New Orleans Saints free agency: Veteran defensive end crop growing

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Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) reacts during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi
Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) reacts during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi /
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Mario Williams
Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Team Carter defensive end Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills (94) in the 2015 Pro Bowl against Team Irvin at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Mario Williams was also just dumped into the free agent pool after the Buffalo Bills released him on Tuesday.  Williams, who has experience at both defensive end and outside linebacker, has been a pass-rushing wrecking ball in the league for ten seasons.

He was the reason the New Orleans Saints were able to draft running back Reggie Bush in 2006 after the Houston Texans selected Williams with their first overall pick.

Aside from his 2011 campaign in Houston where he missed 11 games, Williams had the worst season of his career in 2015, just one year after being named a first-team All-Pro in 2014 (14.5 sacks).  But his dip in production, in my opinion, can be blamed on scheme.

The Bills hired Rex Ryan last year. He came in and changed things up, including asking Williams to drop back into coverage more, which, as expected, didn’t work out so well for the pass rusher.  His asking price may be a bit steep, but then again, he’s on the wrong side of 30.

Next: Charles Johnson

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