Found February 12, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
PLAYERS: Nick Barnett
TEAMS: Buffalo Bills
    27 points per game. 362 yards per game. The 31st best rush defense in football. The conversation around the Buffalo Bills offseason so far has been how to solve their dilemma at the Quarterback position. Monday they sent a loud message about what side of the ball they plan to address in the offseason. Two veteran presences were let go, as Nick Barnett and George Wilson were both released within minutes of each other. Barnett was the most consistent linebacker on the Bills roster while Wilson was a mainstay dating back to the Dick Jauron era The question now mirrors the question every fan of every team asks after every roster move. Did that make the team better? In the case of the Buffalo Bills, I don’t think it did. Buddy Nix explained parting with two of his top five defenders, in terms of most snaps on the field, by saying that the team has young players ready to step in and replace the veterans cut on yesterday. My question, along with many other Bills fans, is this. Who could he possibly be talking about? Da’Norris Searcy looks like the guy Nix is talking about to replace George Wilson as the strong safety, and while the 4th round pick out of North Carolina fits the description of being young, I’m not 100% convinced he is ready to fill in as a full time starter. Searcy did get over 200 snaps this year as a safety but nothing he did blew me away. If that is the young talent Buddy Nix was referring to, I think the Bills defense could be in trouble. I always ask when replacing a player or coach or GM or whoever, who is going to replace him? You would have a hard time selling me on the point that Da’Norris Searcy is better than George Wilson right now. Of course that move made more sense than the move to release Nick Barnett. Forget young talent at the linebacker position, the Bills don’t have a whole lot of talent, period, after the loss of Nick Barnett. Kevin Shepard is arguably the best linebacker the Bills have on their roster right now. Kevin Shepard would exclusively on the kickoff team on almost any other NFL roster. Unless Buddy Nix is convinced of what he is doing for the April draft in early February and taking Manti T’eo with the 8th overall pick the “young talent” line is nothing but GM speak. Then an interesting name enters the fold, it is one Bills fans have heard plenty in the past few weeks. Former New York Jets Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine has a way of wooing free agents who have played under him in previous stops. After leaving the Baltimore Ravens for the New York Jets with Rex Ryan he was able to convince safety Jim Leonard and linebacker Bart Scott to come with him to the big apple.  You will hear mercilessly from Western New York media about a similar situation happening in Buffalo over the next few weeks. Jets defensive free agents include safety Eric Smith, safety LaRon Landry, and linebacker Bart Scott.  All will be rumored as targets for the Buffalo Bills if the jets don’t re-sign them. Smith is 29, Landry is 28, and Scott is 32. This all while Buddy Nix explained to us about young talent taking over for lost veterans. The options of Eric Smith and LaRon Landry at safety are fairly interesting. I’ve always liked Smith in particular. The question, though, is what about Nick Barnett? Let’s re-visit a theme discussed earlier about who you have next in line to replace a guy you cut, especially when you cut the guy who is the best on the team in that unit. Barnett will be 32 by the time the 2013 season kicks off, Scott will be 33. Since 2009 Bart Scott has seen his tackle numbers decrease from 91 in 2009 to 60 this past season. From his 2009 season in Green Bay (with the exception of a injury that sidelined him for all but 4 games in 2010) Barnett’s tackle numbers went up from 105 in 2009 to 130 in 2011 and 112 last season. Oh yeah, and they don’t play the same position. Scott is an inside linebacker while Barnett is an outside linebacker. They couldn’t have played together? I would argue at this stage in their careers Barnett has more in the tank than Scott anyway but hey, if Buddy Nix needs to sign Bart Scott he had $9.8 Million in cap room to work with. The Bills are by no means pressed for cap space. They are comfortably in the middle of the pack in terms of how much money they have to spend despite being on the books for Mario Williams and the monstrosity known as the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract. Really ask yourself this: in a 3-4 defense (and we have no idea if that is what Pettine will install, another question unanswered) would you rather have Nick Barnett as an outside linebacker or Nigel Bradham? I don’t know what more there is to say. Yesterday the Buffalo Bills looked to answer defensive questions posed by last season’s failures. They instead arose questions we didn’t even know we had, like who is Nigel Bradham, really? More importantly; however, the question of who is in charge of defensive personnel has now been brought to the forefront. Because we are talking about the Buffalo Bills, after all, and it just wouldn’t be the same without some confusion, would it?
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Former Packers LB Barnett released by Bills

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Former Packers first-round pick Nick Barnett will be looking for a new team this offseason. The 31-year-old linebacker posted the news on his Twitter account Monday afternoon that he'll no longer be a member of the Buffalo Bills. "I was told I'll be released today by the Buffalo Bills," Barnett wrote. "Thanks to all the great Fans and friends...

Nick Barnett says the Bill are releasing him

Linebacker Nick Barnett announced on Twitter that the Buffalo Bills have advised him that they’ll be releasing him. I was told I’ll be released today by the Buffalo Bills. Thanks to all the great Fans and friends I have met in Western New York.. It was — NickBarnett (@NickBarnett) February 11, 2013 Truly a pleasure being apart of that organization and culture.. Very unfortunate...

Bills To Release LB Nick Barnett

Nick Barnett tweets that he’s been informed by the Buffalo Bills that he will be released today. I was told I’ll be released today by the Buffalo Bills. Thanks to all the great Fans and friends I have met in Western New York.. It was — NickBarnett (@NickBarnett) February 11, 2013 Barnett, 31, was in the final year of his contract and was set to make $3.5 million next season...

BREAKING: Bills To Release Nick Barnett

Some surprising news out of One Bills Drive today as the team will release veteran linebacker Nick Barnett. The news hasn’t been officially announced by the organization, but Barnett has tweeted that he was informed today of the decision to release him. I was told I’ll be released today by the Buffalo Bills. Thanks to all the great Fans and friends I have met in Western New York...

Buffalo Bills 2013 defensive draft needs

The Buffalo Bills are in the process of evaluating current players on the roster and getting ready to scout at the NFL Scouting Combine on February 20, 2013. However it’s never too soon to come to some clear conclusions, about what the 2013 Buffalo Bills defensive drafts needs will be this offseason. So let’s go down the roster on defense, to see the areas where the Bills...

Bills start cost cutting, release linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Wilson

The new regime in Buffalo isn’t exactly enamored with carrying high price tags for veteran players on a sub par team. According to Tim Graham of Buffalo news, the Bills waved goodbye to two veterans today in linebacker Nick Barnett and team captain, safety George Wilson. Barnett was set to make $3.5 million in 2013. He totaled 242 tackles, 5 sacks, 7 interceptions over two...

Bills cut ties with safety Wilson, linebacker Barnett

After a season that saw Buffalo Bills safety George Wilson and linebacker Nick Barnett take dropoffs (Barnett more than Wilson) from their highly-productive 2011 campaigns, the Bills have parted ways with the pair of veteran defenders.Barnett broke the news of his release Monday via Twitter, and The Buffalo News reported Wilson's departure shortly after. (photo: Matt Britt...

Buffalo Bills Brad Smith Explores NY Fashion Week Interning For Mens Health Magazine

Buffalo Bills receiver Brad Smith is expressing his interest in fashion as he’s currently interning for Men’s Health magazine during New York Fashion Week. Brad’s duties range from interviewing designers, attending photo shoots, to frequently updating the magazine’s website with fresh content. So far Brad has attended shows from Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilifiger and Billy Reid...

Vince Young Needed Seven-Figure Loan to Throw His Own Birthday Party, Former Financial Advisor Says

DALLAS — The former financial adviser for ex-NFL quarterback Vince Young said under oath that he arranged a high-interest, seven-figure loan for Young during the 2011 lockout because the player wanted to throw himself a $300,000 birthday party even though he was running low on funds. Ronnie Peoples, president and CEO of Peoples Financial Service Inc. in Raleigh, N.C., said during...

Report: Bills cut George Wilson

Linebacker Nick Barnett just announced he was being released by the Buffalo Bills.  They also made one more move. According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, the Bills have also released safety George Wilson. Both Barnett and Wilson played great this past season.  I’m not sure how the Bills plan on replacing their on the field production. Need NFL Tickets? var _CI = _CI ...

George Wilson Trades in His Playbook One Last Time

George Wilson is cut, and that makes me simultaneously kind of sad and really excited. It’s sad because Wilson was a well documented model citizen and good guy in the community making sure not to steal tips while dining Applebees when he wasn’t building a playground or whatever. In a world first of me first GLOREEE BOYS, he was exactly how you wanted a player to handle himself...

Bills Release Two Veteran Defenders

The Buffalo Bills are making changes under the new regime of Doug Marrone, and those changes come at the expense of some veterans on the roster.

Bills’ Brad Smith up for any role coach has for him

Buffalo Bills utility man Brad Smith is one of the more versatile offensive weapons in the NFL.But last season, Smith was given just 28 opportunities to do so last season, not counting his special teams work. In those 28 tries, Smith was split evenly between pass and run, tallying 268 yards and three touchdowns. Much of the blame for last season’s offensive woes landed on former...

Buffalo Bills Release George Wilson

The news just keeps on rolling in from One Bills Drive. The Buffalo News has reported that safety, captain, and NFLPA representative George Wilson will also be released by the team today. The Buffalo Bills have released safety, captain and NFLPA rep George Wilson, sources tell The Buffalo News. — Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) February 11, 2013 A converted wide receiver, Wilson spent...
Bills News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.