The Buffalo Bills, like every NFL team, have people that severely under-perform their contracts every season. For a small market team like the Bills, these players cripple the bottom line and prevent quality players from receiving that money. | 2010 Best Bang For The Dollar Bills
Roscoe Parrish topped the list in 2009, but really had a bounce back year under new head coach Chan Gailey - so much so that I took him completely off the list in 2010. Way to step up, Roscoe. The top spot in 2008 was split between Angelo Crowell and this year's number three, . | 2008 List | 2009 List
Please note that this does not represent the worst players on the roster, or even bad players at all. These players simply didn't live up to their contract status when compared to the rest of the roster and the NFL.
Before we display the list, there are a couple Bills who didn't make the list that I thought I'd discuss:
Corey McIntyre was among top paid fullbacks in the league, but his special teams year was outstanding. At $630K, I think he earned his money in 2010 despite his lack of offensive involvement.
Donte Whitner's $2.5M salary and ~$6M cap figure are about what I would expect when I look at his stat line. Despite his limitations and his draft position, I think he outperformed the ten guys on the list based purely on value per dollar.
10. Geoff Hangartner (Approx. $2.5M): I've always been one to defend Hangartner, and while I don't think he had a bad year, he's Buffalo's top paid lineman. I think he was outperformed by Eric Wood late in the season, and as Gailey builds his nasty OL, Hangartner might be on the outside looking in. He still has a role on this team, but not at the top of the salary scale.
9. Lee Evans (Appox. $4M): When Evans signed a huge extension in 2008, some Bills fans rejoiced, while some saw this coming. Evans has not been able to live up to his hefty contract. In 2010, he missed the first three games of his career to injury, put up the lowest receiving totals of his career, and saw the receiver opposite him go to the top of the value rankings.
8. Marcus Stroud (Approx $6M): Stroud signed a nice contract extension in 2009 despite the fact that he was scheduled to earn $6M in 2010. It guaranteed $12M in the first two years of the contract, so we'll split the difference. Stroud had three sacks and respectable numbers across the board, but for someone getting paid to be an impact player, he certainly fell short in the eyeball test.
7. Chris Kelsay (Approx. $5.5M): Kelsay signed a substantial contract extension in 2010 totaling five years and $28.2M. His base salaries are low for the remainder of the contract, and it's unclear when his bonus money gets paid out, but regardless, Kelsay did not make millions of dollars in plays in 2010. With 3.5 sacks and 46 tackles, Kelsay is making Pro Bowl OLB money and playing well below that level.
6. C.J. Spiller (Approx. $5M): Spiller signed a five-year, $25M contract. After an exciting pre-season, he trailed off considerably in the regular season, breaking only a few big plays. His touchdown return against the Patriots was a thing of beauty, and he had another punt return touchdown called back on a phantom penalty, but you don't pay $5M for returners. He never had double digits rushes in a game, never exceeded 35 yards rushing in a game, and had only one play from scrimmage longer than 20 yards. Let's hope his star rises in season two.
5. Cornell Green (Approx. $3M): Green lasted only five starts at right tackle before being placed on IR and subsequently waived. The Bills added Green at three years and $9M in March. Green didn't grade out well in Ron's right tackle analysis, and probably deserves to be higher on the list. He did, however, contribute in some meaningful way in 2010.
4. Aaron Maybin ($395,000): Maybin's base salary, noted here, is not really the problem. For his "production", that salary is at least manageable. His $7.9M signing bonus is the major problem (an average of $1.6M a season over the life of his contract). Maybin has not lived up to his lofty contract or draft position, but he's getting a bump in salary to only $758K in 2011.
3. John McCargo ($685,000): McCargo was by no means expensive, but for the playing time he saw, the team could have easily paid a UDFA $320K and not spent two draft picks. It's also worth noting that his signing bonus was fairly hefty his rookie season. I'm confident in saying that despite his run in the top three for each of that last two years on this list, McCargo won't be on it in 2011.
2. Terrence McGee (Approx. $9M): McGee's name was the last name I added to the list, and I was shocked how high it came in. The longtime starting corner received a $6M roster bonus at the beginning of the 2010 season, which pushes his number so high. The contract was a thank you gift to McGee as much as an indicator of how much he had left to give, but even the Bills must have been surprised that McGee started only three games in 2010 while battling leg and back injuries. He had less than 20 tackles and just a single pass defended.
1. Shawne Merriman ($3.2M): Maybe this ranking is a little bit harsh. After all, most people knew Merriman was hurt when the Bills signed him. Still, Ralph Wilson paid him big money to rest. He received $1.7M when he was claimed off waivers by the Bills, and another $1.5M in signing bonus money on his new contract. I, for one, am hopeful he lives up to that potentially significant contract and is a part of the Best Bang for the Dollar Bills in 2011.