With the Buffalo Bills preparing for training camp, let’s take a look back at the franchise’s 7 best free agent signings in team history.
The Buffalo Bills had a lot of free agents to review this offseason and since a lot of them didn’t return, the team was busy signing free agents all offseason.
Whaley did a great job last season filling holes through free agency in key areas. Players like Zach Brown and Lorenzo Alexander proved to be diamonds in the rough — both of them signed as a free agent.
Will we see that same kind of turnout this offseason with the players McDermott chose to sign? With new players at every position, the Buffalo Bills will definitely need a good turnout if they want to compete for the playoffs next year.
As the organization prepares to see their new signings at work in training camp, let’s take a look back at the Buffalo Bills’ top-7 free agent signings in franchise history. It’s not something that happens often, but some signings do stand out.
We’ll start right away. The following players aren’t in any specific order.
Doug Flutie – 1998
The Buffalo Bills signing Doug Flutie in 1998 was not only a great free agent signing, but also a sad one for how the team handled it. At first, the team wasn’t very interested in adding him, but would be persuaded by A.J. Smith, the Bills’ pro-personnel director at the time.
Flutie was part of a quarterback controversy with Rob Johnson during his tenure with the team, but certainly deserved to be the outright starter no matter what. He originally took over as starter when Rob Johnson went down with an injury, leading the Bills to a fourth-quarter comeback in Week 6 (1998). He would go on to start the next 11 games, winning 8 of them.
In 1999, he would lead the Bills to a 10-5 record as starter and qualify for the playoffs. Mysteriously, head coach Wade Phillips decided to start Rob Johnson in that playoff game over Doug Flutie, a game that ended in a loss for Buffalo. Legend has it that the decision began a curse on the Buffalo Bills, which has contributed to a 17-year playoff drought.
If the Bills had just given Flutie the starting role permanently and built around him like they did in the Jim Kelly era, things might have turned out differently.