BUFFALO, NY — Former Bills safety Aaron Williams announced his retirement Wednesday in an emotional and honest letter published by The Players' Tribune.

Williams — who suffered multiple neck injuries in his career — was extremely reflective in the letter, beginning with an apology to the City of Buffalo for not taking football seriously enough after he was drafted.

"When I first came in, I didn’t work very hard," Williams wrote. "I didn’t watch film. I didn’t study. I pretty much made it through my first two seasons on straight athletic ability. Football wasn’t a priority. I was more concerned with what kind of car this guy was driving or what club that guy was posting up at."

Williams recalls one time, in particular, when he met a young Bills fan with NFL aspirations.

"And I’ll never forget, this kid … he was telling me how he wanted to play in the NFL one day — that when he grew up, he wanted to be just like me. And my first thought was, 'Wait, wait — hold up. This kid wants to be like … me? Is that really a good idea?'

Williams said it was the summer after the encounter with the young boy when he, "reevaluated everything." He was embraced by teammates like Da’Norris Searcy, Bryan Scott, George Wilson, Andre Davis, Shawne Merriman, and — most notably — Fred Jackson, who helped show him the way.

In closing, Williams gave thanks to Bills fans in a heartfelt final sendoff.

"Thank you, Bills Mafia," he wrote. "Because I was born in California and raised in Texas. But Buffalo will always be the place where I grew up – where I became a man."

You can read Williams full letter here.