Anytime a player gets released the obvious reaction around the NFL, especially in the sports writing world, is to try and predict where that player might end up. For most players it is usually ideal for them to go back to something or someone familiar. This was recently seen with the trade of Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders, where Palmer reunited with coach Hue Jackson.
Tashard Choice was released by the Dallas Cowboys to make room on the roster for 2011 second round pick Bruce Carter, the injured star linebacker they drafted out of North Carolina. This release came as no surprise due to the breakout performance from Demarco Murray and Choice's dwindling role in Dallas.
What could be surprising, however, is Choice's next stop, which could be Buffalo.
Why would it make sense for Buffalo, the fourth ranked rushing team in the league, to tinker with a good thing? Between Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Brad Smith, the Bills are getting something quite effective out of the running game.
Yet there are several underlying reasons. Currently there are no proven backup options behind Jackson and Spiller, and with Spiller filling in at wideout for the time being, someone might be needed to carry the load from time to time when Jackson is tired and Spiller is running fade routes.
The other reasons have to do with Chan Gailey, the Bills current coach, who coached Choice throughout his time at Georgia Tech. His familiarity with Choice could get Gailey to sign off on a move like this. Gailey also has the ability to project a role for Choice in the Wildcat package, based on Choice's experience in the triple option at Tech.
What is more telling is the fact that the straight shooting Gailey exercised little caution in heaping praise upon Choice during his time coaching him at Georgia Tech. These two comments from Georgia Tech Football's weekly press in 2007 are quite insightful as to Gailey's regard for Choice.
On having players that are upbeat all the time (referring to Tashard Choice)— "I've had a few."
On what that does for a team— "Doesn't make it dull, that's for sure. There are a lot of people that talk, but Tashard [Choice] says intelligent stuff. There are a lot of guys that run their mouth, talk and say things, but he's relevant and that's what makes him unique to me."
Now it all comes back to Choice, who for perhaps the first time in his career has the ability to make a decision about where he plays. For a guy who has struggled with role insecurity as part of a three-back system for most of his career coming into a team where his role would clearly be laid out for him would seem to be ideal.
Playing for a coach that he built a solid and successful relationship with in the past could offer him the opportunity for a career revitalization and looking into the future he could make quite an intriguing tandem with C.J. Spiller and Jackson into the future.
But it's really Tashard's Choice.