Through the first few weeks of the free agency period, the Bills had not lost a single player of importance from the 2011 squad, retaining the services of guys like Stevie Johnson, Rian Lindell, Garrison Sanborn, Kirk Morrison and Derek Hagan.
Unfortunately, you can’t bring everyone back.
The Bills finally had to say good-bye to some players yesterday, as LT Demetress Bell signed a five-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles while WR Roscoe Parrish signed a one-year agreement with the San Diego Chargers. (If you’re wondering, I didn’t spell Bell’s first name wrong – that’s how it is now spelled. Check the end of the article for the story behind that.)
My initial reaction is one of some disappointment – I really like both these guys. You have to respect the way Bell (who didn’t even play organized football until college) worked his butt off to become a viable NFL left tackle. And Parrish was favorite Bill in the first few years after the team drafted him. Even last year when my son was born I (unsuccessfully) lobbied to name him “Roscoe.” I’m not kidding.
In addition, both guys were (and are) class acts who played very hard when healthy and who both took the time to thank Bills fans for their years of support after the players signed with their new teams.
So it’s tough to see guys like that – guys you’ve cheered for for years now – moving on. I really wish them both the best of luck and hope they find several more years of success in the NFL.
But really, how big of a loss is this?