2:34pm: Williams arrived at the Dolphins’ facility, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). Beasley’s suspicions of a $6MM pact being enough to land Williams are accurate, according to an NFL source. Williams’ cap number was set to balloon to $19.9MM, leading to his release from the Bills. Beasley suggests the Dolphins could make room for Williams by rescinding their transition tag to Vernon and making the defensive end a free agent. The Dolphins are more than $3MM over the cap.
9:59am: As the Dolphins seek some reinforcement on the edge, they’re reportedly going to to host a former first-overall pick. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter), Mario Williams is set to visit Miami today.
The Dolphins could be seeking some defensive line help, even after having inked Ndamukong Suh to a pricey contract last offseason. The team has been working with defensive end Cameron Wake on a new deal, and the 34-year-old’s future in Miami is uncertain. Meanwhile, the team placed the transition tag on defensive end Olivier Vernon, meaning there’s no guarantee that the 25-year-old will return next season.
Williams would certainly be an adequate replacement, even after a subpar 2015 season. The 31-year-0ld had compiled 38 sacks over his first three seasons with the Bills, but he finished this past campaign with only 19 tackles and five sacks. Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com questions whether this reduced production could be attributed to new coach Rex Ryan or a lack of effort from Williams. The former North Carolina State standout joined the Bills on six-year, $100MM contract back in 2012.
As a result of his underwhelming season, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald predicts (via Twitter) that the Dolphins wouldn’t have to break the bank to secure Williams’ services. The writer guesses that the defensive lineman may end up with a contract with about $6MM in average annual value. Rapoport believes there will be several suitors for the Pro Bowler, and the writer wouldn’t be shocked if Williams ends up signing a one-year, “prove-it deal” if he doesn’t receive any lucrative long-term offers.