For the past 20 years, the Buffalo Bills haven't made the playoffs more than once. The stretch of losing and not making the playoffs for 17 years straight made Buffalo and the Bills seem like a laughingstock. Despite the recent culture change that a lot of us closely connected to the team can see on a daily basis, others don't have that same feeling.
Antonio Brown not wanting to play for the Bills sparked conversation among fans about who had the better city and team. Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback asked 15 NFL agents to poll the top-five most and least desirable free-agency destinations. One of the agents told Klemko that each player’s desires are going to be different but there are generally a few factors they look for right off the bat.
“There are so many factors to consider and every player is different,” one agent told Klemko, “but typically we look at winning culture/tradition, opportunity [for playing time], income tax laws, market, area of the country, and sometimes weather.”
The top five featured all of those things: The Dallas Cowboys received votes from 11 of the 15 agents. After that, the Seattle Seahawks (8 votes), Miami Dolphins (8), Los Angeles Rams (7), and Atlanta Falcons (5) rounded out the top five.
The bottom five were topped by teams that had fallen on hard times. The Bills were worst with 12 of 15 votes followed closely by the Oakland Raiders with 11. Further down, the Cincinnati Bengals (8), Detorit Lions (7), and Cleveland Browns (6) finished off the worst five.
Only three of the agents interviewed didn't have the Bills in their bottom five and for at least one it’s because of the new brass.
“I think they’re turning things around in Buffalo,” the agent said. “That regime is doing things the right way.”
Over the past few days we have seen that Buffalo isn't in the bottom five for the multiple free agents the Bills have come to terms with thus far. For fans, the narrative is only really used to argue with other fan bases on Twitter, but if the Bills want to change that narrative throughout league circles, they have to win.