Once again, the Buffalo Bills let a franchise player walk in free agency.
The news broke earlier this evening, that Jarius Byrd would be leaving the Buffalo Bills, for the New Orleans Saints.
First, let's give credit where credit is due: The safety tandem of Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro is starting to look darn right scary. Anyway, back to the Bills. Sure, this day seemed like a pretty good possibility, but it was also starting to look like the Bills may have been the landing spot for Byrd after all. Obviously, that wasn't the case, and the Bills have once again lost a great player in their organization.
Jarius Byrd will no longer be in Buffalo, after signing a 6 year deal with the Saints.
Hey, we've seen this before though haven't we? I mean, last year the Bills lost Andy Levitre in free agency, and the following result was pretty awful. The Bills line play suffered because it lost one of the best guards in the league! Not only that, but last year they didn't sign Byrd to a long term deal, and look where that ended up for them. Out of all the extensions Buddy Nix gave out, wouldn't you think that the money that goes to, I don't know Stevie Johnson, could have gone to Byrd. Now the Bills lose one of the best players in the league (again), and now because of that extension given to Stevie Johnson, the Bills don't have a true number one receiver.
Listen, I was all in favor of bringing in Mario Williams when the Bills did. When was the last time the Bills went out and made a free agency splash like that?Actually, don't answer that, because I know some people out there will think that Terell Owens was a huge signing. Anyway, the first day of free agency wasn't actually so bad for the Bills. They re-signed Dan Carpenter, who last year was a 91% field goal kicker, and cut Kevin Kolb, who ended up doing nothing for the Bills.
What to do, and where to go
Moving forward, the Bills have a lot of cap space to make some key additions to a team that already has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Looking at the current free agents, a lot of stars are out there, just waiting to get a call from a team. Now, with that being said, the Bills don't need to go out and sign Demarcus Ware, or Julius Peppers. What they truly need to do is keep on adding pieces to the puzzle that they need. Sure, would the signing of Ware or Peppers help the team? Yea, I'm sure they would, as they're both pro-bowlers, but it's not what the team needs.
With all that cap space available, the Bills don't need to look far for talent to bring in. For instance, Brandon Spikes has terrorized the Bills the past few years, as one of the best run stopping linebackers in all of football. Not only would he help out the Bills, who where the third worst team against the run last year, but it would also take away a vaulable player from New England, a team who is one the Bills division rivals. Speaking of New England, how about making an offer to Julian Edelman or Hakeem Nicks from the New York Giants? Both would only help E.J Manuel, and the Bills evolving passing offense.
The Bills have some needs that can be addressed in this years draft, which is why right now one they should have two concerns.
- Bring in players to stop the run
2.Put E.J Manuel into a real Quarterback competition by bringing in a veteran.
With the possible signing of Brandon Spikes, a lot of the Bills run stopping problems could be answered. With that being said, the focus then should be moved to E.J Manuel, and his continued development as the franchise quarterback.
This isn't the time or place to start a conversation if Manuel really is that guy for the Bills. It is however, the time and place to bring in a veteran quarterback who could give him a run for his money as the Bills starter. Now, I know a lot of people immediately will say "Michael Vick", but why? He is the same type of quarterback that Manuel is, and we already have a backup who plays that way in Thad Lewis. I'm talking about a pure pocket passer who can help develop Manuel in the areas that he is most weak in. I was really hoping for Josh Mccown, but right now, that doesn't look like it'll happen, so why not someone like Matt Cassel or Matt Schaub. Right now, it looks like Schaub could be on the outs in Houston, and if that's the case, the Bills need to be one of the first teams to give him a call.
I can't say I'm surprised that Byrd walked in free agency, and I also can't say that I'm surprised that the Bills let him.
However, with all that being said, that still doesn't mean the Bills can't go out and keep on adding those pieces to that very difficult puzzle.
Your move Buffalo, your move.