Monday, April 20, 2015

Grading the Bills Offseason

by Steve

Was Doug Marrone really the Bills coach just 4 months ago?  That seems like two seasons ago at this point damn.  The draft is next week, the schedule comes out this week and for now the offseason moves appear to be over.  So let's review and grade the Buffalo Bills 2015 offseason thus far:

Rex Ryan
I didn't want Doug Marrone to get fired after two seasons (mostly because starting over again seemed like the worse of two evils).  But since that asshat quit like a bitch and didn't have any backup plan, good riddance. Rex Ryan isn't some genius and he is at best an alright head coach but he is a star, has won 4 playoff games on the road with no quarterback and can create great defenses..  Maybe he is exactly what the Bills need..

Grade: B+

Charles Clay
Five years $38 mil for Charles freaking Clay?  The same tight end/h-back that played for the Dolphins last year and had only 58 catches and 3 TDs?  Did he really get more guaranteed money than Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham? Yes the Bills haven't had a good tight end in 15+ years and in turn made a division rival worse but the pursuit and the contract offered were an abomination.

Grade D

Percy Harvin
Basically a one year deal with the final 2 years voidable?  Ol' Percy will only be 27 and will theoretically be on his best behavior (you know actually listening to coaches, not punching out teammates etc).  He'll be motivated for a new contract with a strong season and is a freak athlete.  What's not to like?  The Bills had the cap space and the need.  The main question will be whether Greg Roman and co. are smart enough to figure out how the hell they can use Harvin's many talents.  I'm thinking a Randall Cobb esque slash that is in the back field, on the outside and on special teams.

Grade B+

Jerome Felton
Four years $9.2 mil seems like a nice contract for a fullback.  It screams Rex signing so I won't rip it.  Better yet I won't even grade it because the guy is a friggin fullback.

Grade N/A

Matt Cassel
The Bills needed a veteran quarterback if for nothing else but some camp fodder and Matt "Sam/Phil" Cassel fits that description.  Trading anything for this guy seems like an odd decision but the contract (1 year $5 mil left) is reasonable.  But let's face it this guy is a bum.   He flamed out in KC and did nothing in Minny.  If he beats out EJ Manuel that will be more of an indictment of Manuel than anything else. 

Grade C-

Tyrod Taylor
The guaranteed money is questionable but TT is an athletic freak with ok size at 6'1.  The odds he becomes a starting QB are remote but he is way better than Jeff Tuel for christ sake.  I'd even prefer he starts over Cassel.

Grade B-

Shady McCoy
The trade looks even worse for the Eagles after they gave big money to another running back but I still don't love it for the Bills.  Yes, McCoy is a star and has had some great seasons.  But what running back gets better with their 3rd and 4th contracts?  The answer is none.  If he stays healthy he'll be worth the money and the trading of Kiko Alonso.  But realistically how many really good seasons can we expect from a 27 year old going into his seventh season in the league? Three?  Four would be a major stretch but with a 5 year $40 million contract signed, four is what the Bills will need from Lesean.  Why not just keep Kiko and draft a RB in the second round?

Grade C+

Richie Incognito
One year contract at a need position for a dude that should be well rested and (again) motivated to play.  If it blows up and he sucks or is still a piece of shit then just cut him and find another guard.

Grade B+

Letting Da'Norris Searcy Walk
I liked Searcy.  He was a good player, a hard hitter and a mid round draft pick that blossomed into a good player.  Letting him leave because of some shortsightedness (I'm assuming that Searcy would have accepted an extension last year on the cheap) doesn't reflect well on Whaley.  Safety is an undervalued position and a position now of need for the Bills.  Duke Williams, really?

Grade C

Letting CJ Spiller Walk
Spiller was a bust the minute the Bills drafted him 9th overall.  This may have been the most furious I was after a draft pick since... well the last time the Bills drafted a running back in the first round.  He never lived up to the draft status of a top 10 pick even though he was seemingly on the precipice of greatness in perpetuity. 4 years $16 mil is ok but not a good idea for the Bills.

Grade B-

Overall, the Bills had a busy offseason full of spending and headline grabbing. Did they get better?  Maybe on paper but the QB situation is a disaster, everyone will not give two fucks what Rex says in press conferences in October when he punts from the Patriots 41 yard line on 4th and two.  The Bills max total wins is 11 but 8-8 is highly likely.  I just hope Doug Whaley doesn't trot out Sam Watkins next Thursday as the Bills first round pick this year.

Offseason total grade: C+


  1. you missed arguably the Bills best offseason move: resigning Jerry Hughes

  2. Ouch, trUe.

    Jerry Hughes
    usually I like the idea if kewping your own thus I wont deviate here. Hughes needs the Bills about as much as they need him. He is good and has blossomed here but he clearly benefits from the talent around him. With no first roynd pick to potentially replace him the Bills had to pay the man. He was given a little more than I wanted but this contract wont come back to haunt them.

    Grade B