9:49pm: The Dolphins have officially announced the signing (Twitter link). Per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link), Williams’ two-year deal is worth $17MM in base value, and can be worth up to $20MM through incentives.
Last year was an ugly campaign for Williams, who didn’t mesh well with head coach Rex Ryan and the team’s new defensive scheme, and was accused of displaying a lack of effort at times. Coming off a five-sack performance in 2015, and with a huge cap hit on the books for 2016, Williams was released last week by the Bills.
Still, Williams is only a year removed from an All-Pro season in which he piled up 14.5 sacks though, so even though he turned 31 in January, he likely still has something left in the tank. Returning to a 4-3 system that better suits his skill-set could help him bounce back in 2016.
We heard earlier today that the Dolphins, who hosted the veteran pass rusher on a visit over the weekend, were the “clear front-runners” for Williams, with a separate report suggesting that the two sides may be nearing a deal worth about $8MM annually. Assuming the Dolphins get Williams locked up, the team will have a decision to make at the defensive end position.
Currently, the Dolphins have Olivier Vernon tentatively on their 2016 books for $12.7MM+ after placing the transition tag on him. However, Vernon has not signed that transition tender, so Miami could still remove it at any time. That would mean losing the right of first refusal if Vernon gets an offer from another club, but it would allow the Dolphins to collect a compensatory draft pick for 2017 if he leaves.
If the Dolphins prefer to keep Vernon, Cameron Wake could be the odd man out. Wake and the Dolphins are reportedly trying to rework a contract that currently features a $9.8MM cap charge for 2016, but as of last Tuesday, the two sides hadn’t made a whole lot of progress.
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