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Bills looking at Rams' Chris Williams for glaring left-guard need

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Big offensive lineman Chris Williams resurrected his career to some degree over the past season with the St. Louis Rams.

The Buffalo Bills have brought him to One Bills Drive today on a free-agent visit. Williams, a No. 1 pick of the Chicago Bears in 2008, is meeting with coaches, along with Miami free-agent cornerback Nolan Carroll, the team announced.

Williams was drafted as a tackle out of Vanderbilt but started only one season at that spot - 2009 - before being switched to guard and starting for a season and a half. He was cut by the Bears midway through the 2012 season and picked up by the Rams. He won the Rams' starting left guard job out of training camp and started all 16 games.

He did not get rave reviews, but Rams coach Jeff Fisher expressed an interest in bringing him back. Williams is a big body, at 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds.

"He played good, he was solid,” Fisher said after the season. “When you don’t hear his name, you don’t talk about him.”

Williams figures to be less expensive than the more publicized top wave of free-agent guards. Denver's Zane Beadles, one of the top guards available, signed Tuesday with Jacksonville for $6 million a year. Houston reportedly was among the other teams interested in Williams as free-agency opened.

The website ProFootballFocus.com ranked Williams as the lowest-rated player on the Rams' team last season.

  • Jan Reimers

    Here we go again. We let a very good left guard - Andy Levitre - walk last year, and now we're wooing the Rams' lowest rated player as his heir apparent . Refusal to pay your top players, combined with bargain basement shopping for their replacements, gets you several things - - most noticeably 14 consecutive years without even a sniff of the playoffs.

    • ralphyboy

      That's the business model. Do just enough to sell out 6 games, have someone like Russell Salvatore rescue the blackout in the 7th, and by the time the 8th rolls around, you're already out of the playoffs, but you've scored enough revenue through sharing, TV, concessions, and parking to have already covered your bottom line. Meantime, you have more cap room than you know what to do with, but players' agents all know there's no serious commitment to winning on the field. So, you can't lure anybody (once in a while, you get lucky with somebody like Mario and that lets you off the hook for years) because you don't really want to, and your best players will eventually leave. But, you've got the taxpayers to bail you out at both the state and the county levels, the media shining a non-stop glare on you, and gullible fan base too emotionally attached to you to see what you're doing to them.

  • Matt Gracie

    "The website ProFootballFocus.com ranked Williams as the lowest-rated player on the Rams' team last season."

    Oh, then he's a lock for the Bills roster.

  • Robert McAvoy

    Who would you rather have? An All Pro Safety and a roookie draft choice (4th rounder at OG) or Aaron Williams and Chris Williams? The total cost and guaranteed money would be the same. A good team would go with the All Pro in the prime of his career and a rookie/waiver OG. The Bills chose the latter. And many Bills fans say "great, Byrd is gone; he's not worth it; he is a cancer on the team". I will bet you who is in the play-offs the most over the lifetimes of those contracts and it ain't the Bills. The Bills created another gaping hole, say they fill it by over-paying mediocre to poor players and the fans buy it. Paying Byrd $10 million per year is not a waste of money. Paying Chris and Aaron Williams $10 million combined is a real waste of money.

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Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.