The Elephant in the Offseason Deal Making Room: Six to Four Years to Become Eligible for the Free Agent Market

There is nothing more interesting than fan fantasy over the renovation of one's team from one season to the next via the draft and free agency. Fortunately for the Buffalo Bills, this off season is going to be unlike most any other, not only because we have a new regime in charge with a solid year of talent and scheme evaluation under their belts, but also because we are entering a new free agent transition period, where the normal six years before eligibility has been dropped to only four, bringing a huge pool of potential free agents into the market, offering the Buffalo Bills better choices at more affordable prices, all other factors being equal. Below, I discuss what the Buffalo Bills might just do with this opportunity, the yet little discussed "elephant in the off season deal making room."

What can we say about Buddy Nix? Honestly, despite his many decades in the business of evaluating and more or less selecting football talent, not a whole lot.

But this offseason will allow Bills fans to come to a serious assessment, because it is not often a team has both a great draft position to improve their team, a whole lot of money to spend (since they spent so little these past few years), and a huge crop of free agents to select from, some of whom have to be eager to find a new home to begin the second half of their careers.

Even before the regular season ended, Nix made it clear he was not going to be playing it cheap with Ralph's money. Now in his nineties, the Bills' Hall of Fame owner does not want to go to the football heaven in the sky with a losing record, and a laughingstock of a franchise. No, from all indications, Ralph has given Nix the Green Light to build a winner, and wasting no time at all, Nix went out and picked up one of the most exciting stars to hit the field these past few seasons, Linebacker and sack machine Shaun Merriman.

It was a waiver wire steal, thanks to the Bills' stinking start to the 2010 season, but it looked like a flop shortly after when Merriman injured himself fifteen minutes into his first official practice with the team. But Nix had seen enough since then to sign him to an incentive rich two year deal worth up to some 17 million in potential dollars, if Merriman returns to his previous pro bowl form.

With the season ending in a massive back to back thud plus at the hands of division heavyweight rivals the Pats and Jets, there is no question the Bills Brain Trust at OBD cannot afford not to spend big bucks in the offseason, and wheel and deal however and whenever necessary to transform their front lines on both sides of the ball, if they are to avoid sending Ralph off to the higher power in shame and disgrace....

Thankfully, this off season there is a huge Elephant is in the Deal Making Room, and despite Buddy and Chan's own potential for struggling with Senior Moments, this is not the time for rest and relaxation, because the Buffalo Bills may have finally lucked into a Super Trifecta Jackpot of Good Fortune and Circling the Wagons Buffalo Style Luck: there will be a ton of players to choose from, some attractive draft picks to trade with (if necessary), and lots of money to entice those better than average and close to superstar status up and comers looking to play for and be a part of an organization that is building a new foundation--sooner than later--with some offensive pieces already in place, and a Big Hole on the defensive side of the ball in need of being filled.

The Elephant in the Room, since the close of the regular season, is starting to earn some respect. The chatter has begun. How wild will it get? How active will One Bills Drive and Mr. Nix be?

My fan fantasy this off season is to see and hear a lot of Mr Nix and Company announcing new deals, new recruits, and new free agents coming to help make Ralph's final years as Hall of Fame Owner some of the most memorable and victorious in his illustrative, if  often checkered career as the Bills' Main Man.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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