The Buffalo Bills' offensive line has been in a constant state of flux over the decade, with no position rotating more than at offensive tackle. For nine straight years, including 2000 and 2001, John Fina held down the left side of the Bills' offensive line, protecting quarterbacks from Jim Kelly to Rob Johnson. Since that time, many have filled in the spot, and not always well.
As in previous installments of the series, vote for your pick as the best tackle of the decade. After the winner has been chosen, we'll come back and vote for the second best. Only players with more than 25 starts were considered for the list.
Fina started 26 games at LT in the first two years of the decade. The Bills gave up 59 and 46 sacks in those seasons with Rob Johnson and Alex Van Pelt manning the helm. The rushing attack netted 1,922 and 1,686 yards, respectively, in each of those two years.
In the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft, the Bills made a move to replace the aging Fina by selecting eventual replacement Jonas Jennings. After beginning on the right side, he shifted over following Fina's departure to the left side, starting 52 games in total for Buffalo. His Bills teams rushed for between 1,596 and 1,874 yards over Jennings' tenure in Buffalo, and gave up 38 to 54 sacks with Jennings at LT.
When John Fina left, the Bills addressed the loss again by taking Texas OT Mike Williams with the fourth overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. After 47 starts over four years, Williams got benched and later released. In the three seasons he started 13 or more games, the Bills never gave up fewer than 38 sacks, and rushed for between 1,596 and 1,874 yards.
Peters joined the Bills in 2004 as an undrafted free agent tight end. After being released and re-signed that first year, Peters started one game in his rookie year. He was brought along by offensive line coach Jim McNally, and in 2005 started 10 games. He flipped from right tackle to left during the 2006 season in a big line shake up, and made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2008. Prior to the 2008 season, Peters held out for a better contract, but returned on the eve of the regular season. Following 2008, Peters and his agent again threatened to not report, and Buffalo dealt the Pro Bowler to the Eagles for three draft picks. Peters started 55 games for the Bills and was part of the 2007 line that gave up the fewest sacks, 26, in any one season of the decade.
After the other failures at right tackle, the Bills made a bold move signing Langston Walker as a free agent in 2007. The team made him their top priority in the period, signing him in the early hours of the first day of free agency. After 32 starts at right tackle, the Bills tried to move the massive man to left tackle following the departure of Peters, but after what was termed a "complete regression," Walker was released prior to the 2009 season. In 2007, the Bills gave up only 26 sacks, the fewest in the decade, and in both years the team rushed for over 1,800 yards.
Best of the Rest
Mike Gandy made 21 starts at tackle and another 11 at guard for the Bills over two seasons, but was moved inside in favor of Peters.
Now it's your turn to vote on who was the best Bills offensive tackle of the decade. Leave your rationale in the comments section.