That is absolutely about Josh Allen.
The fate of the 2020 Buffalo Bills and well beyond that is so heavily weighted on the steps Josh Allen takes this next season that after the buzz of a defensive signing or extension wears off, I find myself right back in a Josh-Allen-state-of-mind within hours.
Everything is about Josh Allen.
Fans of the Nick & Nolan show may recall a recent episode where we explored the question of whether or not adding an elite wide receiver talent would speed up everyone’s clock, and thus create premature pressure, on Josh Allen. That question was born solely out of the anxiety some fans (this podcaster included) have about “going back.” Going back to the mediocrity (or worse) we all experienced since I was literally a child. For the first time in my adult life, the Bills are respectable. They have cachet. And there is a terrible, lurking, we-can’t-have-nice-things fear in the back of many of our minds that all these great feelings are going to be ripped away.
My stomach literally drops thinking about it.
And at the center of those fears is one name: Josh Allen.
According to all experts, Josh Allen was expected to have a long development curve in the NFL. He was “raw” and was going to need time. And candidly, there was a part of me that took solace in that. Allen taking time meant that decisions weren’t going to be swift. It meant that Beane and McDermott and all the stability they’ve brought with them was going to be around for a while because decisions were going to be delayed to match Allen’s progress.
The fear was that if the Bills added someone like CeeDee Lamb, or Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs, then an unfairly accelerated clock was going to tick faster like a demon version of the 60 minutes clock we all see after Bills games on CBS. I did not know the answer, but the worst thing in my mind was throwing the baby out with the bathwater because everyone became hasty at evaluating Allen through a lens sped up by the addition of an individual talent.
The feedback to that discussion (and likely this article) ranged from people wanting to punch me in the face because of my neuroses to some feeling like their own unintelligible anxieties were finally articulated. Well now the Bills have added that elite receiver talent. This is no longer a hypothetical exercise. We’re here ladies and gentleman. And guess what? My anxiety is gone.
Stefon Diggs is a sure thing. He is an absolute known commodity. There is absolutely no ambiguity about how good he is or is not, whether he will figure it out at the next level, or whether he will be a bust of a draft pick. All of those risks EXISTED, however slightly, with the prospect of adding an “elite talent” in the draft. The possibility of whoever the Bills added in the draft having those risks, however small, exponentially added to the anxiety about whether we would really know who Josh Allen is. Maybe that is a silly way to think about things, but welcome to the jungle that is the mind of a Bills fan, my friends.
So now there isn’t the chance that the Bills are going to incorrectly project a wide receiver's inadequacies onto Josh Allen, because that receiver is already solidified and determined as to what he is. Which means Beane has once again made a move to isolate the variable; Josh Allen.
Now, we can play this season and objectively measure, without caveat or concern, whether or not Josh Allen is the guy. Never before this trade was I as confident in our ability to actually evaluate that in 2020 as I am now. He has his entire offensive line returning, he has a premiere group of wide receivers, he has his third straight season with the same offensive coordinator and head coach. This is as stable a situation as you can imagine a young quarterback being in heading into his third year.
So the only thing left to do is play the games and see. Is Josh Allen the guy? Is he not? Regardless of the ultimate answer, I have confidence we will be giving a legitimate answer at the end of 2020. The key to that, for this podcaster, was Stefon Diggs and his being an absolute known commodity.
You can follow me on Twitter @NickBat and look for episodes of “The Nick & Nolan Show” podcast on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network.
- The Bills trade for Vikings WR Stefon Diggs
- Contract breakdown for new Bills WR Stefon Diggs
- How the trade for Stefon Diggs came together
- What does the trade mean for Josh Allen?
- All-22 Analysis: Stefon Diggs is really good, you guys
- Injury history: soft tissue injuries are nothing to worry about
- Bills, Vikings may have coronavirus contingencies built into trade