Over the past few weeks we here at Buffalo Rumblings have immersed ourselves in the grueling off-season process of figuring out exactly where and how the Buffalo Bills need to improve to make a playoff push in 2009. This effort, currently in its initial phase dubbed our State of the Roster series, will eventually culminate in the assembly of a prioritized Community Needs List, where every single need the Bills carry into the 2009 off-season will be made known to those who run the franchise. (At least, that would be awesome.) In case you missed it, we have already completed prioritization of Buffalo's needs offensively.
I'm the kind of guy that is obsessed with organization and being on the same page as everybody else. So unlike last year, when we ripped through our State of the Roster series and threw our Needs List together once those reviews were finished, this year we're going to keep our Needs List a work in progress as we work through the positional reviews. Thus, we'll begin prioritizing the work we've already done right now.
What follows are the needs we've already identified, the players we've identified as contract extension-worthy, and the players we'd like to see take a hike. If you don't agree with the names or positions on this list, don't feel bad (unless you aren't part of these discussions) - this is a majority opinion. We'll vote on the positions to get as many opinions in as possible, but the prioritization of extensions and expulsions will remain a discussion rather than a vote. So if you're of the mind that re-signing Keith Ellison is more critical to this team's success than releasing Chris Kelsay, vote in the poll and click on past the jump to read, digest and leave your thoughts on players themselves.
SLB Keith Ellison - The consensus - and by consensus, I really mean "nobody has vehemently disagreed with me yet" - seems to be that Ellison is a valuable reserve to the Bills. Clearly, I agree. Ellison should never get near Buffalo's starting lineup unless there's some sort of grotesque injury involved, but having a guy like Ellison around is what makes good franchises great and bad ones mediocre.
DE Chris Kelsay - To say "Bills fans have had enough of Kelsay" is an understatement. No one questions his drive or his leadership; his issue has everything to do with his far-below-pay-grade production. If Buffalo is serious about upgrading the defensive end position this off-season, they'll likely have to cut one or more of their current stock at the position. Kelsay should top that list.
DE Copeland Bryan - Reference everything I just said about Kelsay, minus pay grade.
DT John McCargo - Clearly, he's not going to get any better now that the coaching staff has made it awkwardly apparent that they're not as enamored with him as they were when they drafted him. The Bills could stand to add some beef inside. McCargo might get the boot to make that happen.
Other expendables: DT Corey Mace, LB Teddy Lehman, LB Blake Costanzo, LB Jon Corto, LB Marcus Buggs