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Mike Florio on D&C: Bills’ Mario Williams signing comparable to Packers with Reggie White

03.16.12 at 8:14 am ET
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Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Chris Mannix Friday morning to discuss the flurry of NFL free agent moves this week. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Mario Williams signed a six-year deal worth $100 million with the Bills, as 93-year-old owner Ralph Wilson pushes to make his team relevant.

“From the standpoint of getting a team that has been overlooked and disregarded for much of the last decade some legitimacy, I think it was [a good move],” Florio said. “They went out and overpaid for a guy that isn’t Reggie White but they treated him like Reggie White. Maybe he’ll have the same impact on the franchise that White did in Green Bay. At the time the Packers got White back in ’93, they weren’t regarded as a very good team. They’d just been kind of dog-paddling for 20 years or more. He turned that franchise around from a perception standpoint.

“And I think that’s what the Bills want. They want players to want to come and live in western New York. And convincing Mario Williams to do it could be the first step toward getting other players there, improving the team, becoming competitive. It’s not going to be easy, given the division they’re in. But this is a step in the right direction, and it gives the fan base something that every fan base craves this time of year, and that’s genuine hope.”

Peyton Manning continues to visit with teams that are looking to do whatever they can to land the Hall of Fame-bound quarterback.

“Some rumors and scuttlebutt have been trickling out that Peyton is trying to leverage his current situation — where there are teams falling all over themselves to try to sign him — into a post-playing career job like John Elway has in Denver,” Florio said. “And I look at that and I say, well, you start diluting your priorities in the present if you’re worrying too much about the future. Go find the best place for you to play football. And if it’s Denver, it’s Denver, even though John Elway is not going to give you his job when you’re done playing.

“So, that’s a strange complication to all of this. And when you have the owner of the [Titans], Bud Adams, saying that they want to give Peyton Manning a contract for life, on the surface it looks ridiculous. It looks like something the NFL would never approve because of the salary cap. But we had an item yesterday that they can do that. They can hire him now and later at the same time. There would have to be two contracts, it would have to be a real job, it would have to be fair market value for whatever it is that he’s doing after he retires, and he’d have to actually do it. And if there’d be any shenanigans on the back end, the NFL would swoop in and impose all sorts of penalties. But it can be done.”

Florio said if the Broncos land Manning, that means the end of Tim Tebow‘s tenure there.

Said Florio: “One of the big reasons that the Broncos are in this is because John Elway believes getting Peyton Manning is the only way to get rid of Tim Tebow, that any other quarterback — Matt Flynn, any of the free agents, trade for somebody — no. Peyton Manning is the only guy that they can bring that allows them to then move Tim Tebow.”

Read More: John Elway, Mario Williams, Mike Florio, Peyton Manning
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