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Though the Buffalo Bills have one of the best running back tandems in football, the opportunity to add Chris Rainey to the mix might be too good to pass up.
Let me be clear: I do not condone Rainey's off-field actions and would absolutely, 100 percent understand if Buffalo wanted nothing to do with him. He was arrested in early January and immediately waived from the Steelers for an alleged battery incident involving his girlfriend.
Rainey cleared waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent. If Buffalo can work around his legal issues and keep him focused purely on football, the electric running back would provide another explosive element to the Bills.
Rainey will most likely be offered a minimum contract and at the very least will improve the play of others at training camp. He was the primary kick and punt returner for the Steelers as a rookie in 2012 and was explosive with the ball.
As a running back, Rainey had few opportunities and finished 2012 with 26 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
If, and only if, he shows a commitment to improving himself and maturing as an individual, he is worth a chance from Buffalo.
Though C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are the top backs for the Bills, Rainey would provide a change-of-pace approach to keep both players fresh. Other than a few carries a game, Rainey would be lethal in short passing situations, like screens.
Rainey is explosive and shifty, and he makes plays. He would be a cheaper alternative to Leodis McKelvin on returns and has more seasons ahead of him than McKelvin.
The Bills would be able to strike fear into the defense and create endless possibilities if they were able to feature Rainey and Spiller on the field at the same time.
Rainey has a lot of upside and time to reach his potential, but his poor decision-making may be his worst enemy. Having said that, several NFL players have gotten a second chance after a legal issue and thrived with it. Rainey could do the same in Buffalo.
For a cheap price, the Bills could develop Rainey into an explosive threat for the offense. If he has any more off-field antics or doesn't gel with the personnel, it wouldn't cost Buffalo much.
Though the marriage might initially seem unlikely, Rainey could really bring another element to the Buffalo Bills.