Buffalo Bills sign EJ Manuel, cut Tavares Jackson
Welcome to Circling the Wagons, where we compile the most recent Buffalo Bills news links from the past week or two and offer commentary on what’s to come.
Good to see the inevitable come to an easy conclusion here. Remember rookie holdouts that took forever? Yeesh. If your team took a guy in the top ten or a QB at all, you were held hostage for months wondering if that guy would even suit up for your team. Now? Done in a month, maybe six weeks. That lockout sure wasn’t popular, but they didn’t get a few things right from it. Rookie wage scaling was one of them. Plus, Manuel might not even be the one who benefits the most from this. Now that the Bills have two potential starters under contract, one man has been freed by circumstance.
That’s right! And he’s already back in Seattle where he probably has a home or at least a few friends still chillin, and maybe he’ll get to wear a ball cap to a playoff game this time. And even without the whole Seahawks-are-way-better-than-the-Bills thing, it’s a good move for TJ. With Matt Flynn in Oakland, the Seahawks needed a #2 QB. Jackson would never be more than a third QB in Buffalo. At least now, he’s one ill-fortuned play from playing some football.
In other news, what a waste that whole Tavares Jackson thing was. Remember when Buddy Nix was real pumped about getting that seventh round pick back in the draft day deal with the Rams? He gave up that pick for literally nothing. Not even a guy who would actually throw the ball in practice. Tavares Jackson didn’t even show up for a meaningful practice. I get it. Seventh round pick, whatever, but what a mess. I hope Doug Whaley wasn’t taking notes during any meeting in which Tavares Jackson’s name came up.
The No Fun League strikes again (this time right in the ass).
It cracks me up that a league so bent on luring its fans away from HD TVs and padded couches into bloated, overpriced stadiums with terrible views would subsequently ban seat cushions when half the stadium seating consists of cold metal. Cracks me up, but certainly doesn’t surprise me. Pro sports might be the only business in which they can make an annual event out of releasing news that pisses off its customers while still growing in revenue every year.
Oh, football. They sure do love to compare their game to some lethal stuff, don’t they? Granted, I don’t think ‘kill’ should be used with the media by any football player, but is it really a big deal if they use it in the locker room among themselves? There aren’t (many) murderers in an NFL locker room. I think they can separate nicknames for hits from actual mob hits. If anything, what we want is awareness of one’s surroundings from these guys. Don’t say kill, don’t really think kill, don’t kill in general. Probably a good rule of thumb going forward for football players, given the nature of today’s news media.
Don’t you have to see guys play actual games to tell if they made a leap? Those One Bills Drivers are crafty like that though. They know the best time to talk up unproven Bills players is during the summer when there are no counterarguments. That aside, I thought Gilmore was not only the best rookie on the team last year, but he was one of the three or four best defensive players on the team for just about every game. It’s easy to draw comparisons between Mike Pettine’s philosophy and what the Bills will likely want to do with Gilmore. One can say they’ll want to leave the outside cornerbacks alone to thin the field and put more pressure on the quarterback, but Pettine had the proper personnel to pull that off. Outside of Gilmore, the Bills have nothing at cornerback. How Gilmore fits in the scheme means less to me here than simply having decent cornerback play, something the Bills didn’t have much of last year outside of Gilmore.
Great piece on how the current Jairus Byrd situation parallels the last nasty contract dispute to roll through Buffalo. Given that Jason Peters hasn’t exactly been a world beater since leaving Buffalo, it’s easy to pass off what can happen from losing one player, but this Byrd situation still feels different. Good tackles are hard to find, but home run hitting safeties seem even tougher and more important in this pass happy era. Meanwhile this is Doug Whaley’s first major contract haggle, and I doubt he wants to start off his reign by potentially being stuck with a huge safety contract OR a huge hole at safety. They have until about mid to late July to figure this out. Otherwise we may be in Get What We Can Mode with Byrd. At least when Peters left, the Bills got Eric Wood in return.
But hey if you’re feeling bummed about that, read this super optimistic blog post about the Jets QB situation.
And lastly, there’s this small bit on the upcoming break. No groundbreaking news and no way to prove anyone will do anything on the break, but it’s something to tab and save for that mid season slump when we’ll need something to bitterly quip about.
Have a good link? Send it to me at CBuck@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com or tweet it to me @TheBuckMopsHere and if I like it, I’ll post it with credit. Til next time, keep Billievin.