State where he started every game as a freshman. Williams, first-team All-ACC, led the ACC in sacks (14) in 2005, while notching 25 tackles for loss in his two collegiate seasons.
The Texans shocked the football world when they selected Williams with the top overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, a spot that had been penciled in for Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. Williams was a late bloomer in Houston, waiting until Week 4 to collect his first sack. Williams had his coming-out party in 2007, recording two sacks in the opener en route to 14 for the year. Williams has been named to three Pro Bowls (2008, 2009, 2013), while garnering second-team All-Pro in 2007. Williams, who battled two season-ending injuries in 2010 and 2011, became a free agent prior to the 2012 season.
Williams, 29, has shown no signs of slowing down due to age or injury. He finished with 10.5 sacks in 2012, including a season-high three in a single game. In 2013, Williams broke a Bills franchise record with 4.5 sacks in a Week 2 win and ended the season with 13 quarterback drops. Williams has started every game he’s played in the NFL (114).
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