Free agent DE Williams gets tour of Buffalo

JOHN WAWROW AP Sports Writer Published:

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Prized free-agent defensive end Mario Williams remained in Buffalo for a second straight day contemplating whether to sign with the Bills. And his fiance is now in town, too.

Three Buffalo TV stations happened upon Williams at the Buffalo International Airport on Wednesday, where he told WIVB that he was there to pick up his fiance.

The former Houston Texans star pass-rusher then said "we'll see," when asked if her arrival was considered a good sign regarding his negotiations with the Bills.

The Bills announced on their website that Williams and his fiance, who was not identified, were given a tour of the region. The Bills announced there "was no word" on whether Williams would be staying through Thursday, but noted he had no travel plans.

Williams took a physical earlier Wednesday and toured the Bills facility, a day after having dinner with team management and coaches.

Behind quarterback Peyton Manning, Williams is regarded as one of the top free agents available since the market opened on Tuesday. And that 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.

The Bills have identified improving their pass rush as a top offseason priority after managing just 29 -- including 10 in one game -- last season.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, Williams is a two-time Pro Bowl starter, who had Texans' franchise-best 53 career sacks, including a team single-season best 14 (2007). Williams was limited to playing just five games last season as a result of a torn chest muscle. He also missed three games in 2010 after having surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Aside from courting Williams, whom they flew in by private jet from his home in North Carolina, the Bills also brought in free agent receiver Robert Meachem on Tuesday. Meachem, who spent his first five seasons in New Orleans, turned down the Bills by instead signing with the San Diego Chargers.

The Bills' attempts to sign Williams has captured the imaginations of the team's fans.

A business not far from Ralph Wilson Stadium had "Welcome Mario Williams" flashing on its electronic sign. A couple of fans dressed in Bills jerseys waited to greet Williams after his dinner on Tuesday. And several fans have showed up in the parking lot of the Bills facility hoping to get a glimpse of Williams the past two days.

Even Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's wife, Jill, got into recruiting Williams via her Twitter account on Wednesday. Noting the player's passion for hunting, Jill Kelly noted Mario Williams in tweeting that there were currently nine deer in her backyard in suburban Buffalo.