Dear Fellow Buffalo Bills Fans,
I understand there are a lot of fans screaming at OBD and Buddy Nix for not making many moves in free agency as of yet this year. I would like to try to present another angle here for you to consider and then you can rip me in the comments section if you so choose.
So, here is my reasoning: The Bills have a new coaching staff, a pretty good roster (some of you may disagree) and a very likely possibility of drafting a rookie QB, or two. While I continue to believe that we are not that far away, I think most here would agree that we will not be Super Bowl contenders this year. It's likely that the rookie QB doesn't play a prominent role and even if he should, he is most likely not taking us to the Super Bowl this year. I would expect that at some point in his 2nd or 3rd season that a light bulb will go on for him and at that point our defense will have matured under Pettine and our offense under Hackett. Using this thinking, I am suggesting we could be playoffs as early as this year (if the chips really fell in our favor), competing in the playoffs for sure in the following season and possibly making a deep run the following year.
Under this premise, I think that the Bills will use this year to teach the fundamentals of their schemes and "weed-out" any players that may not fit said schemes. Also, the GM and coaching staff will have a better feel for their players and their development. I think that is why we are seeing a patient approach this year.
Let me break down some numbers:
Here is a link to my salary cap breakdown. Since I have posted that, I have added Scott and Lawson so the numbers here will be slightly different. Here are those updated numbers:
- Lets assume we devote $2.5M to rookies: $22,165,186 - $2,500,000 = 19,600,000
- Let's assume we spend another $6M on free agents: $19,600,000 - $6,000,000 = 13,000,000
- Let's say next years cap goes up to = $124,500,000.
- Now, we can carry over that $13,000,000 above to get $137,500,000 as a cap number for 2014
- And subtract Fitzpatrick's dead space of $7,000,000 = $130,000,000
- Currently our top 51 in 2014 count for $97,000,000
- This would leave us with $33,000,000 in cap space for next year
- Let's say Byrd and Wood are re-signed to average around $12M combined.
- We are now left with $21,000,000 to spend next year.
I am under the impression that it would be wiser to wait until next year to spend this money versus doing it now. I think it makes more sense to spend money on holes in the roster that we know we have versus the holes in the roster that we might have this year. I say might because we don't yet know which players will adapt well to the new schemes and we haven't drafted yet. I am also aware of the phrase "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". Meaning that Marrone, Pettine and Hackett would rather bring in young players that they can mold versus bringing in players that were not valued by their former teams. I suspect that we will see a lot of rookie free agents picked up. Couple that with the fact that Marrone just came from the college ranks and I would say he has a lot of useful insight in regards to college players entering the draft.
These are just my two cents but I think patience is the right approach. Again I will add a poll to ask what you think and I thank you for reading and look forward to your comments!