Buffalo Bills; Why Signing Tashard Choice May Be Best Free Agent Signing of 2012

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Buffalo Bills; Why Signing Tashard Choice May Be Best Free Agent Signing of 2012
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Tashard Choice has the talent to lead the Bills' backfield.

It's official.

Tashard Choice will be a Buffalo Bill once again in 2012, per his Twitter account, and since confirmed via the Buffalo Bill's website.

Tashard tweeted "It's official I'll be a Buffalo Bill this year. I wanna thank God, the organization, family,friends and fans. Hit the ground running."

Being able to retain Choice is a huge asset for the Bills. He was certainly one of the top free agent steals in the 2012 market, albeit relatively overlooked by the mainstream media. Several teams had shown interest in Choice prior to his release from the Dallas Cowboys, and Chan Gailey's experience with Choice while coaching him at Georgia Tech means that Gailey understands the running back's potential very well.

The ability to retain Choice will aid Ryan Fitzpatrick as he seeks to guide the Bills to success. Choice's leadership in the backfield and ability to catch passes in the flat will take pressure off of Fitzpatrick by forcing opposing defenses to guard against the run.

Having a serious and consistent run threat in the Bills backfield will aid the Bill's speedy receivers to find openings in the secondary of opposing defenses, as well. Choice brings a consistent level of talent to the Bill's backfield that will keep defenses from being able to ignore the run. A refreshing change from running backs that are "on" one minute and "off" the next, his abilities will keep defenses on their toes at all times.

Make no mistake, Bills fans; Tashard Choice is the real deal. His ability to sneak through the line, slicing between defenders is a talent that few backs can master. He has the ability to break it to the outside, when needed, and even when he is tackled it is his ability to pick up an extra yard as he's falling to the ground that makes him so potent.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Choice carried the load as a rookie in Dallas, and produced against the league's toughest defenses.

 

Since his arrival to the NFL in 2008, Tashard Choice has shown the ability to not only carry the load, but to be a leader in the offensive backfield. When Felix Jones and Marion Barber went down to injury midway through the 2008 season, it was Choice who came in and gave the Cowboys running game new life, rushing for 472 yards in five starts against teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and the New York Giants.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys had already given Marion Barber a seven year, $45 million contract that proved too much for Choice to overcome. Despite outproducing Barber as the starting back and even in limited appearances, Choice would be limited to merely a backup role.

Had the Cowboys used Choice as their starter and every down back, with Felix Jones as their change of pace, the talented duo would have likely been the toast of the NFC rushing attacks. This occurred for a short time at the end of the 2009 season, and the Cowboys offense switched into high gear, as they rolled over the previously unbeaten Saints, and Choice and Jones put up solid games in annihilating the Philadelphia Eagles twice in a row to take first the NFC East crown, and then the initial round of the playoffs.

With his rookie contract set to expire at the end of the 2011 season, the Cowboys elected to release Choice and move to rookie running sensation DeMarco Murray. It was a decision that would come back to haunt them, as Murray suffered a season ending injury, and left the Cowboys without a solid starter at running back.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Choice is an all purpose back that finds daylight where others may not.

After a brief stint with the Redskins, Choice arrived in Buffalo. Despite joining the team late in 2011, Choice provided the Bills with a solid running threat to go with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.

Choice has proven that he can be one of the NFL's top running backs, and with C J Spiller maturing along with Fred Jackson in the backfield, Choice's signing ensures that the Bills' offense will be one of the league's hardest offenses to defend.

Make no mistake, Bills' fans; the re-signing of Tashard Choice may very well be the Bills most important move in free agency in 2012, and Bills fans may soon become accustomed to demanding their "Choice" when the Bills offense is on the field.

That's the bottom line.

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