To say the voting was close on our first strong safety poll is putting it mildly. Not a single player managed to gain more than 30 percent of votes in the poll, and at the time of writing, the two leading candidates were literally tied.
In order to facilitate a choice, then, we’re going to re-run the poll, with a couple candidates axed. Donte Whitner, who netted eight percent of the vote, and George Wilson, who pulled 16 percent, are off the list. That leaves us with the three other candidates who polled in the twenties. Here are their backgrounds.
A star safety for the New England Patriots, Milloy was released five days before the 2003 season over contract disputes, and the Bills signed him and immediately handed him the starting role at strong safety. Milloy piled up the tackles in Buffalo, with 271 in 43 starts over three seasons. He logged three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and seven sacks during his time with the Bills. After the 2005 season, the Bills released Milloy for salary cap reasons, and he played five more seasons in the league.
Williams originally joined the Bills as a second-round cornerback from Texas in the 2011 draft. The Bills tried him as a starter on the boundary, but his lack of long speed and poor technique on transitions out of his backpedal made him a liability. In 2013, Williams decided to convert to strong safety and had a career season, with four interceptions and a career-high 88 tackles. He returned as the starting safety in 2014 and 2015, but a scary neck injury left him motionless on the field early in 2015, and ended his season early. Williams returned for the first half of the 2016 season, but a blindside hit by Jarvis Landry aggravated his neck, ended his season, and ultimately ended his career.
During his time with the Bills, Williams played in 59 games and started 52. He notched seven interceptions and three forced fumbles.
The Bills signed Hyde to a five-year free agent deal ahead of the 2017 season. He started every one of Buffalo’s 16 games during that year, helping the team to break its playoff drought. Hyde made the Pro Bowl on the back of 13 passes defended, five interceptions, and 82 combined tackles for the Bills, but as someone who never actually experienced a playoff-less season in Buffalo, you might consider him disqualified.
You have one choice and three candidates. Do you take Milloy, the star free agent on the downturn of his career? Williams, the converted cornerback whose career ended as a “what might have been”? Or Hyde, who made a Pro Bowl with the Bills, but only played for the team during the year they snapped the playoff drought?
RUNOFF: Who was the best strong safety of the Buffalo Bills playoff drought?
This poll is closed