After putting Marshawn Lynch on display for bidding franchises the past three weeks, a deal has finally been made.
The Bills sent Lynch back to the West Coast for a 2011 fourth-round draft pick and a conditional pick in the 2012 draft.
Lynch has been a solid running back for the Bills ever since they used a first-round pick on him in the 2007 NFL Draft, rushing for 2,765 yards and 17 touchdowns in his time in Buffalo.
However, after a series of off the field incidents that led to him being replaced by Fred Jackson at the beginning of the 2009 season, Buffalo fans have been calling for the former California standout to be traded.
So why now, after he is gone, is everyone upset? Is it the fact that the Bills were only able to receive a fourth-round pick? The New England Patriots just traded superstar wide receiver Randy Moss for a third-round pick, and his value to a team far exceeds what Lynch would have brought to the table this season.
The Bills used their No. 9 overall selection in this season's draft to pick up Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. Fans got excited at the prospect of a game-changing tailback, and we have already seen glimpses of his possible potential.
Marshawn's value was at its highest, and the Bills were never going to receive anything higher than a fourth-round pick for a running back who is one slip-up away from an eight-game suspension. There simply weren't enough carries to go around in the loaded Bills backfield, and parting ways with Lynch will allow Spiller to see more playing time...which is what we all have been begging for, right?
As Bills fans, we would love to have our cake and eat it too. But that simply isn't how it works in the National Football League, where running backs are dispensable and bountiful.
Would keeping Marshawn Lynch around really change the outlook of this miserable season? He has rushed for 167 yards on 37 carries thus far and hasn't found the end zone since earning the majority of carries in the Buffalo backfield. It sure doesn't seem like it.
If you take a look at general manager Buddy Nix's track record, he is a man who builds through the draft. During his time in San Diego, he excelled in drafting superstar players, not only in the first round, but in the later rounds as well.
In the fourth-round and beyond, Nix selected players such as running backs Darren Sproles and Michael Turner, linebacker Shaun Phillips, wide receiver Legedu Naanee, and tackles Shane Olivea and Jeremy Clary.
With the Bills in rebuilding mode, every draft pick that can be acquired is held at a premium. Just look at the fourth rounders taken this past year that have made an immediate impact: tight end Aaron Hernandez (18 catches, 240 yards), wide receivers Mardy Gilyard and Mike Williams (12 catches, 139 yards, two touchdowns), and several other players who look to make a splash in the league.
At the very least, this trade shows that Nix is doing what he specializes in doing. This project isn't going to be a one-year turnaround, and parting ways with Lynch will benefit the Buffalo Bills in the future, whether you agree or not.