Aaron Williams announces his retirement

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Around this time last year, safety Aaron Williams contemplated ending his playing career after missing most of two seasons with neck injuries and concussions before deciding he wanted to keep going.

The Bills released him and three other teams passed on signing him after workouts because of those medical concerns, leaving Williams to sit on the sidelines for the entire 2017 season. That was enough for Williams to know that now is the time to hang up the cleats and the hopes of returning to the field once and for all.

Williams explained his decision in an essay for The Players Tribune that opens with an apology to Bills fans for a rocky start to his time in Buffalo and closes with thanking them for making the city “the place where I grew up.”

“So when I woke up on January 1, 2018, and I hadn’t signed with a team, and I knew it was over, I just started to kind of wonder: What else could I love like that?” Williams wrote. “What else in this world is gonna give me that fix — that adrenaline, that anger, that feeling of dominating somebody to the point where they don’t want any piece of you. What else is there? Honestly, I haven’t found the answer yet. It’s all just still so new. All I know is, I’m never going to play another down in the NFL. And that hurts, for a lot of reasons. But when I think about those first two years in Buffalo — those wasted years when I was just a young punk who didn’t get it — man … it hurts a lot more.”

Williams was a Bills second-round pick in 2011 and wound up playing in 59 games over six seasons with the team.

15 responses to “Aaron Williams announces his retirement

  1. Sounds like he figured some stuff out which should help him in his transition to life off the field. Best of luck in your future endeavors, Mr. Williams.

  2. As much as I dislike the Bills from a rivalry standpoint, I still can’t believe the writers and the media hold Jarvis Landry in such a high regard after what he did to this guy.

  3. ryann252013 says:
    January 31, 2018 at 10:29 am
    As much as I dislike the Bills from a rivalry standpoint, I still can’t believe the writers and the media hold Jarvis Landry in such a high regard after what he did to this guy.

    Can’t “like” this post enough. What Landry did was an absolute bs move targeting Williams’ head.

  4. Jarvis Landry is the dirtiest offensive player in the NFL and ill never forget how he ended Williams career.

    As for Williams, I also remember those first 2 years where he was a massive disappointment at CB. He had so much talent but just couldnt make it work. And then he was moved to S and I thought his career was over. And then he stepped in for an injured Jairus Byrd and outplayed him. Outplayed a rookie of the year and pro bowler. After that he was a solid player for us. We really missed him

  5. Agree with my fellow Bills fans, Aaron, you’ve been missed! Bummed you couldn’t join us in the playoffs this year. Glad to see the self introspection, and where he is with his life right now. As long as he took the lessons he learned during his playing days and apply them to his new life, he’ll be quite alright. Thanks for everything ADUB!

  6. I appreciate his taking the fall for his first 2 years, but in his defense he was always a Safety, and the Jauron years were filled with Evil Genius position switches all over the roster that pretty much never worked.

    He was a great, not just good, safety when healthy, and the earlier comment is absolutely right. They were a playoff caliber team when he was healthy, and the Bills when he wasn’t.

  7. “What else in this world is gonna give me that fix — that adrenaline, that anger, that feeling of dominating somebody to the point where they don’t want any piece of you. What else is there?”

    Politics.

  8. @idoubtiwillbother

    Williams never played during the Jauron years actually. His position switch was all Chan Gailey (Williams was drafted in 2011, Gailey started coaching in 2010). Marrone moved him to safety to start the 2013 season. What a difference it made.

  9. “I wonder if there is anyway he could sign one of those one day contracts and officially retire as a Bill…”

    He’s only ever been a Bill so why would he need to sign a 1 day contract? The 1 day contract BS is because a player finishes their career with another team. It’s their way of coming home.

  10. joetoronto says:
    January 31, 2018 at 10:32 am
    He has to be happy to get out of that Godforsaken town.
    ___________________________________________________________

    another lame & uninspired observation from the toronto troll !!
    Poor Joe…couldn’t think your way out of a paper bag- Keep trying-fool

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