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Mario Williams signs two-year deal with Dolphins


The Miami Dolphins are tossing more money at the defensive line.

Mario Williams signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Dolphins that will include $11.9 million in guarantees, sources told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Tuesday. The Dolphins confirmed Williams signing with the team Tuesday night.


The Buffalo Bills released Williams earlier this month, allowing him to sign prior to free agency opening Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Williams, 31, garnered interest on the open market despite having one of his worst seasons in his 10-year pro career in 2015. The pass-rusher was roundly criticized for taking plays off last year and openly questioned his role in Rex Ryan's defense.

Williams is another big-name move for Dolphins football czar Mike Tannenbaum, who traded for corner Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso this week.

What does Williams' deal mean for Cameron Wake in Miami? Both Williams and Wake play the same position (left defensive end). Wake, 34, is due to count $9.8 million against the salary cap and is coming off a torn Achilles tendon. A source told Rapoport that Wake remains in the Dolphins' plans.

The Dolphins could also rescind the transition tag on Olivier Vernon or allow the defensive lineman to walk in free agency.

Williams fits best in a 4-3 defense, like the Dolphins will run in 2016. As an edge rusher alongside Ndamukong Suh, he will provide a formidable pass rush to attack the likes of Tom Brady in the NFC East.

Williams is a boom-or-bust player at this stage in his career. Far too often the Dolphins have been on the bust side of their big free agent acquisitions. Tannenbaum is betting that finally changes with Williams.


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