If you were a millionaire and had a choice on where to live, where would it be? If you had the choice of a 6 million dollar a year job in Florida, Arizona, Texas or Western New York, where would you go?
This is the steep hill that the Buffalo Bills face in attracting free agents. The city, state and location are a deterrent to the football player. Taxes are high in New York, you are playing football in the cold, and let’s face it, the shores of Lake Erie are not South Beach.
So what is a small market team like the Buffalo Bills to do in this situation? To attract free agents I believe the Bills have to do two things:
- The must overpay to bring people in. I hear this all the time with Jairus Byrd, “Don’t overpay for the guy.” Why not? He is an upper tier safety and a game changer. I understand that every organization is out to make money, but sometimes you have to spend some to make some. Spend it wisely, but the pocketbooks need to be opened.
- The Buffalo Bills have to win and establish a better tradition. The Green Bay Packers did this. They play in a very small place and in terrible conditions, but it is legend and they are players in the market. The Bills do not have this. In the 90’s they attracted some big names during the glory years, that doesn’t happen (with proper exceptions of overpayment) much any longer.
Jairus Byrd is saying all the right things and I would love to see him long term in the red, white and blue, but I fear it won’t happen because he just doesn’t want to be here. I see a franchise tag being applied and a trade before the draft, but I pray that I am wrong.
The Bills need to open the pocket books and create an atmosphere that promotes a tradition of winning. I think Doug Marrone and Doug Whaley are trying to move in the right direction, but it is a heavy boulder to carry to the top of the hill.
What do you think Buffalo? What more can the Bills do to attract top tier free agents?
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