Dec 22, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo beats Miami 19 to 0. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
After an amazing 2012 season, C.J. Spiller averaged 6.0 yards a carry, fans had high hopes going into 2013. Many of us thought Spiller would contend for the rushing title and show the league why Buffalo drafted so early. However, 2013 was a quite different than what we all thought it would be. Spiller was rattled by injury much of the season and just couldn’t get it going.
Despite everyone classifying it as a down year Spiller still managed to finish as the Bills leading rusher. He finished the season with 927 yards, two touchdowns and averaged 4.5 yards a carry. Sure it wasn’t the year we all wanted or thought it would be but Spiller still showed us some glimpses of hope and no one can deny that at the age of 26 this kid can still electrify the crowd every time he touches the ball.
Now Spiller is under contract through the end of the 2015 season, and Buffalo may not have to push the panic button yet, but always check the fine print. Spiller has an opt-out option that could make 2014 his last season in Buffalo. I have been asked several times about whether or not the Bills should resign Spiller to a new deal?
Why Buffalo should resign him before the 2014 season:
If Spiller would light the world on fire in 2014, he would be looking for a huge payday. If Buffalo wants to avoid paying a running back top dollar they would be smart to sign Spiller before the start of the 2014 season. In addition, Fred Jackson is in the last year of his contract. Both running backs could be gone at the end of this season and Buffalo would have to make replacing them a top priority. Since Spiller didn’t do great in 2013 and his history of injuries, Buffalo wouldn’t have to pay an outrageous price for him. If they let Jackson walk, then they would still have Spiller who would know the system and they could draft a younger running back in the 2015 draft or look for someone in free agency.
Why Buffalo shouldn’t resign him before the 2014 season:
Spiller will be 28 years old by the time the 2015 season starts. Most running backs tend to drop off after 28, except if your Fred Jackson who has done the Benjamin Button effect the last few seasons. Spiller is only four years into the league and has had a handful of injuries and doesn’t seem to be able to stay healthy. Now many of you will look and say he has only missed three games through four seasons, but it’s only a matter of time until one of the injuries is serious. In addition, Spiller may not be the right fit for the Buffalo offense. Last season he looked undecided at times and didn’t look as good as an aged Fred Jackson. If Buffalo decides not to sign him, they could look for a talented running back in the first three rounds of next year’s draft to fill the shoes of Spiller and possibly Jackson as well.
Conclusion: Everyone has their own opinion and my opinion is that Buffalo should resign Spiller sooner rather than later. We have all seen to many players leave Buffalo and blossom. In addition, I believe it is always best to have players who already know the system and what the coaches are looking for. If Jackson leaves at the end of the 2014, Buffalo would still have Spiller in the backfield and would be a place to draft a player like Jackson who can complement Spiller, but it wouldn’t be top priority and it leaves the team with more options.