Why the Buffalo Bills' Quiet Offseason Approach Has Been Effective

Greg HaefnerSenior Analyst IApril 15, 2010

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 22:  Dwan Edwards #93 of the Baltimore Ravens comes up with the ball during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Colts defeated the Ravens 17-15. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

While the rest of the AFC East seems to be in a high-profile transaction frenzy this offseason, the Buffalo Bills have been taking an approach much different from that of their division rivals.

The Miami Dolphins shelled out a combined $93 million for free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby and former Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall , plus two second-round picks to acquire the latter.

The Jets signed future Hall of Fame running back LaDanian Tomlinson , while acquiring former All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers and Super Bowl XLIII MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes from the Steelers.

The Patriots have been relatively quiet, but with four picks in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft, that was to be expected.

The Bills, like the Jets and Dolphins, have been making moves. Unlike the moves made by their division foes, however, the moves made by Buffalo have been far from high-profile.

Just because their signings are under the radar, though, does not necessarily diminish their importance.


Cornell Green (three years, $9 million)

A former Raiders offensive tackle and one of the first free-agent signings by Buffalo, Green is a seasoned veteran and projected stop-gap starter at right tackle.

Green is a low-end starter at best, and the Bills know that, but with Brad Butler's retirement, anybody was needed, and considering the average age of the offensive linemen was 24.7 years old prior to the Green signing, getting a veteran presence was a bonus.

Green will still have to beat out the likes of Demetrius Bell, Jamon Meredith and/or a draft pick to be the opening day starter at right tackle, but if he loses that competition, he will still provide depth and experience on Buffalo's offensive line.


Andra Davis (two years, $4.4 million)

Davis has played in the 3-4 defensive scheme his entire career. With the Bills trying to implement a new 3-4 defense with a cast of players unfamiliar with the system, bringing in someone with experience, who is still playing at a solid level, is important.

Davis racked up 90 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season with Denver. He is still playing at a high enough level to be a solid starter inside Buffalo's new defense while helping to ease the transition for the other players.


Dwan Edwards (four years, $18 million)

Edwards was the biggest-name signing for the Bills this offseason, and still his addition went mostly unnoticed. Edwards, like Davis, has played his entire career in the 3-4 defensive scheme and has been a productive player.

Edwards, a very stout defender against the run, projects to be an immediate starter at defensive end in the new alignment, and will help ease the transition to the 3-4 defense while also improving the unit as a whole.

Though the combined contracts of Buffalo's three main signings ($31.4 million) still do not even total the money given to Dansby by the Dolphins ($43 million), do not let that fool you into thinking that these signings are any less important.

Each will have a significant impact on the Bills' roster and the course of the 2010 season.

While the most impactful additions may be still to come via the draft this month, Buffalo's quiet approach to free agency has still been quite effective, despite being overshadowed by all the big-name moves being made by other teams in the AFC East.

Do not be fooled by the lack of big name additions; the Bills' front office has a plan in mind and is executing it.