My thoughts on the first day of Bills free agency (Insert crickets)

Jake Delhomme a Buffalo Bill next year? I’d be cool with that. Look, I know a lot of fans think he’s shot, but he’s a hell of a lot better option than Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, Delhomme was terrible last year. Hell, Jarius Byrd should send him his pro bowl jersey (Wonder if he ever got one for not playing).

However, fans have to realize that there isn’t a lot of options out there at quarterback. If there’s any consolation for wanting Delhomme here, think about what he did with Steve Smith. Smith is arguably the Panthers biggest offensive weapon, yet even with constant double teams and defensive game-planning, Delhomme was still able to find a way to get Smith the ball. That’s something that Bills quarterbacks haven’t been able to do for Lee Evans since 2006.

Now, there’s one last thing to make this Delhomme experiment work for me; Draft a quarterback. Signing Delhomme and drafting a guy like Dan LeFevour or Colt McCoy would be a smart move for the Bills.

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I know free agency isn’t even a day old, but I’d like to know the Bills are at least entertaining the thought of flying in a free agent into Buffalo. You know, so I could at least feel that someone is manning the phones at One Bills Drive and not doing a live web show (Still love you, Darcy)

As of now, the only rumblings on the web are that the Bills are interested in bringing in wide receiver Kelly Washington and center Kevin Mawae. What’s with the Bills flirting with Washington? It seems like every year the Bills are always interested in this guy. It’s like the girl who has the platonic friend and just keeps him around until she finds something better, but always ends up getting dumped. Not sure which role suits the Bills or Washington. What’s the fixation? The guy is going to be playing on his 4th team in seven years. Just sign him or let him go on with his life. Just get the flirting over with.

As for Mawae, he’s 37 and the Bills already have a center. Unless they plan on moving Hangartner to guard while Eric Wood is still recovering, I don’t see this move making any sense. Maybe the Bills want to get in the good graces of the Players Association (Mawae is president NFLPA). I mean…the Bills do have a recruiting problem, so by signing Mawae, he could possibly mention how classy the Bills organization is when addressing the players union. J/K.

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Even though the Bills haven’t been active so far, it doesn’t really surprise me. Buddy Nix’s resume has NOT been built around acquiring free agents. The San Diego Chargers become a powerhouse via the draft and hardly went shopping for free agents. However, I still think it’s important for the Bills to try and trade some of their core players.

Now, even if the Bills decide to add a Larry Foote or a Chris Chambers to the roster, this offseason for me is going to be predicated on what they do with the veterans on this roster. I’ve made my feelings abundantly clear on Schobel, Lynch, Whitner, Kelsay and Williams. They have to be traded as the Bills don’t have room for guys who can’t fit in a 3-4 defense, a running back who thinks he’s being targeted by the cops, and an overrated safety who was outplayed by a rookie and someone who just started playing defense three years ago.

Those four players should get returns of draft picks between the 2nd and 4th rounds. If the Bills decide to have the core of last year’s roster and the 2010 draft class on the team for next season, it’s going to be a complete waste of a year. This team needs to get younger and come to grips that some of these players on the roster aren’t the long-term solution.

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Now, it wouldn’t kill the Bills to go out and sign some “young” free agents. I mean if Ralph Wilson said he was willing to give 10 million dollars a year for Bill Cowher or Mike Shanhan, I would think he’d be willing to put that money into the franchise rather than back into his Scrooge McDuck bank vault. Of course, you’ve heard it mentioned by yours truly that the courting of Cowher and Shanahan was nothing more than a PR stunt…which I still stand by.

If the Bills do decide to become players in free agency though, they are going to have to pay a lot more money than any of the other 31 NFL Teams. You see, if Russ Grimm and Brian Schottenheimer didn’t want to coach here, then what makes you think a decent free agent is going to think differently? Sorry Bills fans, but this franchise has a recruiting problem. Unless they turn it around quickly in the win/loss column, the only way a free agent is going to come here is by overpaying him more than what the market offers.

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Even though I think the Bills should stay away from giving guys in their 30’s big money deals, if there’s one player I wouldn’t mind the Bills bringing in, it’s the recently cut nose tackle Jamal Williams. Yes, he’s in the twilight of his career, but the Bills desperately need a nose tackle. If I’m the Bills, I’d sign Williams and then draft Terrence Cody in the 2nd round of the draft. That way you can have Cody learn behind Williams and then take over the reigns within a year or so.

The nose tackle spot is what makes the 3-4 defense work. If you don’t have that, it’s not going to matter if Aaron Maybin becomes the next Lawrence Taylor. Teams will just run the ball right down the Bills throats, especially if they see an undersized Kyle Williams in front of them.

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I know this is kind of old news, but why on earth would Buddy Nix entertain the thought of having Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick as the priority for 2010? Cutting Edwards would make me feel so much better about where this franchise is heading; more so than signing a free agent. I don’t have to be a football historian to know that whenever a new GM and coach take over a football franchise, they normally kill off any player that has struggled with the prior regime. So again, why is Edwards still here? There are two answers I can give:

1) Edwards is an extremely cheap option.
2) It’s no secret that the 2007 NFL draft had Ralph Wilson’s finger prints all over it.

Ask any NFL GM or Darcy Regier about the bond they make when they select a player in the draft. We all know the buck stops with Ralph. It’s probably difficult for someone like Chan Gailey, who should be sitting on his couch collecting unemployment, to go into Wilson’s office and demand a new quarterback. Hell, he should just be happy to get a paycheck. Again…I want Gailey/Nix to do their best Terminator or Commando imitation with this roster.

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This just in: The Ralph Wilson private charter ( Think the plane from Fantasy Island) has brought in a visitor to One Bills Drive. Kansas City free agent OL Wade Smith (Insert crickets). What a surprise. Chan Gailey decides to bring in one of his former players from KC.

Thank goodness the Bills didn’t hire a coach from the CFL or we’d have Pinball Clemons and Doug Flutie’s brother playing here. Sorry, but as someone tweeted to me today, this isn’t the type of player you decide to bring in the first day of free agency. It also explains why Gailey probably didn’t want to keep Richie Incognito. Gotta give one of his KC boys a job.

Smith has made 16 starts over the last two years, and can play guard or center. If he signs with the Bills, it would mark his 4th team in the last seven years. But hey…Chris Brown on his Bills blog said that he watched some tape from the game between the Bills and Chiefs last season, and Smith had the key block to help bust Jamaal Charles 76-yard touchdown run. Of course, I’m willing to bet that blocking against the NFL’s worst rushing defense may of had something to do with it. All kidding aside, the possible signing would make sense as the team is desperate for line depth. I just don’t really like it as your first possible move.

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Breathe, Joe…breathe. It’s only the first day of free agency. Hey, there’s a sliver-lining in all this. The Bills were players in free agency for the last three seasons and it got them nothing. It’s bitter-sweet on my part with watching teams getting better, but maybe the Bills lack of free agent moves thus far is a sign that things have changed.

In all honesty, the free agent crop is so thin that adding a high-priced guy in their 30’s (Unless it’s Williams) wouldn’t make sense for a team that’s 2-3 years away from competing. I still think the Bills HAVE to be creative in trading some of their own players for draft picks. I’m also not into Trent Edwards having anything to do with the starting quarterback job. If the Bills can do those things, then I’ll be able to live with their lack of free agent moves. If they don’t, then it’s just window dressing for having status quo.

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One Response to My thoughts on the first day of Bills free agency (Insert crickets)

  1. Mike says:

    A friend texted me yesterday morning about Delhomme and I told him exactly the same thing you just said – he's better than what we have now, so why not? Unless they're somehow going to pull off a trade for McNabb, there isn't a better option. Give him a one or two year deal and see if the change of scenery might mean something. Even if he really is shot, there's little risk.

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