Peerless Price's successful return to Buffalo should have been an exciting story, not to mention a huge blessing for a criminally impotent offense.
But he barely helped the team and only intermittently, so the potential for a humbled Price to happily serve as the second, still outstanding option has officially vanished with his release.
Along with his flare Price's talent diminished dramatically, and the failure of this experiment means that the Bills are officially the thinnest team of all teams at receiver. But let’s be honest, the same was true even before Price’s second spell.
It's best to remember this receiver for his game-winning, cleats-dragging touchdown catch against Houston in 2006—not just because it’s nice to view Price’s performance in a positive fight, but because the fact is that he didn’t give us much else to remember in his return to the Bills.
Other than a handful of proficient displays, Price did little to stand out. At best he served as a possession-type, low-yardage receiver, averaging a paltry 8.4 yards per catch over his pair of seasons.
Being able to pick up gains like that is useful, but a second wideout able to stretch his side of the field is a far more valuable commodity. Frankly, the outside guy needs to be a deep threat. Spectacle is more important than stability in that location, and Price really didn’t provide much of either.
Ending up on injured reserve last year only made official the sad reality that Price wasn't going to contribute. In the four games he did make, he had just seven catches.
Many thought Price appeared as a shadow of himself during his initial year back in 2006, but in this past season he was utterly ineffective.
He did have some fantastic moments in his Bills career, but about 98 percent of those were in his first stint. Never blessed with afterburner-type speed and a real nonentity as a blocker, Price is the classic example of a player who must rely on better players for his own efficacy. Eric Moulds generated more income for Price than Price himself ever did.
As a Falcon, Price didn't have that top guy to distract the defense. Of course, the team was banking on the hope that he would be the primary weapon himself—the worst gamble in Atlanta since New Coke.
He was lost during his brief interlude in Dallas, and has now fallen to complete uselessness; he couldn't get anything going even with Lee Evans lined up on the other side.
Of course Buffalo's offense has a long list of other problems to overcome, and one could argue these flaws affected Price. Then again, he didn't help alleviate those problems, either.
This cut means the Bills are left with exactly one consistently productive receiver on their roster, but that’s essentially the same condition in which the team found itself with Price’s second term.
The difference with his leaving this time is that it's much easier to wish a diminished Price well as he moves along—although the hope that he'll thrive elsewhere is a sad daydream.