I've been wrong multiple times in my life.
I was probably wrong in thinking I would have constant work in TV when I came to NYC. I was wrong when I thought Trent Edwards was a franchise QB. I was wrong when I thought putting blond streaks in my hair would look good at the age of 16. I was wrong when I thought this or that girl liked me. For all my wrongs, I hated to admit it. What I wrote the other day was completely wrong and I couldn't be happier! I'm sorry, Ralph Wilson. I don't know if they are giving you new meds where you think we just signed Bruce Smith or Jim Kelly, but keep taking it.
I don't even know what to type anymore. There's a part of my cynic demeanor that I can't let go. I'm trying, but let us not bring that side up....yet. There's this other side of me that thinks we can lay something to rest.
Ralph Wilson isn't cheap.
OMG. I can't believe I just typed that. Am I on drugs? Am I in the Matrix? Does this computer even exist? Am I just in a pod with some pink slime? Maybe Ralph freed his mind or something and that's why he's giving out over 110 million in guaranteed money since August. How the Hell did someone convince him to spend this?
I never thought the Bills would pull it off. I wasn't even going crazy when they flew Williams in. I couldn't help but think about how the coach search of 2009 went down. I kept thinking it was a negotiation tactic. Been done hundreds of times throughout the NFL. Shanahan did it to us. I'm pretty sure Tyson Clabo had that on his mind last summer. I didn't think it would happen. I don't think anyone did. Sure, I was excited but I kind of bottled it up inside. I was on Twitter being a sarcastic ass while thinking about how this possibly couldn't be real. I didn't want to believe it. I didn't want to get my hopes up and then have them crushed.
Suddenly, one-by-one, the reports came in. We won the Mario Williams sweepstakes. We had the reports from TBN saying that they were going to make Williams the richest defensive player in NFL history. Hmmm..Business was starting to pick up. He's staying over night? Is that good or bad? Is he using us to up his stock? Did he hate the Sabres and that's why he didn't goto a game? OMG, Luke Russert's mom reported that he checked out a hotel?! After all the TMZ like updates, we finally got the guy that looks like Kevin Sylvester breaking the news. Lord Schefter. 6-years, 100-million (50 guaranteed).
Um, eat your heart out Ville Leino and Christian Ehrohff. This is insane.
I think what most fans will take away from this is that the Bills are back. They are relevant again. They can actually believe that they aren't the Bastard redheaded step child of the NFL. We love that more than any fan base. We just want respect. Yes, we shouldn't live and die by our mood of a stupid football team, but that's the town we live in. It will never change unless the Bills leave.
For now, the cynicism towards the Bills goes on hiatus and I'm fine with that. For today, I feel like Lieutenant Dan when he jumped in the water and made his peace with God.
Anyways, I can't formulate a clear thought about this, so I'll just bullet point it for your amusement.
- This isn't about Mario Williams for me. I'm not sure what sort of impact he will have (more on that in a bit), but this is about the Bills spending money. They haven't done anything like this since 2003. In a way, it feels like when the Sabres spent almost 100-million dollars in contracts last summer. For once, you didn't have to worry about the bean counters, Golisano's tax write ups and being in the red or black. I know all that spending didn't really result in a great on ice product this year, but the feeling of being one of the worst franchise/destination of the NHL left me. I don't have to worry about a player using the Bills for leverage or thinking that they can never sign that guy. EVER AGAIN! OK. That may be an exaggeration as negotiation is the name of the game. However, when we see the list of big-time free agents for next year, we can actually play fantasy GM.
- Why are they doing this now? I have no clue why it took the Bills this long to become active in free agency. Why weren't the going nuts in 2009 or 2007? Did John Guy really believe that Dockery and Walker would pull the Bills into the playoffs? Mario Williams contract is a far cry from what Langston Walker made. Was Wilson drugged? Did he just say "F-it! I'm 93-years old and let the next guy deal with the debt!" I don't know. Maybe they were concerned about season ticket sales going down and the Toronto Series being a disaster. Maybe Gailey and Nix are under pressure because they are going into year 3 of their rebuilding plan and convinced RW to open the vaults? I have absolutely no idea. I'll just stick with the theory that someone gave Mr. Wilson some sort of hallucination pills with his oatmeal.
- Football side: I like Mario Williams. I'm not going to pretend I have a scouting report on the guy like everyone else does, but on paper, this move does wonders for the Bills. They have needed edge rushers for years now. The guy can deliver that if he's healthy. That's my biggest red flag for him. He's missed 14 games in the last two seasons and Texans defenses have mostly been average since he's been there. Plus, his sack total has gone down every year since his rookie year. However, he's better than Spencer Johnson or Marcus Stroud or Aaron Schobel. If he plays at the pro bowl level he did in 2008 and you mix in a healthy Kyle Williams and a young upstart like Dareus, offensive lines are going to have problems. If you double someone, that means you'll have a 1-on-1 match up with one of those guys. For crap sakes, Chris Kelsay could get 8 sacks on this defensive line if everything goes according to plan. It is the same formula I used in my GM Series. Being the wannabe Giants.
- Some have said that Williams never really played with any defensive studs on the DL while in Houston. When he was a pro bowler in 2008, he played along side Anthony Weaver (WHO?!), Travis Johnson (Come again?) and Amobi Okoye (Colossal draft bust) and still registered 12 sacks. Yeah, I think Dareus and Williams are upgrades.
- Texans defensive ranks since drafting Williams in 2006: 27th, 22nd, 27th, 17th, 29th and 4th. Eh...You can probably register that 4th ranking to Wade Phillips and #90 was only a part of that defense for 5 games . Now you can ask "How can a defense rank so poorly with someone like Williams? He should be able to make everyone play better around him." True, but we all remember what happened when Wade took over the Bills defense in 1995. They were a joke the year before but with Wade at the helm, they registered 48 sacks. From what I gathered from talking to Texans fans, the defensive coordinators in Houston were a joke before Wade. Richard Smith? Frank Bush? George Edwards thinks they are no-names.
- Now things get interesting when it comes to the blame game. Last year, when the Sabres made their big splash, the blame game ended with ownership. You couldn't blame Golisano for tying the hands of the GM and coach anymore. We were actually able to blame the players, coach and GM without adding ownership to it. That's the exact same thing now. Ralph has been a punchline for years. He's cheap. He doesn't care. Blah, blah, blah. You can't say that now. Everything now goes on Gailey, Nix and the players. The heat will go up on Gailey now. He can't have another 6-win season, right?
- Lastly, and if you don't want negative thoughts, don't read on....this is a lot of fun, but the Bills probably need to do more improvements. Sorry to be a party pooper, but they aren't better than New England. If they want to bypass them next year, they have do a few more things on the offensive side of the ball. Plus, I'm still not exactly sold on Fitzmagic. Also, Don Banks makes some unique comparrisons to Bledsoe, which makes me think...hmmm.
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