When free agent, Pro Bowl right tackle Tyson Clabo spurned advances from the Buffalo Bills to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons, he did so for a five-year, $25 million contract that will guarantee him $11.5 million. Naturally, when the terms of the deal leaked, any Bills fan that saw those figures likely got irritated that the Bills couldn't beat that offer.
I'm with Mark Gaughan on this. Gaughan postulates that the fact that Clabo is a Falcon shows just how judicious the Bills are being on the free agent market, and how unwilling they are to overpay players. He also guesses that the Bills weren't as high on Clabo as Bills fans were by the time this thing reached its climax. I couldn't agree more.
I happen to be a believer in Buddy Nix's free agent philosophy: find guys that can contribute, and don't break the bank to do so. Give the fat stacks to your own players that have earned it. That's why I'm not particularly upset that the Bills missed on Clabo, even though he very obviously would have been a huge upgrade and a nice signing.
Is it possible that Clabo used the Bills to leverage the best deal he could get out of the Falcons? I'd even call it likely. That's business. Players are not items that NFL teams can add to a shopping cart and check out of the store with. They have preferences and desires, and if Clabo wanted to take a Langston Walker deal to stay in Atlanta, so be it. We move on.