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Kyle Williams preparing to return to Bills if wanted

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Consider Bills veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams impressed with the new Bills regime.

The 33-year-old veteran and five-time Pro Bowler has already heard from head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, making him feel more than welcome should he opt to play again in 2017.

Williams is under contract for 2017, but told reporters after the season that he had some thinking to do when it came to his future.

"I've talked to our head guy a few times, D-coordinator, new D-line coach," Williams told me after AFC practice Friday. "I've been in contact with them and I've been picking their brain. They've been picking mine just kind of seeing the direction they're headed and the views of what we have. I've definitely had an ear back in Buffalo.

"(McDermott) seems to be on top of things. He's asking me the right questions and he's had some great answers for me. I think he's going to do well."

When asked if he had any indication of whether or not he was coming back, Williams sounded positive.

"You know, I really haven't thought about it right now. Just been down here and the first few weeks of the offseason I've just tried to reconnect with my family and everything like that. But I always take a month or so off then I'll get back to preparing like I'm going to be back in Buffalo and I'm going to play.

"Talking with them, they want me back and I'm just going to prepare like I am. We'll see where we end up."

Williams had another five sacks this year, on top of 42 solo tackles and 22 assists. Despite coming off a meniscus surgery in 2015, he played up to his Pro Bowl standard again in 2016 and was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded Bills defensive lineman this past year.

McDermott has had plenty of uses for versatile veterans in Carolina over the years, including the seemingly ageless Thomas Davis and defensive end Charles Johnson. Williams filled an obvious leadership void in Buffalo last season and could continue to serve as the heart of a potentially great defense under the new head coach. Bridge veterans are often essential to new head coaches looking to get their message across.

To some coaches, that might be worth the relatively high cap number (he'll count $8.3 million against Buffalo's salary cap next season). General manager Doug Whaley has a few space-generating moves he can make this offseason to justify the expense. At the moment, it seems like McDermott would appreciate it.

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