We already voted for the best linebacker from Buffalo’s playoff drought, and London Fletcher won the spot with 54% of the vote. With him out of the picture, let’s select the number two guy for our roster. Here are the remaining candidates:
The Bills signed Spikes to a hefty six-year deal ahead of the 2003 season, hoping for a dynamic pairing with Fletcher. They saw immediate results, with the linebacker making his first Pro Bowl in 2003. Spikes was then voted first-team All-Pro in 2004, a season with five interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), four forced fumbles, three sacks, and 96 tackles. In 2005, Spikes tore his Achilles tendon, ending his season after three games. He returned in 2006, was less effective, and a hamstring strain led to another four missed games. The Bills traded him to the Eagles in 2007, and he played six more seasons for various teams before retiring.
When Fletcher departed in free agency, the Bills added Posluszny in the second round of the 2007 draft. The Penn State product became an immediate starter, but a broken arm ended his first season after only three games. In 2008, he returned without skipping a beat, finishing the season with 110 combined tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. Posluszny became a team captain in 2009, and was again a tackling machine in the center of Buffalo’s defense (though he gained a reputation for cleaning up five yards downfield instead of stopping runs near the line of scrimmage). After the 2010 season, Posluszny was a free agent, and while the Bills wanted to sign him, he had no interest in bulking up to 250 pounds for their 3-4 vision, so he signed with Jacksonville, where he remained until his retirement this offseason.
Desperately needing athleticism on their heavy 3-4 defense, the Bills signed Barnett in 2011 when the Packers released him. The 30-year-old was right at home as a rangy playmaker in Buffalo’s defense, starting 16 games with three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), a forced fumble, three sacks, and 130 combined tackles. In 2012, he started another full season, with three forced fumbles, two sacks, and 112 combined tackles. Ahead of the 2013 season, the Bills decided to release Barnett, and he played one more season in the NFL.
The Bills selected Brown in the third round of the 2014 draft, looking for a player to complement Kiko Alonso and Nigel Bradham. When Alonso tore his ACL and Bradham was suspended four games for violating the substance abuse policy, Brown became the day one starter at middle linebacker. Over the next four seasons, Brown would play in every one of Buffalo’s games, starting 62 of 64. He was a dependable if not outstanding player, good for 100 tackles and a couple big plays per year. In 2017 he led the league in tackles as the Bills broke their playoff drought.
Voting time - pick your next-best linebacker from the drought era. Number 3 will be a candidate for our flex spots. Next time we’ll choose a second cornerback for the roster.
Who was the second-best linebacker of the Buffalo Bills playoff drought?
This poll is closed