Now that I've finally gotten all of the inlaws out of my home, I can go back to doing what I do best, which is eating leftovers while wearing pajama pants. It also means I can get back to posting! In true Jon Gruden fashion, then:
This BROP, I call it the Tardy Anaconda, because it's long, strong, and late to the party! Also, it's Nigel Bradham's nickname for his junk.
For my BROP, I'll be giving my thoughts on the direction I think Buffalo will go with the front office, coaching, free agency, and the draft. I'll also include an "ACCEPTABLE" and "UNACCEPTABLE" section immediately after, which will have my opinion on other moves that could be possibilities for the team.
The Bills are going to be rocking a new look from top down in 2013, as both Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey get booted to the curb. I think Nix has done pretty well, but he made the same lethal mistake that Chan did: he banked on Ryan Fitzpatrick being something other than "middling." This is a blessing in disguise, as it gets Buffalo clear of a bad head coach in Gailey, and hastens the rise of Doug Whaley, the new Bills GM.
ACCEPTABLE: retaining Nix, Marc Ross, David Caldwell, Tom Gamble, or Tom Heckert, I guess UGH BROWNS
UNACCEPTABLE: Chris Polian by way of Bill
Doug has a big job ahead of him, as Buffalo is awful and getting a top head coach to sign here will be extremely tough. As much as I'd love to have Chip Kelly in town to bring his death-machine offense to the pros, it's highly unlikely that he'll want to come here, especially since the Chargers job will likely be open and San Diego > Buffalo in just about every way imaginable...and if Rivera is let go in Charlotte, he can go teach Superman how to fly.
I think the best the Bills can hope for is Andy Reid, and I think we could do a hell of a lot worse. Now, everyone knows that Andy's got his issues with clock management and running the ball and the fact that he's a walrus who has been passing himself off as human for many years and may or may not wish to conquer Earth for the walrus-people. But he has been EXTREMELY successful in Philadelphia over the course of his career, and with a well-regarded up-and-comer like Whaley to buy the groceries for him (and also to sustain human-walrus relations) he could replicate his success here in Buffalo.
ACCEPTABLE: Chip Kelly, Mike Zimmer
UNACCEPTABLE: Nick Saban, Chan Gailey, any retreads and/or walruses not named Andy Reid
Jairus Byrd seems to be a no-brainer here, as the franchise tag is relatively inexpensive for safeties and he's one of the best in the league. I'd like to see him locked down with a contract, though, and I think we keep him to the tune of 42 million for 5 years.
Andy Levitre would be a great signing, and has shown stability and consistency throughout his young career. That said, we'll offer him a solid contract that he'll turn down in order to get one of the biggest guard contracts ever from another team. Total bummer, but that's how the NFL works sometimes. He's very, very good, but I don't see Buffalo shelling out 50 million over 7 years for him, and I would be willing to bet that someone will. We're fortunate that we've got a little bit of depth on the interior, but it probably changes how Buffalo will draft, as you're about to see...you lucky dog, you!
Kyle Moore, Leodis McKelvin, Donald Jones, and David Nelson will all be retained if possible. Chad Reinhart gets tendered, and Colin Brown and David Snow will also be kept, which is especially important in anticipation of losing Levitre. Depth resignings will be Corey Mac, Bryan Scott, Merriman, Tarvaris Jackson, though any of these could be replaced in free agency or by draft picks and no biggie. Everybody else hits the bricks.
Except, of course, for Fitzy. Ryan Fitzpatrick, for all of his terribleness, will be restructured because he's the best quarterback option we have available to hold down the spot for the rookie we're going to pick (getting closer!) and because he's not liable to have many (any) other suitors.
In free agency, I'd make a run at what should be an affordable corner in Quentin Jammer, who was my uncle's favorite player back in 'Nam, and try and make a splash by giving Dwayne Bowe a fatty contract with some of the money earmarked for Levitre. Bowe would give us the big play, big body receiver that we've been missing, and allow Stevie to work the slot more often, as he is lethal there. This is also assuming that Marcus Easley leaves on a contract from the 49ers for 30 million per year BECAUSE AT LEAST HARBAUGH WOULD GIVE THE GUY A CHANCE AND UTILIZE HIS TALENTS PROPERLY I MEAN SERIOUSLY LOOK AT HIS MEASURABLES AND ALSO HE NEVER GOT A FAIR SHAKE!!!11!1!
ACCEPTABLE: retaining Andy Levitre, signing Greg Jennings, releasing just about any of the depth signings
UNACCEPTABLE: losing Byrd, signing Joe Flacco, not getting a new kicker, allowing Marcus Easley to walk (unless it's into traffic)
Well, we're not getting Geno, and Mike Glennon is overrated around the same scale that Manti Te'o is. We can get some pretty similar values in the second round at quarterback. I know that's not what anybody wants to hear, and I don't even like typing it, but that's how we roll, son: nothin' but truthiness 'round here.
ROUND 1: Damontre Moore, DE
You can never have enough pass rushers. Never. And with Bjoern Werner gone already, Buffalo gets a tremendous pass-rushing talent that can bookend with Mario for years to come, and with super-sub Anderson getting pressure off the pine, Buffalo will be primed to knock off the class of the division. If Werner or Geno Smith were available here, this pick would change. I don't think they will be, though.
ROUND 2: Tyler Wilson, QB
With Geno gone by our first round selection, no other quarterback represents good value at #8 overall, when we can have our pick of similar prospects in the second round. Wilson is my favorite of the Murray/Bray/Nassib/Jones/etc. mess, by which I mean that I guess he's the most pro ready and I feel dirty for having cheated on Tyler Bray, whose arm was created by a top-secret Pentagon program and also throws the most fun interceptions EVER.
ROUND 3: Jelani Jenkins, OLB
Jenkins is a playmaker and has serious speed for the position. He's a bit undersized, but I like his chances to contribute outside for the Bills immediately.
ROUND 4: Alvin Bailey, OG
Tyler gets one of his security blankets back in Alvin Bailey, who played RG at Arkansas. The offense the Razorbacks run has also seen him spend time at LG, though, and he'll be in the mix to replace Levitre.
ROUND 5: D.J. Swearinger, S
Like Elton John or a drunk Notre Dame football player with a coed passed out in the bathroom, I can feel the love tonight! I'm reuniting players all over the place. This time, Stephon Gilmore gets his backfield P.i.C. back in Swearinger, who has a kickass name and can play both safety roles. With Byrd, we now have two dynamic safeties who can give the opposing offense fits.
ROUND 6: Marcus Davis, WR
I feel awful saying this, but Davis has some skills and could be a good value in the 6th round. He's got very good size and there's no reason that a wideout has to be all that smart, right? So I'll forgive him his despicable Hokie roots and give him a shot to prove that he can be productive and not be the borderline Epsilon Semi-Moron that he almost certainly is.
ACCEPTABLE: Joeckel or Matthews (sliding Glenn inside to replace Levitre), or Werner, Smith, or Milliner at #8. Alex Okafor in the 2nd. David Amerson in the 3rd. Tyler Bray hanging out with me and telling my friends that he and I are tight and that we're going to have ice cream and blunts after the game and that NO, they're not invited. So much awesome, y'all.
UNACCEPTABLE: EJ Manuel, Taylor Lewan (really, anybody at Michigan), not getting a new kicker, Virginia Tech's academic standards.
With this plan, Buffalo has many pieces in place to begin a playoff run sooner rather than later. Each draft pick has a chance to be either a starter or a major contributor, we get a big play wide receiver in Bowe, we keep one of our best defenders in Byrd, and we do the best we can with what we have available to us in coaching and replacing a key component like Levitre. Fitzpatrick can hold the fort down for Wilson while continuing to fill me with sweet, sweet sadness, we gain ground in the arms race to smack Tom Brady off the pedestal, and Andy Reid gets a little time to work his walrus magic. Can't wait to get bounced from the AFC title game because he called two timeouts in order to not run Spiller from the 5...but I also can't wait to get back to the playoffs!