Buffalo Bills: 3 Realistic Moves the Bills Could Make at the Trade Deadline
As the trade deadline looms, thousands of fans are formulating Madden-like deals in their heads that they hope their favorite team will make before next week's deadline, including the Buffalo Bills. Although, most of those deals would have to be made with the "computer overrule" option in the off position for them to be agreed upon. In other words, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The NFL traditionally has the least deals at the deadline of the four major sports in the U.S. and for good reason. Teams don't like to change personnel that has value in the middle of a season, when they would have more opportunity to get a better deal over the longer offseason.
However, every once in a while a team overpays for a player that could put them over the edge for a playoff run. Unlikely, yes, but not impossible.
As Buddy Nix and Co. look at their options before the deadline, they need to decide right now whether this team is good enough to make a run at the playoffs this season. The lackluster nature of the team doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but if they believe they are close, there is no guessing what Nix could do.
Trade Fred Jackson
I know even mentioning this as a possibility is going to get me killed by some, but hear me out for a second.
Fred Jackson just signed an extension in May through the 2014 season, which could be worth up to $9 million if he meets certain benchmarks. However, the back turned 31 years old in the offseason, and the signs of wear and tear are starting to rear their ugly head.
He has missed nine of the last 22 games that Buffalo has played and hasn't looked very effective after returning from an injury sustained in the first game of the year.
Jackson is currently averaging 2.9 yards per carry with the same offensive line that C.J. Spiller is averaging well over six yards per carry behind. Spiller has been breathtaking almost every time he touches the ball, and those well-timed draws up the middle has Buffalo moving the ball with ease.
Jackson doesn't offer the same kind of skill set that the explosive Spiller can.
Chan Gailey is currently rotating the backs from drive to drive with the exception of long drives when he plays both guys. We all know the Bills haven't had too many of those.
Instead of forcing the issues with two backs, Gailey needs to ride the hot hand, and in 2012, that has been Spiller.
Jackson is a good between-the-tackles runner, a great pass-blocker in the backfield and has one of the nastiest stiff arms in the game. However, I'm not sure that the Bills would be any worse off moving forward if Jackson was playing ball in another NFL city.
I get the leadership aspect, I do. But the Bills need to do what is in the best interest for this team. Paying a bunch of money to a running back that is clearly on the decline isn't in that best interest with Spiller finally earning his draft status.
I'm not sure what Jackson's trade value is, probably a little less than the deal they got from Baltimore for Willis McGahee four years ago. A fourth-round pick or a prospect will help this Buffalo team more for the long term.
Trade for Dwayne Bowe
I'll preface this by saying, I'm going against the title of the article a little bit because I'm not sure how realistic this is.
Kansas City is going to want a pretty hefty sum for their 28-year old wide receiver, who came out on Wednesday saying that he wants out of the Chiefs organization. Well kind of.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports released a report early this afternoon that Dwayne Bowe wants to be traded from the Chiefs "very badly." There is no word from the Bowe camp about whether these reports are true.
However, we all know this game too well; a report comes out, and then the player's agent or the team denies it. Check back in tomorrow for that breaking news story.
If the Bills aren't going to subtract any of their aging vets at the deadline, they may as well offer a nice package for a player that could help them long term.
Bowe would immediately come in and be the best receiver on this Buffalo squad. Despite his malcontent attitude from time to time, Bowe has all the skills to be an elite wide receiver in the NFL. Not that the Bills should be talking, but Bowe has racked up some gaudy numbers in Kansas City with an offense that isn't very good.
A move for another receiver is a long time coming for Buffalo, and it would allow the team to line up Bowe across from Steve Johnson, another receiver who makes his money by finding holes in zones. The LSU alum isn't the perfect running mate for Johnson, though, because the two have very similar styles of play, albeit Bowe does have a size advantage.
The chances of this happening are pretty slim, especially with other receiver-hungry contenders already sniffing around the situation. However, if the Bills can package a few solid picks together to surprisingly make a run at Bowe, I would understand the reasoning.
Fire Dave Wannstedt
It isn't very flashy to include a coach removal in a trade article, but it is a move that could realistically happen.
Buffalo played better in the desert last Sunday, but they were playing a Cardinals team that has had offensive difficulties all season long despite a 4-2 record. The five-sack day wasn't mind-blowing either, considering the Cardinals offensive line has allowed the most sacks in the NFL through six weeks.
Dave Wannstedt was supposed to be an upgrade over George Edwards, who was relieved of his duties following an embarrassing campaign in 2011. However, Wannstedt has been anything but an upgrade.
The Bills were smoked in the second halves against New England and San Francisco, when it looked like a high school team could waltz their way through the line. The four-down linemen, no blitzing and playing off the receiver approach hasn't worked thus far, and one wonders if it ever will.
Wannstedt was a successful defensive coach in the 90s and coached some pretty good Bears defenses in the early 2000s as their head coach. Whatever approach the embattled coordinator is trying now needs to be dropped or he will be.
Chan Gailey will at least be in Buffalo through the end of the season when his contract runs up, but if he wants to avoid losing his job, he might take the drastic measure of firing his good friend.
One can only hope.
Some Unrealistic Deals
Trade Leodis McKelvin
McKelvin has been a bit of a revelation in the return game this season. He always had the talent in that aspect, but he never put together consistent performances in special teams. His good plays were always outweighed by the absent-minded gaffes that cost the Buffalo team points and even wins.
He hasn't lived up to his billing (no pun intended) as a top corner prospect, but he serves pretty well as a nickel corner.
Problem for him is that his contract is running out and Buffalo has many good nickel options on the team at a cheaper cost. McKelvin will likely get a contract elsewhere next year as a nickel and return man, so why not try and get a late pick for him?
Again, this is a trade that would happen if Buffalo felt they weren't going anywhere this season. They clearly feel that is not the case.
Trade for an Outside Linebacker
Good outside backers don't grow on trees, which explains why the Bills haven't had a good one in quite some time. They've tried though with Aaron Maybin (shudder) and Arthur Moats. Maybin was a big-time bust and Moats hasn't been placed in a position to succeed as a pass-rusher, which is his best quality.
Nigel Bradham started in place of Moats last week and played admirably, but he isn't there yet. I like Bradham's toughness at Florida State, but again he has a long way to go before he's a consistent player for Buffalo.
I don't know where the Bills would get a good outside linebacker at the deadline. Frankly they won't, but I suppose one can dream.