CJ Spiller is an emerging elite talent, but since he has only two years left on his contract, he’s endangering our 2016 cap space. We should cut our losses now and release him. He’s going to want a HUGE payday that will cripple our chances of going 7-9. Nix has proven he can pick running backs, so he shouldn’t have a problem replacing Spiller with a first rounder in 2014. He’s cut.
Stevie Johnson, another young, high quality Bills player, should also be cut. As Buddy said, he’d be a good slot receiver, and paying him $7.25 million per year for a slot guy is too much. We can probably afford someone who failed in Minnesota but ran a good 40 time three years ago at the combine. Cut him.
Jarius Byrd, who we recently franchised, should also be let go. He’s young, but he will get old, and he will take reps from the 5th round FS we draft in 2014 to replace him. He’s cut, too.
Marcel Dareus has loads of potential and talent, but he may fit better in a two-gap system, and when we switch back to the Tampa 2 in 2014, we’ll need gap penetrators. If we trade him now, we could get a 4th round draft pick.
Eric Wood needs to go, too, because his contract is set to expire, and Nix, anyhow, knows how to cobble together an offensive line from scrap heap (Asper, Calloway, Wang, Jasper). Better to get them cheap than pay for actual competence. Let’s not re-sign him.
Mario Williams, even though he’s the first Bills pass-rusher since Schobel to put up double-digit sacks in a season, ought to be let go, too, because he costs a lot of money. We can cheaply replace him with the likes of Kyle Moore, who had a few pressures last year, and who everyone seems to love. He won’t cost much. Mario’s cut.
These cuts and trades signify the Bills philosophy of the past decade, which has successfully kept us out of cap jail. Thank goodness we didn’t keep players like Pat Williams, Nate Clements, Antoine Winfield, London Fletcher, Jason Peters, Jabari Greer, Marshawn Lynch, Paul Posluszny, and Donte Whitner. And thank goodness we’ve been so successful with replacing these players with high draft picks like James Hardy, Torrell Troup, Aaron Williams, Alex Carrington, Kelvin Sheppard, Leodis McKelvin, Chris Ellis, and Aaron Maybin. And thank goodness that -- if these draft picks don’t properly fill the shoes of our former players -- we can always sign guys who can cheaply fill their roles like Brad Smith, Nick Barnett, Drayton Florence, Cornell Green, and Shawne Merriman.
Finally, we should get rid of Andy Levitre. In a line that has historically been plagued with injuries and ineptitude, we shouldn’t sign or even offer a contract to our most reliable 26-year-old lineman. Guards, after all, can easily be replaced, like all the abovementioned stars we let go.
So let’s create a winner by constantly tearing down instead of building up!