The Buffalo Bills had several key contributors on their team that weren't added as high-priced free agents. These players are essential to any successful squad, and provide excellent play at a financial level that makes it easier for teams to add talent around them.
Players on this list are ranked based on bang for the buck. They may not be better than the players ranked ahead of them, but their value based on play and salary is what gets them on this list. All figures were compiled using Rotoworld salary figures. This is a departure from the previous lists that used a USA Today salary database that has not been updated for the 2010 season. 2009 List | 2008 List
We'll take a look at the Bottom Ten Bang For The Dollar Bills later this week. We'll start at No. 10 and work our way up to the most valuable player from a monetary standpoint on the team.
10. Reggie Corner (Approx. $500,000): Corner will make $555,000 in 2011 if he's on the squad. The aptly-named defensive back contributed with Terrence McGee missing a bunch of time. Corner stepped in for the nickel package and had a decent season, ranking fourth on the team in passes defended with five. He also added a sack and 18 tackles.
9. Donald Jones ($320,000): Having a guy who was undrafted come in and contribute as much in his rookie season as Jones has is such a good value to a team. Jones bumped former second-round pick James Hardy off the roster, and then bested virtually all of Hardy's career numbers. Jones contributed 18 receptions for 213 yards and a 28-yard touchdown, while also being a valuable member of Bruce DeHaven's special teams coverage units.
8. David Nelson ($320,000): Nelson, like Jones, made the rookie minimum in salary for 2010. Nelson caught a touchdown in three consecutive games this season, and finished with 31 receptions (tied for fourth on the team) for 353 yards (fourth as well).
7. Arthur Moats ($320,000): I fear I may be crossing the Moats by placing him so low on the list, but the top five's impact was much greater than the top 2010 rookie on the list. In 13 games, he tallied 2.5 sacks and 10 solo tackles in limited playing time. His $128K-per-sack salary was just slightly better than Chris Kelsay's $1.2M per-sack average.
6. Fred Jackson (Approx $1.15M): After coming in at number three a year ago for leading the league in all-purpose yards, Jackson slides down two spots after failing to top 1,000 yards rushing. All told, he combined for 1,142 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010, the latter being a career high.
5. Demetrius Bell (Approx. $500,000): Bell was one of two linemen who started every game for the Bills on the offensive line this year. His average play matched with his extremely low salary make him a prime example of value. He has one more year remaining on his meager contract.
4. Paul Posluszny ($665,000): Poz led the team in tackles with 103 (fourth in the NFL), tallied two sacks, and knocked down four passes. The pending free agent started 14 games for the Bills this season. His 7.36 tackles per game was tops in the NFL. This is Poz's third straight year on the list ranking in the top four.
3. Eric Wood ($395,000+): Wood's 2010 salary is listed at $395K, but with his signing bonus money and incentives he really made more than that. Despite a horrific leg injury a season ago, Wood recovered in time to be the opening day starter at right guard. He missed two games to a different leg injury, but when he came back, started a few games at center for the Bills - a position he may be able to lock down permanently going forward.
2. Andy Levitre ($395,000): After holding the top spot one season ago for his solid play at left guard, Levitre is once again near the top of our list. Only one thing could keep him out of the top spot, and that was an extraordinary season by an emerging playmaker. Levitre, to his credit, played the most snaps of any Bills lineman this season, including 16 starts and a turn as the emergency center for thirty minutes.
1. Stevie Johnson ($470,000): Over 1,000 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns, 82 receptions. I don't know how it could be anyone else. He made just under six thousand dollars per reception. Johnson has one year remaining on his rookie deal at around $500K.