This was the case with Mario Williams III, aka Super Mario or MK3. He was a Defensive End for the Houston Texans. He was one of the top players tackle/sack wise and he made it to the pro-bowl several years before he had a hernia injury in 2010 and a torn pectoral muscle in 2011.
Fast forward to last week and he was one of the most highly touted players in the free agency pool. The Buffalo Bills have been struggling on the defensive front and they needed to make a bold move not only to shore up the defense, but also to show the players and fans that they mean business when it comes to making the changes needed to help the team succeed. They certainly came through there.
On March 15, 2012, after two days of negotiation in Buffalo, Williams signed a player contract with the Buffalo Bills. Williams' new contract is for six years and worth up to $100 million, with $50 million guaranteed. It was the most lucrative guarantee for a defensive player in NFL history at the time of signing.
That was a HUGE move and one that no one expected, especially out of Buffalo. They had enough room in the salary cap to make it happen and they pulled out all the stops. They flew him in on a private plane, on day two they flew in his fiance and had them meet with Jim Kelly and his wife to talk about everything Buffalo has to offer.
The fans also got in on it, here is a paragraph from the first article below: "They collectively chanted ‘We want Mario!’ at a Buffalo Sabres game Wednesday that he didn’t even attend. They tweeted a photo out into cyberspace of a pizza that spelled ‘Come Mario’ in pepperoni. Local businesses on Abbott Road, which runs past Ralph Wilson Stadium, had their electronic store signs with messages welcoming him to town. After just three days in Buffalo, Mario Williams felt like he was at home."
It was a great job by the Bills organization and the fans. Mario was supposed to visit several other cities/teams prior to making a decision. Luckily, he never left town and they somehow managed to get him to sign before any of that became an issue. An approx $100 million dollar contract will tend to do that, but he could just have easily shopped around and could have probably gotten a similar deal elsewhere.
Bills fans are quite excited by the acquisition and fans of other teams, especially in the AFC East, are not too happy that he landed in Buffalo. This should make the Bills a contender and will definitely make things more difficult for opposing offenses. Now if we can just pick up an excellent 2nd receiver to go along with Stevie Johnson, we might be in a place to make a run this coming year!
Welcome to the Buffalo Bills Mario Williams, aka Super Mario, aka MW3! We're glad to have you and looking forward to good things ahead! Hopefully we will have a lot of moments like this picture above.
And if the addition of Super Mario doesn't get you psyched up enough, how about we relive the moment last season when the Bills beat the Patriots! Check out the video my wife took here in Jacksonville, Florida with about 100 of our fellow Bills Backers of Jacksonville fans at Wing-It! It still sends chills up my spine, what an amazing moment and hopefully just the tip of the iceberg with MW3 and the other off season additions! Billieve!!