Longtime Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams will retire after 13 seasons, all with Buffalo after being selected in the fifth round of the 2006 draft out of LSU.
Williams, 35, released a statement through the Bills on Friday, saying Sunday’s game against the Dolphins will be his last.
“This isn’t easy. It was never going to be. 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 wrote.
“I had never lived outside of Louisiana when Jill and I moved here at 22 years old, but it didn’t take me long to identify with this city, with its people, with their attitude and loyalty. This place celebrates grit as much as it does talent, and there is something to be said for that. Now, I’m leaving at 35 with five kids, calling Buffalo my home. It’s just not like everywhere else, and it will always be a part of me.”
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) December 28, 2018
The longest-tenured player on the Bills roster, Williams has appeared in 183 games and is one of six players in team history to play 13 or more seasons. His 48 1/2 sacks are the most by a defensive tackle in franchise history.
“A singular word sticks out when I look back on my NFL career,” Williams wrote. “Grateful. To have spent so much time with one team. To have had the opportunity to get to know this organization, this community, and more importantly, the people. To have raised my family here. To have made countless memories and friendships, on and off the field.”
The five-time Pro Bowl player ends his career on a high note as he has five sacks and one forced fumble in 15 games this season.
“Thank you to the Pegulas, the Wilson family, to my teammates, to Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, to my family and to the fans,” Williams added. “I’ve been at this a really long time, but it doesn’t feel like it, and that’s a testament to your unwavering support.”
He ended his letter by saying: “I could not be more grateful to retire as a lifelong Buffalo Bill. One last time, I’ll see you on the field on Sunday.”