Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bills Brass Make Moves On Day One of Free Agency


For the second consecutive year, the Bills front office addressed a glaring need early on on day one of free agency. This year, without a general manager, it was the Bills GM by committee comprised of John Guy, Russ Brandon, Jim Overdorf and Tom Modrak who were in charge and they did not disappoint. Johnny Guy and company brought in probably the second best line backer on the market in Kawika Mitchell and who really knows how good Lance Briggs even is. He has been playing next to a future hall of famer his whole career and may have been a product of the system. 

Mitchell, 28, was a major contributer to the Giant defense who stymied the supposedly unstoppable Patriots offense. In that game he had 3 tackles, 5 assisted tackles and a sack of Tom Brady. A sack of Tom Brady, wow something the Bills haven't seen in years. The Bills didn't have to deplete the wallet to get him either. He inked a 5 year 17.5 million dollar deal. Seems reasonable to me. During the season, Mitchell had 76 tackles, 3.5 sacks 2 forced fumbles and a pick six of Trent Edwards. These are solid numbers. What I like even more is his size. He is 6 feet 1, 253 pounds. Ellison was only 228 pounds. I don't think we need to worry about Mitchell getting trucked by running backs on a consistent basis. Wow what an upgrade. The Bills linebacking corps are all of a sudden respectable and maybe even good. Ellison, Digiorgio being replaced by Poz and Mitchell. I love it.

That isn't the only move Johnny Guy and co. made on day one of FA. Two years ago the Bills signed the high character high motor defensive lineman Larry Tripplett to an 18 million dollar deal. Only problem-he sucks. The Bills front office realized it and finally cut the dude. This is very exciting for Bills fans. On Thursday, Jacksonville said they would possibly trade defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. On Friday, Marcus Stroud was in Buffalo visiting. When dudes come to Buffalo they usually sign because let's face it, people don't want to visit Buffalo for no reason when it is 4 degrees outside. Yesterday, Shaun Rogers was traded to the Bengals for a third and a fifth, then that trade was axed, so he went to Cleveland for a third and corner back Leigh Bodden. With injury problems and some steroid use problems, the Bills could probably land Stroud for something similar to a third and a fifth and who wouldn't do that in a heart beat. The only problem is, if Stroud gets caught using roids again he gets suspended for a year. I am willing to take that chance. Stroud and McCargo can actually be a respectable tandem in the middle.

The Bills also added back up Defensive Tackle Spencer Johnson. The 26 year old Johnson is another smallish guy at 286 pounds but will provide some needed depth with Tony Hargrove's issues. Hopefully Spencer wasn't brough in to start, that would just be ridiculous. I still like the Bills getting Stroud and then having Kyle Williams and Spencer Johnson as back ups. That works for me.

The Bills also released Jim Leonhard, Kiwaukee Thomas, Coy Wire and Anthony Thomas among others. I have no complaints here in fact, I love the Coy Wire release and just don't know why it took so long for it to happen. What a bum. Finally no more number 28 on third downs. Schonert is actually going to use Lynch on third downs and I would rather see Fred Jackson get the token carry than Anthony Thomas. The Bills tendered an offer to Jason Jefferson also. This is the only move I have disagreed with this week by the front office. Jason Jefferson are you kidding me? I got sick to my stomach every time this dude was on the field. With Leonhard getting released, the Bills now lack depth and safety and really are depending on KO Simpson being good because the only other free safety we got is George Wilson, who as far as I am concerned should be cut.

All in all, good start to free agency for Buffalo. Landing stroud is an absolute must and would change the entire look of the Bills defense. Think about a front seven of McCargo, Stroud, Schobel, Kelsay, Poz, Crowell and Mitchell. This is actually respectable and maybe the Bills defense could crack the top 30.

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