Photo Source: Rayon Sports
April 3, 2012
It's been six short years since Houston Texans GM Charley Casserly made one of the boldest moves in NFL draft history. Reggie Bush, Matt Leinhart and Vince Young were can't miss prospects and former college football royalty. Instead, the Texans opted for the physically gifted Mario Williams out of North Carolina State University. Williams displayed plenty of upside in college but turned out to be a gem for the Texans despite missing most of the 2011 season to injury. And hey, the Texans winded up inheriting Matt Leinhart too.
It's now 2012 and the Buffalo Bills have made Mario Williams the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. 6 years, 50 million guaranteed with potential earnings in the neighborhood of 100 million dollars. Wow. After the signing of Williams was announced, the Bills have reported the renewal of more than 4,000 season tickets in addition to nearly 2,000 new season ticket holders. That's a significant improvement considering the team only sold slightly more than 30,000 season tickets in 2011 and a good number of Bills' home games were blacked out in the local market. The average ticket price of $60 is well below the rest of the league and is perhaps one of the best bargains in the NFL. Especially when you consider the talented division the Bills compete in.
The signing of Williams is also extremely crucial towards the possibility of keeping the Bills in Buffalo. Owner Ralph Wilson is seeking public assistance for renovations of Ralph Wilson Stadium and we all know how owners react when they don't get their way. It's also no secret that the Bills have been pursuing the Toronto market for quiet some time, even playing one home game per season at the Rogers Centre. The city of Los Angeles have also had their eye on the Bills with the hopes of luring them to sunny California.
I'm not sure where fans stand on the stadium's renovation issue but if you live in Buffalo and love the Bills, go check out Mario. Ralph Wilson can go ahead and sell the naming rights like seemingly every other NFL stadium.