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End of An Era as Big Three Released
It may have been the busiest off season week in the long illustrious history of the Buffalo Bills, here's a quick blurb on everything that has happened and our take on it:The biggest news of the week obviously, was the end of an era in Buffalo. The Bills in the most shocking of moves released Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, and Thurman Thomas. Those players combined for 42 seasons, 609 games, and 23 pro bowl berths. Our Take: These were moves the Bills needed to make for the future economic stability of the team in the era of the Salary Cap. ANALYSIS
The only player that still had a lot left to give on the field was Smith, he will now complete his career in Washington. Smith signed a 5 year deal with the team two days after being cut by Buffalo. Our Take: he will finish his career close to his home, and probably only play one or two years of the deal. He will hopefully truly realize what he had in Buffalo.
The Bills were able to hold on to Ted Washington after rumors of his release proved to be false. They had until Friday at 4pm to get him to take a paycut or else they would let him go instead of giving him the $1/3 Million bonus he was due to get. He did take a $1 Million cut but the Bills wanted him to take $2 Million cut. Our Take: The head coach won a big battle with the owner on this one, and we think it was imperative that he be brought back especially with Smith gone.
On the unrestricted free agent front. The Bills managed to hold on to Jay Riemersma with a new deal on Sunday. Ruben Brown was not slapped with the franchise tag and looks like he is definitely going elsewhere. The Bills don't have enough money to keep him and he has at least 4 teams interested him including Miami, Tampa Bay, and Detroit. Late reports have the Bills very interested in bringing Thomas Smith back, but his price tag is also too high and he has already visited with Chicago. Kurt Schultz is another free agent on the move as he visits Miami and Denver. Our Take: With Riemersma in the fold, Dusty Ziegler becomes very important with Brown apparently leaving. Schultz is also a key role player that should be brought back if possible.
As far as the restricted free agents go. The Bills have tendered offers to all of them except Joe Cummings and Dan Brandenberg. They also tendered Pat Williams in offer of over $1 Million. That means of somebody tries to sign the former street free agent it would cost them a first round pick. Our Take: The Bills did all the right moves with this group.
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