There are two things that the Buffalo Bills must accomplish in the upcoming months to have a chance at the playoffs in 2014.
First, the Buffalo Bills must re-sign Jairus Byrd to a long-term deal. The franchise tag just won’t do in this situation. We saw what an elite safety means to a defense in the Super Bowl and Jairus is a must for that secondary. Make him an offer he cannot refuse, give him a key to the city, rename Lake Erie after him, I don’t care; just keep him around for the long term. I know the city of Buffalo is not a top ten destination for football players, but Doug Whaley needs to sell Jairus Byrd like the previous regime sold Mario Williams.
The second is tied into the first. The Buffalo Bills cannot mess up this draft and not re-signing Jairus Byrd means drafting an elite safety, signing Byrd allows them to concentrate on different areas. Last year they traded down in the first round and got the man they wanted and also got starters in the second round. This needs to be repeated. The core is forming. We may be a year or so away, but if properly done, this team could contend for a wildcard spot as soon as 2014.
So who do the Bills draft in the first round? I don’t know, but I do know that someone elite will slide down to the Bills. It happens every year. If they do not draft for need, but rather for talent, they should pick up a good starting player. Re-signing Byrd allows Doug Whaley and company the freedom to take on this strategy come May.