The Bills made a myriad of moves on Tuesday. Well, a handful anyways. S Donte Whitner, LB Paul Posluszny, and TE Scott Chandler were all tendered as restricted free agents. It may not end up meaning anything, because a new CBA will probably have restricted free agency revert to the old rules. However, the organization retained the services of some players that, at the very least, you wouldn’t want walking away for nothing if extensions cannot be worked out. WR Felton Huggins and LS Garrison Sanborn were also retained as exclusive rights free agents. LB Keith Ellison, DE John McCargo, and CB Ashton Youboty were all not tendered. Ellison was a player who I can’t believe lasted this long in Buffalo. If John McCargo could ever stay healthy, I still feel he could be effective for a 4-3 team. He’s not a good fit in this system, though. Youboty, our 3rd round draft choice in 2006, flashed some ability the past few seasons, but he has been consistently nagged by injuries as well.
They also signed S George Wilson and RT Mansfield Wrotto to contract extensions. The moves both make sense. Wrotto surprisingly held down the fort against guys like LaMarr Woodley and shows some promise as a project at the position (though I’d like to see a tackle added if the value is there). Wilson is a solid player that could probably start full-time if given the opportunity now that he is more seasoned at the position. He’s good depth and an insurance policy if Donte Whitner’s services cannot be retained.
For me, the biggest signing of the day was the one they didn’t make. The team also decided not to tender QB Brian Brohm, which means that my guy QB Levi Brown will move up to second on the depth chart.
Most of you are probably sick of hearing me talk about this player, but we both know that’s not happening any time soon so you might as well make peace with it. The 2010 7th rounder may finally get the chance he deserves. Not only did he show all of the tools you love in a QB while at Troy, I thought he flashed ability with the limited opportunities he was given last season. For those of you that would like to make the point that he was already cut once, look at the circumstances.
He was drafted as a project which was good for him. He was raw, but he just needed a season to get his feet wet so he could get used to the speed of the game. Instead, Gailey could not make up his mind on the QB situation and it stunted his development. From a spectator’s perspective, the decision was quite easy. Ryan was clearly the best QB from every practice I went to and I felt he should be starting. Ideally, the key to developing a project would be to give him as many snaps as possible. Levi would’ve been my #2. Edwards and Brohm are the same player, so I figured one or the other would go. Both are young guys with some tools, but that are damaged goods. It would have been awkward for him to take a #3 role for a season until his contract ran out, but I felt Trent had more talent than Brian and Brohm should have been let go.
Instead, Trent Edwards was given the starting job (though I think Mr.Wilson may have had something to say about that), Fitzy the #2, and Brohm the #3. No team would keep 4 QBs on the roster, but I have no idea why Brown wasn’t given at least practice squad invite. After all the roster shuffling, here we are months later with just Ryan and Levi, though it remains to be seen whether or not he had a chance to develop with all of that movement and #3 reps in practice. It may take another year of seasoning now. Had the QB issue been resolved early, Levi could have at least received average reps in training camp instead of the amount he received as the #4 guy. Hopefully, he will be given an opportunity to develop into the starting QB I know he is this season. I’m not saying he needs game-action yet, but he needs to be the #2 QB. If the Bills draft a QB or pick up a free agent to be the backup, please just cut him so he can have a chance somewhere else. To call what he has been given so far a “chance” would be a joke.