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Bills opt for fringe signings as camp approaches

July 28, 2011

Surely the Bills are working towards some bigger free agent signings to address the holes they have at linebacker and offensive tackle. However, they have yet to sign any players at those positions. Rather, they have signed a back-up quarterback and a utility receiver/returner.

Brad Smith wouldn't be a bad signing if the Bills didn't have other glaring needs

Buffalo opened free agency by declaring their desire to get Paul Posluszny signed only to have him leave for more money and a better playing situation in Jacksonville. Buddy Nix was able to get Drayton Florence re-signed for three more years, a big signing considering the loss of their former middle linebacker.

They followed the Florence signing with back-up quarterback Tyler Thigpen. The three-year deal was necessary but extremely underwhelming considering some of the glaring needs on the Bills’ roster. However, I like that they pursued a player who is familiar with Chan Gailey and his offense. It is reassuring to know that the back-up quarterback will know the system and can have success if called upon.

The second free agent signing Buffalo made isn’t as impressive to me. Brad Smith is an exciting player and a valuable weapon. This is why I was happy to hear the Bills signed him. However, a third or fourth wide receiver is the last thing Buffalo needed. I guess the Bills are hoping to sport the greatest roster of kick returners ever assembled.

Think about it, with the addition of Smith, the Bills have five capable and excellent return men. Terrence McGee, Leodis McKelvin, Roscoe Parrish, Smith and C.J. Spiller. Why would the Bills want to assemble all-pro offensive linemen or linebackers? That would be silly, fringe players are far more important.

I am slightly premature in my criticism. The Bills could come out tomorrow and say they have signed Tyson Clabo and Brandon Siler (or another of the talented linebackers available), I would be a very happy camper. If that is the case then it will be clear that they are devoted to bringing in the right players to build a winner. However, if they continue with the “draft and develop” stance, I am afraid that they will be accepting their fate of 4-12 for a second season.

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