About a two and a half months ago MattRichWarren presented 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's series 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.
Sorry about the delay folks, let's just say that Starcraft II is a heck of an addictive game. Anyways back to the series.
We're now up to the safeties. I cannot stress enough on how horrible this position has been for us this decade. I mean when an aging Lawyer Milloy, a substandard Pierson Prioleau, and aging Troy Vincent, a disappointing Donte Whitner and rookie sensation Jairus Byrd are the best that the decade had to offer you know your in trouble. Now I considered just putting all the horrible safeties that we had over the decade in one poll and let the two worst take it, but when looking over the stats I realized that there were more than enough players to cover both the FS and the SS.
So here we go with the Free Safeties.
Signed by the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 1999, Carpenter spent 3 years with the Bills, two of them in this decade, both as the starter at Free Safety. In this decade he played in 27 games, starting 22 of them. As a Bill he had 5 interceptions (all in 2000) for 63 yards, 2 passes defended, 67 total tackles and 1 forced fumble. The Bills let him go at the end of the 2001 season in favor of Pierson Prioleau and he landed with the Falcons where he had 3 very productive seasons as their starter at FS. His last NFL season was in 2005.
The Bills second round draft pick in 200, Tillman's career was as short lived as the team's first rounder of that same year (Erik Flowers), and almost equally horrible. In his two seasons with the Bills he played in 28 games and started 10 (too many) of them. He had 1 interception, 4 passes defended, 55 total tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. The Bills released both him and Erik Flowers at the end of the 2001 season, but unlike Flowers Tillman couldn't find another NFL job until 2003 as a special teamer with the Panthers where he had 11 total tackles over 2 seasons with them.
Being the decade's best FS not named Jairus Byrd still isn't enough to take the 49'ers 4th round draft pick in 1999 off this list. Prioleau spent 4 seasons with the Bills playing in 54 games and starting 26 of them. In those 4 seasons he had no interceptions, 11 passes defended, 199 total tackles with 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery. The Bills let him go at the end of the 2004 season and he went on to spend 5 more seasons in the NFL; 3 in Washington, 1 in Jacksonville and 1 in New Orleans. All of those seasons were spent while playing Strong Safety, and he never reach quite the same level of play that he did in Buffalo.
A 6th round draft pick of the Cowboy in 1998, Reese signed on with the Bills in 2003 after spending 4 seasons in Dallas and 1 in Denver. He spent 2 seasons in Buffalo (2003-2004) where he played in 22 games, starting in 18 of them. In that time he amassed 1 interception for 33 yards, 2 passes defended and 69 total tackles. The Bills released him after the end of the 2004 season and has not played in the NFL since.
The Bills 4th round draft pick in 2006, Simpson joined the team as an imidiet starter alongside 8th overall pick Donte Whitner. He spent 3 seasons in Buffalo, playing in 33 total games, starting in 27 of them. He had 2 interceptions (both in his rookie season) for 76 yards, 6 passes defended, 142 total tackles, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. While he had a good season for a 4th round rookie that's forced to start, Simpson went down to injury in the first game of the 2007 season and never truly recovered, instead regressing in the 2008 season. Simpson was traded to the Detroit Lions for a conditional draft pick (that turned into a 7th rounder) in the pre-season of the 2009 season where he returned to his starting duties as the Lions' Strong Safety before once again going down to injury 8 games into the season.
Well there you have it folks, all of our starting free safeties not named Vincent or Byrd. Go vote! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Starcraft II game to get back too.
Which Bills FS was the worst of the decade?
Keion Carpenter (3 votes)
Travares Tillman (49 votes)
Pierson Prioleau (4 votes)
Izell Reese (22 votes)
Ko Simpson (31 votes)
109 total votes