Another week and the Bills dump another high profile player.
Last week Trent Edwards, this week Marshawn Lynch.
The 2007 first round pick is headed for Seattle... his rumored destination since before the draft. The Bills get a reported fourth rounder in 2011 and a conditional pick in 2012. That's compensation that a competent GM and scouting department can make use of down the line... because that's what this year has been and continues to be about.
General Manager Buddy Nix put that in plain terms in a release issued by the team.
"Marshawn has worked hard and played hard for us this season and we certainly appreciate his efforts. We are constantly evaluating our personnel and feel this is a good move for our team's future."
The team's future. Significant because Lynch is now part of a past that represents among lowest points in franchise history. This was a guy the Bills drafted 12th overall in '07. He broke 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons but then lost the starting job to Fred Jackson, an undrafted free agent, last year. He regained the job in week two this year, running for 64-yards at Green Bay, and 79 at New England, but he was virtually useless against the Jets this past Sunday. Lynch had four carries for a whopping eight yards and a fumble that led to a decisive touchdown for New York. It's clear to most people who watch the team that as of right now, Fred Jackson is the best running back the Bills have. Give him the football. Get C.J. Spiller, who the Bills drafted ninth overall this year, into the mix and start moving forward.
I of course, have yet to mention Lynch's off-field incidents that include a hit and run on Chippewa in Buffalo, and a firearm charge in California, where police say they approached the car because they smelled marijuana. In the end, they are what the people of Western New York will remember about Lynch... far more than anything he accomplished on the field.
By shipping Lynch, Gailey and Nix jettison another failed element in what we've called the "Decade of Disappointment" for the franchise. Ten Years out of the playoffs as a result of far too many misses on personnel decisions. Lynch, Maybin, Whitner, McCargo, JP Losman, and Mike Williams were all first rounders. Receiver James Hardy was a second rounder in 2008, and Trent Edwards a third rounder in 2007 - the year they drafted Lynch. That's two of the top three picks from the '07 draft now no longer with the team. The Bills drafted linebacker Paul Posluszny in the second round that year.
In any case, it's a track record that speaks for itself. Draft picks are the lifeblood of any NFL franchise and the Bills clearly haven't gotten much life out of theirs. At least Nix gets something in return for Lynch, and gets rid of a malcontent who was more trouble that he was worth.
I've got absolutely no problem with it. Ship Lynch back to the West Coast, and keep charting a course toward a more positive future.