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Harrison explains his stance on Mario Williams

rodney-harrison Getty Images

Our buddy Rodney Harrison made some waves last night on Pro Football Talk with some strong comments about Bills defensive end Mario Williams.

“[Y]ou go out and get a $100 million deal, wouldn’t you have taken $80 million and gone somewhere where you could have been competitive every week?” Rodney said.  “I think this is a huge mistake for Mario Williams.  Mark my words, he will get lost in the shuffle.  He will probably fall off the face of the earth.”

Rodney and I talked about the reaction this morning.  And while most fans of most teams will always complain about any comment other than “[insert team name] is going to the Super Bowl!” (with or without Tim Whatley), Rodney wanted one person in the audience to understand where Rodney is coming from.

“It wasn’t a slap at Mario,” Harrison told me.  “I took less money to go to New England and win.  That was my point.”

As to the prediction that Williams could fall off the face of the earth, Rodney pointed to Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.  “He’s the best pass rusher in the game,” Rodney said, “but he’s lost.  The media only pays attention to the hot teams.”

If anything, Rodney’s comments were an indictment of Ryan Fitzpatrick.  “They don’t have a franchise quarterback,” Rodney said.

And the one thing we know about the modern-day NFL is that teams without franchise quarterbacks rarely compete for championships.  Until the Bills get one, Mario Williams will quite likely be toiling in obscurity.

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45 Responses to “Harrison explains his stance on Mario Williams”
  1. pastabelly says: Sep 11, 2012 1:05 PM

    If Rodney’s point is that Williams would have a great chance at a ring and fame had he stayed in Houston, it’s nearly impossible to disagree with him. Is all of that worth $20 million?

    It is also hard to argue with Harrison from where he is coming from. He went from a small media market team that was struggling to a major media market in the northeast where he became very visible. There is no doubt that his being on the great Patriot teams didn’t help him land his NBC gig. Of course, Mario Williams never has to worry about a job or another dollar the rest of his life.

  2. CKL says: Sep 11, 2012 1:06 PM

    Rodney’s probably right but not all players are motivated by winning more than they are by cashing in. We Pats fans were VERY lucky with Rodney.

    Also, I am not sure who all was in the bidding war for Mario, but in his defense, perhaps no consistent contender was interested.

  3. jace79 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:09 PM

    Harrison you’re a douche.

  4. blacknole08 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:12 PM

    I agreed with Harrison when I watched on PFT last night and I agree with those sentiments today. Williams got greedy and took the best available deal that came to him, irregardless of whether the chosen team could win this year and for years to come. He basically fleeced the Bills since he was coming off a season ending injury.

    Whether he turns out to be the player he was in Houston is remains to be seen, but recent history has shown that players that are not QBs who get the big money contracts usually under-perform and don’t play out their whole contracts.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 11, 2012 1:13 PM

    I will always remember Mario as being a great Italian plumber.

  6. kubillah42 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:13 PM

    Hay harrison just do us all a favor and shut tha hell up.

  7. kacapaco says: Sep 11, 2012 1:16 PM

    Glad NE didn’t sign him as we are already super satisfied with Jones.

  8. ampats says: Sep 11, 2012 1:21 PM

    What Rodney is trying to say is Buffalo sucks and in his opinion has no chance to win anytime in the near future.

  9. 5chan says: Sep 11, 2012 1:22 PM

    You know who else fell off the face of the earth? Rodney Harrison after he stopped taking HGH.

  10. onlysane1intheroom says: Sep 11, 2012 1:22 PM

    Hard to disagree.

  11. chargerdillon says: Sep 11, 2012 1:33 PM

    Sounds like the truth to me. Gotta love Hotrod

  12. marvsleezy says: Sep 11, 2012 1:33 PM

    I hate front runners. All these athletes just want to get together and play for the best teams. And ESPN loves it, cuz they can just show the highlights from the top 5 big market teams.

    I watched NFL prime time yesterday and they showed 5 minutes of Peyton Manning highlights, and then they talked mindlessly for another 5. Then they rushed thru the highlights of all the other games in like 10 minutes.

  13. zillabeast says: Sep 11, 2012 1:35 PM

    The Texans would devastate the AFC if they’d kept Mario and DeMeco.

  14. alexb64 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:40 PM

    If Rodney Harrison ever came close to commanding the offers one of the league’s top pass rushers would, Rodney probably would’ve chose different.

  15. dg0122 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:43 PM

    Mario has all the God-given talent in the world but is apathetic at best. He will probably end up with some meaningless sacks and tackles in garbage time so his stats look mediocre. But the Texans inserted Brooks Reed at about 10% of the $ and were better without Mario.

  16. aboogy123456 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:45 PM

    So Mario Williams should cut his pay by 20% so the media will pay more attention to him? And that’s more respectable? I’m sure Jared Allen gets plenty of respect in the NFL, despite the fact they don’t have Tom Brady on their team.

  17. jwreck says: Sep 11, 2012 1:45 PM

    Winnings great, but you can’t put a price tag on a great climate or living in a vibrant cosmopolitan metropolis, which is clearly what Williams was looking for.

  18. mcondiff says: Sep 11, 2012 1:58 PM

    I mean I hear ya Rodney, winning is a big part of it. But another 20 million can buy a lot of tacos and maybe the guaranteed money was more.

    Either way, you don’t always have to go to the best team or join a team that has a really good shot. He didn’t have to go to the Patriots or the Packers. Sometimes impact players can make a bad team into a good team or relevant team. There’s something cool about going to a team, not just for the money, but with the intention to turn it around.

    I can’t say that’s what Williams did but who cares what Rodney Harrison thinks. His advice would probably also be to get busted for PED’s. If this was baseball Rodney Harrison would be ostracized, but since it’s Football it’s somehow different. This dude cheated plain and simple and now people are supposed to look up to him because he has a couple of super bowls. F-that.

  19. lumas101 says: Sep 11, 2012 2:05 PM

    The Bills are a team that, three days ago, people thought were up-and-coming and had a chance to make the playoffs. Mario Williams was supposed to be a huge part of the reason WHY they were an up-and-coming team, as he was supposed to add a huge pass rush and make the defense viable.

    The team got off to one of the worst starts they could have imagined, but it was one game. And if it turns out that Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t play the position, the Bills will go get someone in the draft or free agency next year, and Mario will wind up having played one season with Fitz.

    Rodney can talk all he wants about taking less money to go to a winner, but he did that when he was a nine-year veteran at the end of his career, not a six-year veteran in his prime. Furthermore, it’s not possible for every player to go to an established “winner,” so some players have to go out and help build one.

    For a franchise and fan base that has been suffering as long as the Bills, signing Mario Williams was one of the biggest beacons of hope probably since Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith and Andre Reed left.

    No one is pleased with the way the season started, but without Mario Williams, Bills fans wouldn’t even have had hope for this season. Rodney needs to move away from his “rich get richer” mentality and have a little respect for a player who, while it may have been a money grab, brought some hope to a franchise that needs it.

  20. thingamajig says: Sep 11, 2012 2:20 PM

    The good thing about Rodney is he’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

  21. andyreidcarboload says: Sep 11, 2012 2:26 PM

    Rodney, it’s always about the money. Get off the soap box.

  22. lolo376 says: Sep 11, 2012 2:26 PM

    Some players would rather get paid than win a championship. I’d go for a ring then get paid.

  23. Stupid Raiders Fan says: Sep 11, 2012 2:29 PM

    “It wasn’t a slap at Mario,” Harrison told me. “I took less money to go to New England where they had cameras on the defenses that were being called. It made me look like a much better player”

    There fixed that for you

  24. thenewenglandpatriots12 says: Sep 11, 2012 2:30 PM

    Rodney harrison doesnt conform to the popular answers like most nfl analysts do… He speaks his mind and i respect him because he tells it

  25. trojanwarrior007 says: Sep 11, 2012 2:32 PM

    Mario is more focused on shaking the early talk of him being another Hanesworth.

  26. trevor123698 says: Sep 11, 2012 2:47 PM

    did he seriously need to explain this?

  27. skunkgoosefly says: Sep 11, 2012 2:48 PM

    Players are more likely to get recognized on successful teams. Even sometimes over rated and valued. The Bills will go 7-9 and no one will notice Williams 60 tackles and 13 sacks.

  28. wikipediasaidso says: Sep 11, 2012 2:56 PM

    How does Harrison even know whether Williams got an $80M offer (or any reasonable — if not top dollar — offer) from a team that had a franchise QB and a better chance to make the playoffs year in and year out?

    Maybe he should’ve detailed exactly how much money he turned down in 2003 (and from whom) too, so we’d know if it’s really a valid comparison. Not that any 30-year-old free agent safety, elite or not, is ever gonna come close to having the market value of a 27-year-old elite defensive end.

  29. jmorand47 says: Sep 11, 2012 2:58 PM

    Even Brett Favre couldn’t get the Packers to a Super Bowl until the late great Reggie White came aboard. But I guess that solidifies his point. oh well, I digress.

  30. patridge21 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:01 PM

    Harrison is a washed up bum who is just upset his oh so great Patriots team wouldn’t pay him 100M. If Harrison turned down money to play in New England because they were “WINNERS” I highly doubt it was near 20M he is talking about here. Not to mention its week one of the year here Rodney, a so called lost in the wind player surely has received his fair share of credit in Buffalo so far!! This is the first year in how many their talking playoffs in Buffalo, you can’t judge a season off one game that was handed to the other game on a platter by nobody close to playing a DE position!!!

  31. bigfranky75 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:03 PM

    Not everyone has ego’s so shallow that they need constant stroking like Harrison. Mario doesn’t seem like the type to: (A) want to go and leach off an already established winner; and (B) give a damn about media attention.

  32. EJ says: Sep 11, 2012 3:12 PM

    If Fitzpatrick fails this season, the Bills will Draft one of the several great QB’s coming out in the QB rich 2013 draft. Chan Gailey is not on the hot seat yet, but one more below average season will get him there. Another 8-8 or less season will force Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey to push in all of their chips on the best hand out there that is available.

  33. htowntexan says: Sep 11, 2012 3:16 PM

    Mario will get lost in the shuffle because he is not good. While I wish the best for him, he simply didn’t perform as expected for the Texans (I don’t think that he would have started this year on the Texans). I hope he improves, but I heard he got owned by a rookie OT yesterday, so it doesn’t sound like it. Sorry Bills.

  34. edge661 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:30 PM

    Rodney is so right on Mario. The bills will not contend. He cares more about$$ than rings.

  35. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:31 PM

    Harrison acts like he had tons of offers. The league as a whole thought he had lost TWO steps (which is why he started using HGH and was even worse of a hothead when he left the Bolts for NE) when San Diego cut him. He had all of three real offers, and the others were middling to bad teams. Don’t blame him for wanting to go to a winning* team, but come on Rodney. Comparing your situation to Williams’ — when nearly every team in the league wanted him — is ludicrous.

  36. jolink653 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:33 PM

    His agent probably told him he wouldn’t get the kind of money that Buffalo offered him anywhere else, which is why he didn’t make any other free agent visits…Personally I think he should have taken a pay cut and stayed in Houston because they’re building something good down there and he would have been a nice piece for a lower price but anyone who thinks he’s a game-changer on defense is out of their mind…He got hurt and Houston didn’t even miss a beat on defense, which is why they didn’t make a big effort to sign him and I think Rodney is right, the Bills will have an extremely hard time making it out of their own division, never mind the conference and Mario probably should have considered it and signed with an up-and-coming team rather than one that seems mired in constant mediocrity since Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly left

  37. marima07 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:39 PM

    Keep preaching, Rodney. Don’t go all ESPN on us now and start talking Tebow 24-7 or whatever the predetermined storylines happen to be. I know you’ll tell us what you really feel.

  38. NakedCowboy! says: Sep 11, 2012 3:44 PM

    Rodney is missing the point… he went to buffalo because they have free healthcare for all… oh wait…

  39. sooner712 says: Sep 11, 2012 4:05 PM

    I know this might get a lot of thumbs down, but the Bills should have simplified the playbook, kept VY until they found their franchised QB. Love, like or hate Vince, he has a winning spirit. Fitz is smarter but not better. They used to say the same thing about Terry Bradshaw (not the smartest) but he is the only QB with four Super Bowl rings. Just saying.

  40. piemasteruk says: Sep 11, 2012 4:11 PM

    I often agree with Rodney Harrison, but I think he is way off base here. The league is full of examples, past and present, of players who have stayed at lesser teams and still shone and have gone to the hall of fame. Then there are the players who have gone to a bad team and helped turn them into something much better – players like Barry Sanders, LaDanian Tomlinson, Peyton Manning and (ironically) Mario Williams.

    Maybe some players like to go to a proven winner and chase the ring that the team might have won anyway. Others might take more satisfaction in knowing that they helped a team who were not contenders *become* contenders. Or even if they never did break through, maybe they earned some extra money to set them up for the rest of their lives once they were forced to retire at 30.

    Everyone has different motivations and I’m certainly not going to knock players who prioritize wins or money or loyalty or a team in a city with nice weather or whatever else they think is important. Rodney Harrison made his choice and now seems to be trying to convince everybody else, or maybe himself, that it was the right one.

  41. billsboy88 says: Sep 11, 2012 9:32 PM

    A solid defensive line has shown to be a pivitol factor in winning the superbowl in today’s NFL.

    On paper, Mario joined what was shaping up to be a pretty tough, even scary, D-Line. Nearly every NFL analyst of any sort said the same.

    In the preseason, Mario and the D-Line were one of the few units that actually looked decent, dare I say good. It was no secret that the success of the d-line was going to be a major part of every gameplan all season long.

    Then, opening day came, and they disappeared. Completely. And the team fell apart. That must change.

    The pieces are there, this team just so desperately needs a QB to pull it all together.

  42. win1soon says: Sep 11, 2012 10:32 PM

    Rodney, you took less money? YOU WERE CUT, and the Pats signed you, I bet you took less, because they weren’t going to pay you what you were making in San Diego. You were a solid player who latched onto a great team and got a ring, now you latched on to NBC, and have a platform for your nonsense and you are hoping to get into the HOF by hanging around the game and being outlandish.

  43. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 11, 2012 10:59 PM

    win1soon says: Sep 11, 2012 10:32 PM

    Rodney, you took less money? YOU WERE CUT, and the Pats signed you, I bet you took less, because they weren’t going to pay you what you were making in San Diego. You were a solid player who latched onto a great team and got a ring, now you latched on to NBC, and have a platform for your nonsense and you are hoping to get into the HOF by hanging around the game and being outlandish.
    ————-

    Completely agree. Almost mirrored everything I said earlier. Glad someone else is older than 19 and remembers.

  44. dtjano says: Sep 12, 2012 11:13 AM

    Just a few days after he also said he had 20-30 concussions during his career.

    Rodney cost the Pats a super bowl.

  45. sheek585 says: Sep 12, 2012 5:33 PM

    Fitz is the one & only problem tht will keep the bills frm the playoffs!

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