Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams will retire after Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, the team announced on Friday.
Williams was a fifth-round draft pick of the Bills in 2006 and has spent his entire career with Buffalo, starting 177 of 182 games he has played in entering Sunday’s game.
“This isn’t easy. It was never going to be,” wrote Williams, 35, in an open letter to fans.
“There’s no perfect time to retire from a game, a franchise and a city that means so much to me and my family. But it’s time to hang up my cleats.”
Williams has racked up 607 tackles and 48.5 sacks during his 13 seasons in Buffalo, five times being selected to the Pro Bowl along the way. He has 31 tackles and 5.0 sacks in starting all 15 games this season, as Williams was voted as an alternate to the Pro Bowl.
“Kyle Williams truly is a class act,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said Friday. “He bleeds red, white and blue and I’m extremely proud of everything he’s accomplished.”
Williams’ sacks and 182 career games played are franchise records for a defensive tackle, while his 13 seasons with Buffalo are tied for most all-time. And his 605 tackles since entering the league are most among active defensive tackles.
Former teammate Eric Wood was among those to congratulate Williams, with the retired center tweeting: “Congrats to Kyle Williams on an incredible career. I learned so much from you as a player, leader, husband and father. I’m grateful I got to be your teammate. I’ll miss watching you on the field but happy you’re walking away on your terms and I’m excited for your next chapter!”
—Field Level Media