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David Duprey, Associated Press
Buffalo Bills' Mario Williams, center, poses for a photo with Bills coach Chan Gailey, right, and Bills general manager Buddy Nix, left, after an NFL football news conference in Orchard Park, N.Y., Thursday, March 15, 2012. Williams signed a contract touted as the richest ever given to an NFL defensive player _ a deal worth up to $100 million with $50 million guaranteed, according to his agent, Ben Dogra.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson can be a big-spender, after all.

Wilson says he was fully behind the spare-no-expense pursuit to land prized free-agent defensive end Mario Williams. And the Hall of Fame owner says his motivation had far more to do with attempting to rebuild a winner in Buffalo than to address his critics, who regard him as frugal.

Speaking by phone, Wilson says he didn't sign Williams to show people "I'm not as cheap as they think I am." Instead, he says the move was prompted to help the team end a 12-year playoff drought.

Wilson spoke a day after the Bills signed Williams to the richest contract given to NFL defensive player. The six-year deal is potentially worth $100 million.