Former NFL defensive lineman Mario Williams was arrested this week for allegedly trespassing.
Williams, who was drafted by the Houston Texans with the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, was accused of entering a woman’s home without permission on Tuesday, according to court records reviewed by Julian Gill of the Houston Chronicle. He was charged with a Class B misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing and posted $100 bond.
TMZ reports that Williams and the woman have a child together, though it’s unclear if they are still in a relationship. Williams allegedly broke into the woman’s home and began yelling, and she became extremely emotional and told him to leave.
A judge has ordered a mental health and intellectual disability assessment for Williams.
Williams, 34, played 11 seasons in the NFL. He made the Pro Bowl four times and recorded 97.5 sacks.
Some say that the NFL stands for “Not For Long,” and the reasons for that are obvious. Football is a dangerous game played by some of the strongest and fastest athletes in the world. Most NFL careers are understandably short at an average of between 3-6 years, with the higher number projected by the NFL and the lower number projected by the NFLPA.
In some cases, players exceed those numbers, but Father Time catches up with everyone. And quite often, that’s a hard pill to swallow for someone who loves the game and knows nothing else. But in the end, retirement is inevitable for all who snap on the chinstrap.
Here’s a look at 10 NFL players who should be considering retirement in 2018.
10. Karlos Dansby, LB, free agent
Karlos Dansby briefly considered retirement a season ago before signing a one-year deal to return to the Arizona Cardinals, where he appeared in 16 games, recording 95 tackles and one sack. While Dansby’s numbers were still respectable, his Pro Football Focus grade dipped to 68.2, which is considered below average. But despite that, and the fact that he’s approaching the age of 37, Dansby still does not appear ready to hang them up, and teams remain interested. Ultimately, the window on Dansby’s career is closing. He’ll need to think about life after football sooner rather than later.
Football is a brutal sport, so it’s no surprise NFL careers are not exactly long-lasting. But in some cases, players are able to weather the repeated storms and carve out long, successful careers. It’s rare when you break it down by the numbers, but it does happen.
Eventually however, the game catches up to everyone and things begin to break down, the grind becomes more than a person can bear, and the decision to retire becomes paramount. Some go out on their own terms, but most are forced to leave the game they love whether they like it or not.
We’ve seen those two scenarios in recent years with the willing retirement of quarterback Peyton Manning and the forced retirement of countless others. Even guys like Tony Romo and Jay Cutler surprised many by taking broadcasting jobs this season over returning for another season, though neither has officially said he is done.
Here’s a look at 10 players who should be thinking about retirement.
10. Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have begun looking into the future at quarterback, but for now, they’re sticking with Carson Palmer. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing as he’s clearly got a little left in the tank. But we know the former Heisman Trophy winner has considered stepping away.
“My intent was to take some time after the season to get away and see where I was physically and mentally,” Palmer said in a February statement. “On both fronts, I can say I’m ready to get back to work and prepare for the 2017 season. This is a phenomenal group with a very special opportunity in front of it. I know how rare that is and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
The Cardinals gave Palmer a one-year contract extension last August so that he wouldn’t be a lame-duck quarterback in 2017, but there’s a chance neither side opts to see that final season. Once retirement gets into a player’s head and they begin taking months to decide their future, it won’t be too much longer before the decision to hang them up is made.
Is that a guarantee Palmer will retire following the 2017 season? No, but it’s a very plausible scenario. And even if he opts to return in 2018, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll play beyond that.
9. Karlos Dansby, LB, Cardinals
Mario Williams will miss Sunday’s game against the Rams due to an ankle injury he sustained in Week 10, and the Dolphins defensive end believes San Diego’s turf played a role in his injury.
Williams suffered the injury while chasing Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers last weekend.
“I probably stepped in one of those ruts in the field,” Williams said Friday via the Miami Herald. “It was pretty bad.”
The Chargers have been dissatisfied with the conditions at Qualcomm Stadium and have explored a move to Los Angeles, which seems more possible than ever. Williams’ comments probably will go down into a packet of notes the Chargers maintain to share with their fans about why they need to leave.
Williams, who only has 12 tackles this season, practiced on Friday and was termed questionable for Sunday’s game against the Rams, but he is officially inactive for the game.
Mario Williams made it quite clear during his time with the Buffalo Bills that he wasn’t a fan of Rex Ryan’s defensive schemes, and Ryan is still upset by his public criticism.
Ryan told Jenny Vrentas of the MMQB that he was particularly bothered that Williams, who signed with division rival Miami during the offseason, complained about having to drop into coverage.
“Now look, with some of the comments [he made], do I wish him well? Not really,” Ryan said of Williams. “But, he’s on Miami. If he would have gone somewhere else, maybe. He’s a good kid, but I am used to some mean motherf—ers that play out there. The Terrell Suggs, Jarrett Johnsons of the world. I screwed them, too; I had them drop [into coverage], too. Not one of them bitched. Von Miller [dropped into coverage] in the Super Bowl. Why? Because that’s what’s asked of him; that’s what his job is. Your job is to play.”
Ryan used Ray Lewis as an example of a player who would sell out for the team instead of putting himself first – apparently in contrast to Williams.
“I’ll never forget, I used to have Ray sell out for maybe the 11th guy on defense,” Ryan said. “Ray Lewis is going to be one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the game, if not the greatest. That’s when you’ve got something special, and that’s what we are trying to build here.”
Williams very publicly called out Ryan for his schemes early in the season, and it’s probably not a stretch to say that his days in Buffalo were numbered from that point forward – particularly when you consider that the Bills coach is rather annoyed when people question how he runs his defense.
H/T Buffalo News
The Miami Dolphins are taking everyone’s discarded players.
The Dolphins and defensive end Mario Williams reportedly have reached agreement on a two-year deal that will pay him around $8 million annually.
The Buffalo Bills released Williams last week after a disappointing season in which he did not fit into Rex Ryan’s scheme and was accused of quitting on the team.
The Dolphins are also reportedly negotiating with the Eagles about a trade for Byron Maxwell, that would likely result in the release of Brent Grimes.
If the Dolphins pay Williams around $8 million per season, they may consider cutting Cameron Wake, who is coming off a torn Achilles’ tendon.
Recently released defensive end Mario Williams is reportedly set to visit with the Miami Dolphins.
Williams, who was released by Buffalo after the worst season of his career, will entertain Miami’s overtures first, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
It’s a question as to where he’d fit. Olivier Vernon has been given the transition tag, but another team could still sign him. Cameron Wake is also an issue, and he may need to restructure his contract for this to work. Miami has significant salary cap issues, and Ndamukong Suh may have to sacrifice as well.
As for Williams, he’s likely to draw significant interest from a number of teams, so expect this visit to be the first of many. Theoretically, he could be part of a fearsome defensive front for Miami, but he’ll need to shape up after a season in which he was critical of the Bills’ defensive scheme and was accused of taking plays off on a regular basis.
As recently as late last month, Mario Williams indicated he was open to staying with the Bills. The team had other ideas.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported Williams was informed by the team he had been released.
After six seasons with the Texans, Williams joined the Bills in 2012, signing a massive six-year contract with over $49 million guaranteed. While with Buffalo, he was named to two Pro Bowl teams and totaled 43 sacks.
A productive start to his tenure with the Bills turned south this past season as Williams managed just five sacks in 15 games. On top of that, he reportedly called out the team’s coaching staff over their defensive strategy and checked out, as one Bills players said.
With a move that had been expected now a reality, the Bills save almost $13 million in cap space for the upcoming season that can be put to good use. As for the 31-year-old Williams, a change of scenery may be just what he needs and he’s still young enough to put together a few more productive seasons should the opportunity present itself.
Mario Williams is open to trying to find a way to remain with the Bills next season.
The veteran defensive end told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Wednesday that he “definitely” wants to play for Buffalo in 2016.
“Yes, most definitely,” Williams said. “I love my team. I love my teammates. Everything has been fine. It’s just a matter of if there can be a better understanding of being able to do what we do, at least meet half way. That’s all, meet half way.”
Perhaps more surprising, Williams hinted that he would be open to taking a pay cut.
“Yea, I mean, it all depends on what it is happening,” he said. “My thing is this — obviously I’ve had big contracts, but once you get on a team and you get around the guys, it becomes family. The guys on defense, we laugh and talk about anything. We do a bunch of stuff together on and off the field, obviously. It’s bigger than just numbers.”
Williams said he understands that the Bills need salary cap space to re-sign offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. Buffalo could save roughly $13 million in cap space by cutting Williams, so he doesn’t have much leverage if he truly wants to remain with the team.
Why is this so surprising? This is the same Williams who called out the Bills’ coaching staff over their defensive strategy during the season. One player claimed the four-time Pro Bowler had completely checked out on the team, and reports have indicated that the Bills plan to cut Williams.
At age 31, Williams would likely receive plenty of offers on the open market. But he knows he isn’t going to get the type of contract he currently has in Buffalo, so perhaps there is a middle ground somewhere. That is, of course, if Williams can learn to accept Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme.
Mario Williams was a poor fit in Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme in Buffalo last season, and he acknowledges that his decreased production coupled with his high salary could lead to his release.
“At the end of the day, if I’m not there, I’ll show you that I’m better than what I’ve been before. Like, that’s just a chip on my shoulder regardless of whether I am there or not, because given the opportunity I’ll get back to what I was,” Williams told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Just with those comments Williams is acknowledging the Bills may choose to move on from him. He had just five sacks and 19 tackles last season. In his first three seasons in Buffalo, he had at least 38 tackles and 10.5 sacks in each season.
Williams called out the Bills in October for their defensive strategies which he felt did not maximize the team’s talents (we agreed with him). A teammate said that Williams had totally checked out, and reports have said the Bills plan to cut him.
Even at 31, we still expect Williams to be picked up by another team if the Bills release him. We also expect him to be a very productive player in a different system that better utilizes his talents. Keep in mind he’s only two seasons removed from registering a career-best 15 sacks.