Tag:Buffalo Bills
Posted on: March 8, 2008 1:08 am

SI's Thoughts on Buffalo's FA Acquisitions

Here's the link:


Here's what they said:

• Buffalo's acquisitions of Marcus Stroud and Kawika Mitchell garnered headlines, but the unheralded signing of defensive tackle Spencer Johnson may be the biggest reason the Bills' defense dramatically improves next season. Johnson -- signed away from the Vikings for five years and $17 million -- gives the Bills a quick interior tackle with the explosiveness to be a disruptive player at the "one" or "three" technique.

Johnson excels as a run defender but has developed better-than-average pass rush skills as an interior player. With Stroud occupying double teams on the other side, Johnson's versatile set of skills should allow the Bills to control the middle of the line, while freeing linebackers Mitchell and Paul Posluszny to shoot gaps against the run. The Bills' defense ranked 31st in yards allowed last season, but that should change with Johnson and Stroud controlling the middle. "

To be honest, all I knew about Spencer Johnson was what I was able to read as free agency started, but I have to admit I'm intruiged.  Generally, when a guy doesn't start, I wonder why another team would be so eager to sign him.  In this case, though, it looks like Spencer Johnson just continues to get better and better as a player, has a high motor and work ethic, and was playing behind some pretty good players.  Also, more than a few Vikings fans have expressed regret at his being signed away, noting he was a promising player.

I also like that he isn't being signed to do more than he is capable of.  With John McCargo and Marcus Stroud, Johnson will be asked to be part of a rotation, nothing more.  If he can be effective, that will allow the Bills to spell Stroud a bit more frequently, sparing some wear and tear on that ankle.  I'm no scout, but this signing certainly appears to have the making of a solid, under-the-radar upgrade.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 7, 2008 11:23 am

Bills Management - Waiting for apologies...

At this time last year, Bills management was being pummeled in the media by all of the so-called experts, who were raking the team over the coals for letting the likes of Nate Clements, London Fletcher, Willis Magahee, and Takeo Spikes go to other teams (in addition to Darwin Walker later on in the year).  In fact, the Bills traded Magahee (to the Ravens) for two third round picks, and trades Spikes to the Eagles (for Walker and a late pick).  With the Eagles releasing Spikes this week, let's take a look back at the decision by the Bills to let these players walk:

1) Nate Clements - the most talented of the former players, and played a position of need (CB).  nevertheless, with a salary cap, it's not just how good a player is, it's how much they cost.  Bottom line - the 49ers paid WAY TOO MUCH.  I liked Clements as a player, he did some good things for Buffalo while here.  But he is not a lock down corner.  He is not Champ Bailey.  It seems the media can't count, because every year they'll label 20 cornerbacks "Top 10" corners.  Nate was a solid corner who was paid superstar money.  In addition, he went to a team that did worse than the Bills.  Overall, smart for Buffalo not to re-sign at that price.

2) London Fletcher - Again, always liked him, but getting older, and not an attacking defender.  In addition, what did the Bills do with these players?  I'd rather lose with young guys who can get better, than with older guys who will continue to decline.  The Redskins outperformed the Bills this year, but not by much, and the Bills were able to use one of those extra third rounders to move up in the draft and nab Paul Posluszny, who looked to be a gamer at middle linebacker before getting injured.  Again, in retrospect, smart move by Buffalo.

3) Willis Magahee - Hey, he had a nice year last year for a lousy team.  He played well, but not as good as he thinks he is.  In addition, he would have cost a bunch, and he really didn't want to be in Buffalo anyway.  The Bills were able to replace him with Marshawn Lynch, a younger, more versatile back.   The two 3rd round picks from the Ravens were a steal.  Overall, no complaints about this move.

4) Darwin Walker - do I even have to discuss this one?  The Bears (and everyone else) thought they fleeced the Bills with this deal, when in fact Walker fleeced them.  Again, not a bad player, but not a difference maker.  Who would want additional salary cap money tied up in this guy? (Besides Chicago, I mean).  This one, more than all the others, requires the eating of crow by the media, who were ripping marv Levy last year for not renegotiating with this guy.  Steelar move by Buffalo.

One year later, the Bills are younger, faster, have money under the cap to bring in guys who can contribute, and will be getting compensatory picks to boot.  This team is heading in the right direction, and with a solid draft and some luck staying healthy, can be a player in the AFC.  Take a bow, Marv and company.  Oh, and stay focused on the draft, don't get distracted by expecting all the experts to call in and admit they were wrong - they are too busy talking nonsense about this year's signings. 

Category: NFL
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