The Buffalo Bills should have re-signed Andy Levitre and I'm terrified that this will come back to haunt the organization. Am I overreacting? Most likely. I do that. But as it stands right now I'm pretty bummed about what I feel is the strongest unit on the team falling apart.
Before I get started, it should be said that there is the chance that Levitre wanted out of Buffalo no matter what was offered to him. Perhaps the Bills front office did in fact offer Levitre a huge contract comparable or even larger than what Tennessee gave him, but he simply wanted out of the playoff death trap that is the Buffalo Bills. Maybe all of the reports about Buffalo not contacting him at all were erroneous. I admit this is possible, however it does not change the fact that Levitre is gone, and it doesn't matter whether it was because they didn't try hard enough to re-sign him, or if the team's constant failure was the major factor. Either way, the fault falls on the front office. Onto my actual rant.
8 million dollars a year for Andy Levitre is A LOT of money. I get it. Yet, in the last 10 years, myself and many other semi-intelligent football fans have been clamoring for the Buffalo Bills to bolster their defensive and offensive lines. It finally happened. Despite this team's failure last season, the Bills have developed Kyle Williams, drafted a beast in Marcel Dareus, and signed big name free agents Mario Williams and Mark Anderson....now we just need them to put a full season together. At least the talent is THERE.
On the other side of the ball, the offensive line had finally become a bright spot on the team. It is no secret that I loved me some Joe D'Alessandris. He was one of the only coaches I wanted back in Buffalo from 'the coach that shall not be named' regime. He did a great job with his players. Cordy Glenn struggled late season but has shown tons of promise as a 2nd round pick. Erik Pears has become a waiver wire steal and has played great, as well as his back-up Chris Hairston, who I have said said before has the talent to start in the league. Eric Wood is obviously a top-tier center (besides the injury issues, but more on that later), and I have a weird obsession with Kraig Urbik after watching him flatten linebackers while blocking for Spiller. That leaves Andy Levitre, who has anchored this line for four straight seasons without missing a game. That is the key stat that has been overlooked here. On a team that has been decimated by injuries EVERY SEASON (especially on the offensive line), Levitre has been a rock, playing at every position and playing well (except at center, that was an absolute disaster). Has he struggled occasionally? Yes. Is he overrated? No. On a team this bad, that still managed to have great run AND pass blocking, how can he be overrated? I honestly don't understand this. I've tried finding game clips of him royally fucking up, or in-depth articles about how he has been a failure, but I turned up absolutely nothing. Andy Levitre has been a great player for this team and he should still be a part of it.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuck thaaaaaaaaaaaat. He did his job and he did it well, but all of sudden Joe fanbase thinks he will be overpaid? And miraculously you think this 872 year old GM and cocksucker Russ Brandon KNOW what they are doing? Good for you. I have some lakefront property I'd like to joke that everyone has made I'll shut up now with that.
You overpay for good players. You just do. If you want to be a contender in the NFL I truly think that needs to happen (sweeping generalizations, anyone?). So instead of giving Levitre a big contract that he earned, the Bills dump more money into a former 1st round pick CB who has only become serviceable as a punt returner/dime back and another underachieving linebacker that no other team wanted. (Manny Lawson sounds like a swell guy, but no other team even had him on their radars. I read seven different articles about the top 50-100 free agents on the market and not ONE named him, except a single honorable mention.) Speaking of lists, I realize that they have become somewhat arbitrary, but Levitre was also top 5-10 on every single one I could google up. They can't all be dummies, right? O.K. don't answer that.
The other argument I see, is that the Bills need to save the money so they can re-sign impending UFA Eric Wood next year. Really? I mean for real? Like real deal Evander Holyfield? (I'm sorry) Remember when this team let Antoine Winfield walk so they could save money to re-sign Nate Clements? Both of them left. And even if the Bills did convince Clements to come back, Winfield has by far (I'd say about 6,428 miles) out-played his former teammate in their post-Buffalo careers. I absolutely hate this argument. Like, post-lockout hockey fan hate. On top of that, you're telling me the team should save money to re-sign a guy who has yet to put together a full season. This is also a player that has suffered more than one severe injury in his short career, and my counterparts think the money should be invested in him because Center's are harder to find. No. Just no. I like Eric Wood and believe he has long term Pro Bowl potential IF he can stay healthy....but that hasn't happened yet. The guy could be one year away from Brad Butler status and that is not a chance I want to take when I have a healthy starting guard sitting on my roster.
And of course, to top things off the Bills also lost Chad Rinehart to the San Diego Chargers this week, thus losing one possible "cheap replacement" option for Levitre. I'm willing to wait a little longer and see what happens in the rest of free agency, but right now I have feeling that the organization, and us as fans are going to find out that we didn't know what we had til it was gone. I hope I'm wrong, I really do. Until then, get ready for David Snow. UNLIMITED INFORMER/GAME OF THRONES JOKES FOR EVERYBODY! /goes on instagram because deep down I miss twitter
You can hassle me on twitter @TheScizz but right now I'm taking a sabbatical so you'll be ignored.