The Buffalo Bills should induct the Buffalo Rumblings community into Ralph Wilson's vaunted "inner circle" straight away. Seriously, as we've broken down the Bills roster and started putting together our prioritized needs list, I've been astounded at the level of participation and the quality of discussions that we've had. There have been disagreements, but each and every one of us has the team's best interests at heart - can the same be said for the inner circle?
We have now broken down every offensive player and position, and with some heated debates and community polls tossed in, we're ready to unveil our Offensive Community Needs List. You may not agree with all of it and I may not agree with all of it, but the inner circle likely agrees with none of it.
What follows is our prioritized needs list - and feel free to continue to debate it if you wish; by all means, this thing isn't set in stone - and the players that we have split up categorically. There were a few surprises, which I'm certain we'll discuss as well. The results!
Buffalo Rumblings Community Needs List - Offense
1. Receiving Tight End: Honestly thought I'd be overruled on this one, but at time of press, this community is voting 60-40 in favor of tight end being Buffalo's top priority offensively. The polls are by no means closed, however, so if you disagree, go vote and leave your opinions!
2. Center: Buffalo has a gaping hole on the interior of their offensive line, and Duke Preston clearly can't fill it. New blood is needed, and whether it's in the form of veteran or rookie, that blood needs to start ASAP.
3. Veteran Wide Receiver: Our receiver production is lacking despite the fact that there is some talent at the position. The consensus (barely) amongst Rumblers is that a veteran that can push for the starting job - with Bryant "Panda" Johnson as the favorite - would be a welcome addition to this offense.
4. Veteran Backup Quarterback: Good news! J.P. Losman has played his last game in Buffalo! Better news! We're going to have a better backup quarterback in 2009! But we still need to do the getting, and the consensus is that signing a veteran is the best approach in doing so.
5. Reserve Center/Guard: The majority of this community voted to re-sign Duke Preston - I was surprised too - so we've only got one reserve interior lineman on the menu here. This particular position seems likely to change depending on how the need at center is handled.
6. Blocking Fullback: If Buffalo plans on featuring the power running offense that they should be featuring in 2009, they're going to need a guy that can remove linebackers from holes - but only after the holes are created. Therefore, this should be a priority, but a low one. Bigger fish to fry.
7. Viable Third Running Back: I'm fairly certain that I'm the only person that isn't comfortable with Xavier Omon here, but nobody seemed upset with the notion of having a running back on the list, so it stays for now. I still maintain that finding a third back that contribute could be an underrated benefit to this offense, and I'm not certain Omon can be that guy.
Again, this list remains fluid, so if you're still feeling the need to try to get a position moved up or down on the list, have at it. Keep in mind that it's a community arrangement, however, so your arguments will have to be persuasive!
Extendables: Players that the community have deemed worthy of contract extensions.
- QB Gibran Hamdan (RFA), RB Fred Jackson (ERFA), OT Jason Peters (potential holdout), OT Kirk Chambers (UFA), G/C Duke Preston (UFA)
Expendables: Players that the community have deemed expendable, whether on the merits of terrible play or contract status.
- QB J.P. Losman (UFA), FB Corey McIntyre, TE Robert Royal (cut?), OG Jason Whittle (UFA), C Melvin Fowler (UFA)
Apathetics: Players that the community, by and large, doesn't give a rip about, because they're bubble players and spot contributors at best.
- QB Matt Baker, RB Bruce Hall, WR Justin Jenkins, WR Felton Huggins, WR C.J. Hawthorne, TE Jonathan Stupar, OT Jonathan Scott, OT Chris Denman, OG Brandon Rodd
Keepers: Players that the community believes will stay in Buffalo, whether it be on their own merit, on the merits of common knowledge, or on the merits of exorbitant contracts.
- QB Trent Edwards, RB Marshawn Lynch, RB Xavier Omon, WR Lee Evans, WR Josh Reed, WR Roscoe Parrish, WR Steve Johnson, WR James Hardy, TE Derek Fine, TE Derek Schouman, OT Langston Walker, OT Demetrius Bell, OG Derrick Dockery, OG Brad Butler