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It has been a while since the Bills have had to make decisions on the expiring contracts of two Pro Bowl-caliber players.
Jairus Byrd and Andy Levitre were both predictably snubbed on Wednesday night by the joke of a voting system that is currently held in practice by the league. Bills players are often left out of consideration despite outperforming a player or two that does get voted onto the team.
The All-Pro teams should alleviate those gross oversights.
Byrd has been the most steady Bills defender since he was drafted by the team in 2009 and he has taken his game to another level this year. He has four forced fumbles and five interceptions, which is among the league-leaders in each category.
The former Oregon product is reportedly asking for Eric Weddle-type money, which would make him one of the highest-paid safeties in the league. Byrd's playmaking abilities can turn the tides of a game and it is a little disconcerting that Buffalo has not been able to get close to his asking price.
Levitre had his best season as a Buffalo Bill, mostly due to the fact that he was not shifted through different positions on line as he was in past seasons because of injuries to other players.
Also playing in the great state of Oregon in college, as a Beaver, Levitre was selected only nine picks after Byrd. The Bills traded their third- and fourth-round selections that year to get back up into the second round to grab Levitre.
The guard is an important cog to the interior line stability for Buffalo and they may not have as easy a time re-signing him.
Interior lineman have received big pay days during the last few free agency periods and despite fans not giving Levitre the credit he is due, you can bet that other teams have taken notice of his skill set.
Resigning both players is a must if this team wants to start building a contender. Letting one or both go could have a damaging effect on development of the team and the attitude of the fanbase.
The Bills will also have to make decisions on players like Leodis McKelvin, the first-round pick in the same draft which Byrd and Levitre were selected, and defensive end Kyle Moore.
McKelvin has disappointed as a starting cornerback in the NFL, but his return abilities are second to none. If Jacoby Jones hadn't returned three kickoff returns for touchdowns, McKelvin might have gotten a nod for a Pro Bowl bid.
The fourth-year corner played well in the slot this year, but he still makes bad decisions and gambles when in man coverage. Keeping him just for his return skills is a decision that the front office will probably toil through and my guess is that they let the former University of Troy player walk in the offseason.
Moore was a nice surprise after getting picked up from the Lions' practice squad last season. Injuries to Mark Anderson and Chris Kelsay sprung Moore into action opposite Mario Williams on the line.
The 2009 fourth-round draft pick has three sacks on the season, but has not played very well down the stretch.
If Buffalo can find a way to get Moore on a cheap two-year contract with some incentive bonuses built in, then I think it would be worth bringing him back to be a reserve end.