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Mario Williams cut by Bills, but is he a fit for the Arizona Cardinals?

Cost, production are a concern

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the talk of improving the pass rush this offseason, the news of the Buffalo Bills releasing Mario Williams will pique the interest of many fans. Williams was let go by the Bills in a salary-slashing move. Clearly the Cardinals will take a look, but there are definite concerns.

Williams is coming off his worst season the league. He only had five sacks last season. The last time he had so few was in 2011, when he played in only five games. He played in 15 last season.

He complained about his role in Rex Ryan's defense, where he played outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and had to drop into coverage a few times, although, according to PFF numbers, he only dropped into coverage 30 times all last season.

He also is now 30 years old. That, combined with the decline in production, has to raise some red flags.

The Cardinals run a 3-4 defense. If Williams came here, he would play outside linebacker. He has been in a 3-4 defense in two different seasons -- last season and in 2011, when he played only five games and had five sacks.

Some fans would love to sign Williams to one of these Steve Keim special one-year contracts. That's probably not going to happen.

He will likely garner interest early, especially considering the skill set, unless his skills have truly diminished.

Players who sign those one-year deals do not do so quickly. The players the Cardinals have added like that have come right before or during training camp, or well after the first round of free agency has finished. They only work when there is no other real demand.

Williams is certainly a guy who could help the Cardinals. But at what cost? And will he want to play in a 3-4 scheme? And how much of his drop in production was age, compared to scheme and unhappiness?

He is an interesting name out there on the market now, but he might not be the best fit for a number of reasons.