The Miami Dolphins plan to meet with free-agent Mario Williams on Saturday, according to a report by the NFL Network.
Williams who has enjoyed a fine career in the NFL is coming off a down season in Buffalo. The defensive end saw his streak of Pro Bowl appearances come to an end, and ended up with only five sacks. The sack total for Williams was his lowest since 2011, and it created questions about a potential lack of effort at times.
For Miami, this is a move that could pay dividends. Williams is only one season removed from having 14.5 sacks. It is possible that the veteran simply did not mesh well with his new coaching staff which included head coach Rex Ryan. Williams was involved in new schemes and a change in scenery could make a world of difference.
Williams is a former first overall pick of the Houston Texans and has been around the league since 2006. The 31-year old has been named to the Pro Bowl four times, and holds the Buffalo record for sacks in a game with 4.5.
The Dolphins are also cognizant of the fact that they could lose Olivier Vernon. After tagging Vernon with a transition tag, the Dolphins face the prospect of another team offering the defender an unbeatable contract. Miami will have an opportunity to match any offer Vernon receives, but it may be financially unable to meet some demands. A similar scenario cost Miami Charles Clay a year earlier, and the team likely wants to prepare a backup plan this time around.
Miami made made a big splash in free-agency on defense last year when it added Ndamukong Suh. The signing was a significant one for the Dolphins, and it showed the team's commitment to winning and improving. Suh did not have as much of an impact in 2015 as had been expected, but there remains optimism going forward.
The off-season should remain an active one for the Dolphins as the team tries to re-tool its roster once again, New head coach Adam Gase should have plenty of new personnel available to him on both sides of the ball come next season.