Buffalo Bills longtime defensive tackle Kyle Williams announced his retirement Friday and will play his final game this Sunday.
The 13-year-veteran is a life-long Buffalo Bill and a fan favorite. He was drafted by the team in 2006 and in era of free agency and trade requests, he helped anchor the defense for his entire career.
Throughout the years, the Bills have seen a revolving door of changes; from owners, to coaches, to general managers, to players, but Williams was always a constant, steady presence in the locker room.
The five-time Pro Bowler turned 35 in June. He's played 182 games in his career, and compiled 606 career tackles (383 solo), 48.5 sacks, 12 passes deflected and even recorded in an interception in 2014.
Fans will remember last year when Williams scored his first career touchdown on a one yard run in week 17 against their AFC East Rival, the Miami Dolphins. This touchdown occurred just hours before the team would break its 17-year playoff drought.
Although he never won a championship in the NFL, he did in college. He was a member of the 2003 LSU team that won the BCS National Championship.
The Bills tweeted a letter from Williams Friday morning:
"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 mean so much to me and my family. But it's time to hang up my cleats.
I had never lived outside of Louisiana when Jill and I moved here at 22 years old, but it didn't take 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's something to be said for that. Now, I'm leaving at 35 with five kids, calling Buffalo my home. It's not just like everywhere else, and it will always be a part of me.
A singular word sticks out when I look back on my NFL career. Grateful. To have spent this 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.
Thank you to the Pegulas, the Wilson family, to my teammates, to Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, to my family, and to the fans. 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.
I could not be more grateful to retire as a life long Buffalo Bill.
One last time, I'll see you on the field on Sunday."
Both former and current teammates posted sentiments regarding the retirement announcement: