I'll just cut to the chase, I'm playing the Bills GM. This has been a series that has been on my mind for quite sometime. If Bucky can be the GM for the Sabres for a day and toss out trades, why can't I? No one will be spared. I'm going to do my best Robin Hood and steal from the rich and give to the poor. We are obviously the poor, Bills fans. I have a hot ass secretary and a stretch limo to get me from point A to point B. Genny light will be the beer of choice because well, Ralph is somewhat cheap.
As for the football side, we are going into year 3 of the Chan Gailey regime. Everyone knows that when you are rebuilding a team, this is the magic year in which your team should make the playoffs. This is my goal for this season. I need to get the Bills back to the playoffs. We are all sick of losing and seeing other teams make it in the playoffs, right? I need to get back to Januarays when bank tellers would be wearing Bills sweaters. A place where the news outlets will goto Coles and talk about how business is up because the Bills are in the playoffs and fans are drinking kegs.
We have a ton of Ralph's money to spend (34-million under the cap) and I'm going to do everything in my power to get us a playoff game, dammnit!
I'm also not going to pretend this is X-box or fantasy football. Sorry, Peyton Manning or Mario Williams won't be coming through those doors anytime soon. Ralph would surely not let me have him. Now I will defintely try and make this legit with cap numbers and market value, but I'm no capologist here. This will be realistic as Sex and the City or a stupid romantic comedy. This is a cross between having fun and learning something. Right now, the Bills are 34 million under the cap because of the cap roll over, which means we have a lot of room to play with.
I'm going to break this series up into 3 parts. Re-signing/cutting players, making trades/free agency and the draft. Yes, I'm going to try and get this series through the door before the real free agency season starts. Here are more goals:
- Cut Chris Kelsay.
- Get younger.
- Get some offensive weapons.
- Rebuild the defense.
- Get hotter cheerleaders.
- Make Ralph sell the team to Terry Pegula.
OK, 4 out of 6 ain't bad. Let's work that phone!
Chris, I don't like you and I'm sure you won't like me. I know the media is smitten by you because you are a "Go-to-Guy" in the locker room, but luckily for me, I don't own a notebook. You are making 6-million dollars a year and have somehow been able to get extension after extension for bringing really nothing to the table besides average play. Yes, I know you have a high motor, as it seems like all white defensive linemen do these days, and you must have walked in on Ralph Wilson doing something illegal (Gambling? Prostitution? Making Toronto Bills shirts?) to get your multiple extensions, but you just aren't good enough on the outside. I want speed rushers. I want a guy who will get me 10 sacks a year. For crap sakes, you have averaged 3 sacks a year since you've been in the league. It is just time to say goodbye. But hey! At least you beat New England. Cap savings: 2.55 million.
DE, well, you are not exactly a great DE in a 4-3. You just don't fit as you seem to be a tweener in that alignment. I'm sure some will tell me that you were decent in stopping the run, but I can't help but ignore that your two years here happen to coincide with some of the sorriest defensive performances that I have ever seen. Again, the biggest problem I saw last year with the defense was that we couldn't get pressure with our front four. You were on that front and you get some of the blame. You are also making 4-million bucks next year. Sorry, maybe Baltimore will take you back. Cap savings: 3.8 million
Lights out? Yeah, they were out alright. You may as well be a flash light at midnight in the Atlantic Ocean. I don't blame Buddy for signing you last year. He took a chance that didn't really cost him anything besides Ralph's money and the upside was huge. At one point, you were awesome, but injuries have caught up with you. 6 starts out of a possible 48 over the last three years? You just can't stay healthy and I just don't think we need an over-the-hill defensive end to play 15-20 snaps a game. I'd rather give a younger guy those reps. At least you recruited us Nick Barnett and started Twitter wars with CM Punk and Iron Sheik. Cap Savings: 2 million bucks.
Spence, we signed you three years ago and you just seem to be just another body that doesn't do much. I feel bad because the Bills have placed you at defensive end, defensive tackle and even outside linebacker. Yes, you are better suited for playing in a 4-3 defense, but I think we are loaded at defensive tackle, which seems to be your best position, and we need speed guys on the outside. Last I checked, I think a snail might have lapped an offensive tackle faster than you did. Peace. Cap savings: 3-million bucks
Savings all together: 11.3 million and now I'm at 44 million under the cap.
RE-SIGN OR THROW OUT OF THE BUILDING?
Scott, had I started this post last week, you'd be out of here as quick as fried chicken at a KFC next to a fat farm. Unfortunately, my boy, Jermichael Finley, re-upped for sick money. He was going to be a part of my free agent plan. Alas, Green Bay knew they couldn't let a guy like him go. However, even with him off the market, I just don't think you are that good. I think you are a hall of famer in comparison to Jonathan Stupar, Robert Royal and Michael Gaynes, but you were ranked 23rd in catches for tight ends. I actually agree with Buddy, you were just a byproduct of Gailey's offense. Security!
Man, there are some injury prone guys on this list. Roscoe, I know Chan said he liked you, but you have had your season cut short for two straight years. I just think the fuel tank is somewhat empty on your tiny body. Security!
Bryan, I have always liked you. You are like the Matt Ellis of the Bills. Whenever the Bills needed a linebacker, they moved you from safety. When they needed a safety, they moved you back. You were like the iron man of our football team. However, I think with the Bills drafting Da'Norris Searcy, your time is up. You would just be an expensive back-up and I don't think you'd be a fit here. No security, just a handshake and a good luck.
Kirk, I kind of had high hopes for you last year. But you just didn't get on the field. Oh, I understand why. The Bills signed you as an insurance policy in case Nick Barnett went down. For once, the Bills decided to add depth instead of Spencer Johnsonning it. Even still, I think with the Bills going to a 4-3 and Andra Davis (Yeah, I'm not re-signing him) and Shawne Merriman gone, I think I could plug you in at weakside linebacker. We all know you were a run stuffer in Oakland (Over 100 tackles in six straight years). The biggest question is how well will he play in pass coverage? Well, only one way to find out. Re-sign Morrison, 2-years for 2.6 million bucks.
This is actually a tougher decision than I would anticipate. We don't really have depth at tackle. It is Chris Hairston and Erik Pears as possible starters and then Andy Levitre seems to move there at times. I need another guy and because Bell always seems to get injured, I don't think he'll command much. I think if Bell stays healthy in this offense, he could be due a major payday at some point. It is not about him as a player, but how teams overpay for offensive linemen (See: Dockery and Walker). Here's the thing, I'm fine with the offensive line. The team only allowed 23 sacks (Best in the NFL) and averaged 4.9 yards a carry (Tied for 4th best in the NFL). I'm just not into drafting a OT with the Bills first two picks, so I'm just going to add depth. I think I'm going to re-sign Bell if I can get him for Pears money for one year. Re-sign Bell, 1-year for 3 million bucks.
Kraig is a RFA and the nerds over at pro football focus say you and Eric Wood were the best guard/center combo in pass protection. I really don't know where and how Buddy found you, but I'm going to keep you and tender a qualifying offer. Ha! We own you! I never understood those type of deals. Tender qualifying offer.
Note: Same goes for Chad Rhinehart
Final words: Yes, I have no respect for guys in their 30s. I'm also of the mindset that I think linebackers tend to be overrated in a 4-3 defense. If you have studs on the front line who can open lanes for LBs to run into and attack ball carriers, you can plug anyone in there. That's pretty much the reason why I decided to extend Morrison. As for the offensive line, I thought it was our strongest unit last year, so I'm not messing with that. As for the defensive ends, they didn't get the job done. I need new blood on the outside. I need rushers. As of now, I'm about 40 million dollars under the cap for next year, which gives me a lot of playing room.
Up next: What will I do with Stevie and Fred? Trades and free agency. I assure you, it will be shocking!