About a month ago MattRichWarrenpresented us with his Buffalo Bills 2000s All-Decade Team series. And for about a month we voted on a series of poles to determine who was worthy of being on that team. But more often than not we also ended up complaining over
the limited sometimes horrible talent that we had to pick from for any given position. So it was about at the TE position that I thought "hey why don't we also vote on the worst players that played for this team over the last decade?" And so here we are.
Now just like MattRichWarren'sseries I have a few criteria for players to be eligible for this team. They had to have played in at least a full season's worth of games in this decade to be eligible. Starting is not requirement, but you do have to have played significant amounts of snaps in those games. That means that, for example, the Bills 3rd receiver might make the list, but a 4th or 5th stringer wont be considered. That means that we wont end up voting for 7th rounders that ended up playing 2 snaps. These are going to be real players that played real roles on this team over the last ten years. And just because a player ended up on the All-Decade team does not mean that you can't also be on the worst-decade team.
The wide receiver position is a hard one to play in the NFL. It's generally one where you either make it or you don't, there are no true grey areas at this position. Here in Buffalo we have seen good talent at this position over the last decade, having seen players like Pierless Price, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans and Terrell Owens. But we have also shown the terrible inability to back them up withany true depth. After all the best receiver that we have had after the previously named four WR's is Josh Reed. When your decade's 5th best WR has never caught for more than 600 yards in a season, you know your in trouble.
I'm handling this position a little differently than I have the previous 3 instalment. As I've said before WR is a position where you either make it or you don't, and the Bills have seen A LOT of "don'ts" in the last decade. So instead of needing at least a season's worth of played games, which would have put a lot of special teamers that didn't really factor into the receiving game on the list, I'm putting the bar at a minimum of 20 receptions in a Bills uniform. So while giving respect to the 4 truly good receivers (Price, Moulds, Evans and Owens) that have played for the Bills over the last decade, this list will be composed of the 5 remaining WR's that have had at least 20 receptions for the Bills.
McDaniel played in three seasons for the Bills, two of them in this decade, mostly as a slot option or 4th receiver. He joined the Bills in 1999 as an undrafted free agent and stayed until the end of the 2001 season. In that time he played in 23 games for the Bills, starting in 6 of them (all in 2000). During those games he caught 54 passes for 826 yards and 2 TDs. He had a good year in 2000, hauling in 43 passes for 697 yards and both of his career TD's. His career year was followed by a lack luster campaign in 2001, after which he was released from the Bills and never seen from again in the NFL.
Drafted in the second round (36th overall) of the 2002 NFL draft, Reed played 8 seasons for the Bills. Early in his career he was counted on as a slot option for the Bills, used in tandem with Price and Moulds. He was later used as a starter opposite Lee Evans, a position that many have argued he should have never been in. Reed played in 115 games for the Bills, with 52 starts. He amassed 311 receptions for 3757 yards, but only 10 TD's. While putting up decent numbers, and being clearly the best receiver on this list, Reed never did live up to his second round billing and never did seem to find the endzone as much as we would have liked. The Bills let Reed walk away after the end of the last season, and he has recently signed with the San Diego Chargers.
Shaw's stint with the Bills was brief, having only played a little bit more than a season for the Bills. He was signed as a free agent in 2003 after being released from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002. He played 20 games for the Bills, starting in 7 of them. He had 61 receptions for 791 yards and 4 TD's. He had an impressive year in 2003, receiving 56 passes for 732 yards and all 4 of his TD's as a Bill, but was released 4 games into the 2004 campaign after proving to be ineffective in the new head coach's offense.
Ok so I lied, you only need 19 receptions as a Bills to make it onto this list. Aiken was drafted by the Bills in the 4th round of the 2003 draft. He spent 5 seasons in a Bills uniform, mostly playing on special teams. He played in 64 games as a Bill, starting in 2 of them in 2005. He had, you guessed it, 19 receptions, for 250 yards and no TD's in his 5 seasons with us. He was released at the end of the 2007 campaign and signed with the rival Patriots, where he has had his most successful season in 2009, catching 20 passes for 326 yards and 2 TD's.
Parrish was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft by the Bills, and while easily being the decade's best punt returner, has failed to do anything impressive as a wide receiver. In his 5 seasons as a Bill he has played in 67 games, starting 6 of them. He has amassed 100 receptions for 1086 yards and 5 TD's. He asked for a trade during the 2008-2009 off season, but failed to receive one. He remains a Bill to this day, but it can be argued that his inability to run proper routes is putting him on the bubble of this roster.
Well there you have it folks, the most talented depth receivers for the Bills over the last ten years. Now you guys can all go vote as I go pour myself a drink.