With the recent selection of CJ Spiller in the 2010 NFL Draft, many rumors began swirling about a potential trade involving Buffalo's former 1st round pick, Marshawn Lynch. The 3-year pro has seen his fair share of trouble during his career, but Lynch is unquestionably an asset to the Bills' offense.
"Beast Mode," a nickname given to Lynch describing his physical running style, has amassed almost 3,000 yards and 17 touchdowns in his three year career. Although he regressed slightly last season due to his suspension and the surprising play of Fred Jackson, his talent is still valuable—and maybe more importantly, unique—to Buffalo.
Despite already having two talented running backs in Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller, those two players are also far from polished or "every-down players" at this stage of their careers.
Fred Jackson exploded onto the scene last year, becoming the first player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards both rushing and returning in the same season. His 2,516 combined yards were the 4th highest in NFL history as well.
Although these numbers are great, football is a game that requires points. Jackson was only able to find the endzone twice rushing the football last season, both against Miami week 12.
CJ Spiller comes into the picture this season as Buffalo's 1st round selection, pick 9 overall. His dynamic play is said to match that of Reggie Bush or DeAngelo Williams, but as we've seen from recent history with those players, it will take a year or two to develop at the next level. Spiller will most likely only see 10-15 touches a game this season, and have his role more on special teams.
Enter Marshawn Lynch.
With two seasons as a featured back under his belt, Lynch will play a key role in Buffalo's offense, as a power runner who will need to move the chains and score in the redzone.
Without a huge receiving threat outside of Lee Evans, it is imperative for Buffalo to have a strong running game. With the explosive speed in CJ Spiller, the hybrid in Fred Jackson, and the power back in Marshawn Lynch, it is very possible that the Bills can use all three in very distinct ways.
As a side, many have questioned Marshawn's character and have claimed that he is a bad person.
That's simply not true.
Actually look at the facts and come up with a conclusion based on that, instead of using the media as your source for information. You'll see that in most cases, Marshawn was hardly at fault for what he was accused of.
In June 2006, Lynch was the victim of mistaken identity and was shot at incidentally. The shooter would later apologize to Lynch and even his mother, confirming that he was not the intended target. Unfortunately, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Six months later, Lynch was accused of sexual assault by his former girlfriend. Four days later, the District Attorney declined to press charges, citing a lack of evidence and "grave inconsistencies" in the accusation. The County judge even threw out the restraining order against him.
In June 2008, the accident most people are aware of, Lynch was involved in a hit-and-run in Buffalo. The media immediately jumped on Lynch, labeling him a horrible person with poor judgment. The part of the story that gets left out is that the woman was extremely intoxicated, dancing in the middle of the street, refusing to get out of his way.
Let's face it, you would've hit her too.
With no options left, Lynch slowly proceeded forward to scare the woman out of the road, when at the same time she had jumped into the moving vehicle. A Buffalo police officer confirmed this, stating that the woman did not suffer "severe physical injury".
After avoiding criminal charges for that case, the woman then sued Lynch for negligence. Her first lawyer refused to represent her, presumably because he didn't see potential in winning the case.
The once so-called "Mama's Boy" was innocent on almost every count. One could say bad luck for being involved in so many cases, but these things happen to people.
Given an opportunity to succeed, Marshawn Lynch is more than capable of doing so. For the sake of Buffalo fans everywhere, let's hope he does.