Niagara Gazette


March 13, 2012

Bills court 2 free agents: DE Williams, WR Meachem


The Buffalo Bills have made no secret of their need to improve their pass rush, and they're sparing no expense in courting prized free agent, defensive end Mario Williams, to provide that push.

And add receiver Robert Meachem into the mix of free agents the Bills are showing serious interest in.

The Bills opened the NFL's free-agency period on Tuesday attempting to make a big splash by meeting with both Williams, the former Houston Texans defensive end, and Meachem, the former New Orleans Saints receiver, at a downtown Buffalorestaurant.

The meetings were announced in text messages sent out by the team. And the team's website said the Bills went so far in luring both players by using private jets to pick them up and fly them both to Buffalo.

Williams was the first to arrive on a flight from his home in North Carolina with general manager Buddy Nix and defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt on board. They all were joined for dinner with CEO Russ Brandon, coach Chan Gailey and defensive tackle Kyle Williams.

Meachem then arrived about an hour later.

There were no updates provided by the team regarding how the meetings went, and it's unclear whether Williams and/or Meachem will leave town to meet with other teams.

Behind quarterback Peyton Manning, Williams is regarded as one of the top free agents on the market, which means the Bills would have to pay a hefty price if they intend to land the player selected first overall in the 2006 draft by Houston.

"We plan to be aggressive in free agency," Brandon told Buffalo's WGR-Radio, "and resources will not be an issue."

In six seasons, Williams became the Texans' top defensive player before being slowed by injuries in each of the past two years.

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