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The Bills have arrived


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"Life is just a twisting, sucking, eddy of despair, occasionally highlighted by false hopes, in an ever darkening universe."  

 

My best friend in basic training¬†told me that one night and I have never forgotten it¬†(he¬†was quite the optimistūüėČ).¬† ¬†Over the last two decades those words have been¬†a¬†succinct description of what it's been like to be a Bills' fan.¬† I'm not going to belabor the point of how bad it's been, we all have the scars to show for it.¬†

 

What strikes me now after watching this season unfold is that for the first time in a long time I don't think this season represents a "false hope".  I truly believe that the Bills have turned the corner from being a perennially dysfunctional franchise into being a well run organization that should be able to have sustained success. 

 

If you are under 50 you might not remember the dumpster fire that was the New Orleans Saints year after year.  Fans routinely showed up for "Aint's " games with brown paper bags over their heads.  The Tampa Bay Bucs were another model of dysfunction.  |They were historically bad.  For years and years they lost week in and week out.  In the first twenty years of the franchise they had seventeen seasons with six or less wins.  The Saints and the Bucs were just horrible. 

 

Then something happened... Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis teamed up in New Orleans, and Tony Dungy and John McKay got together in Tampa.  They stopped the skid.  They drafted soundly.  They coached hard.  They changed the culture. They built professional football organizations from top to bottom.  They began to win.  They won Super Bowls.

 

That is what I see happening now with Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott in Buffalo. They are working in concert.  They have the same philosophy of how to build a successful organization.  No detail is too small.  Every part of the organization is being optimized to strengthen the whole.  They are bringing in staff, coaches, and players who all are pulling on the rope in the same direction, and they are getting traction.  They have stopped the two decades long skid. 

 

The Buffalo Bills have become a model NFL franchise. How long has it been since we could say that?

 

I think we have a real shot to win a Super Bowl this year, but even if we fall short, I would be shocked if this organization doesn't win a Super Bowl in the next three years.  I think we are set up as a franchise with the Pegulas, Beane, and McDermott to enjoy a sustained period of competitiveness in the NFL.  I think we will be a franchise that is consistently at the top of the NFL.  After so many years of wandering in the desert, I think the Bills have finally arrived.

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The Bills are much improved in terms of function. But, the design of the league is that teams rise and fall with the draft and the salary cap.  Belicheck was candid in an interview recently.   The Pats had sold out the cap in past years and this year were paying the price.  The Bills did that also.  Now, this version of the Bills has the old salary cap.  When the new reduced version comes into play, a lot of the vets that have made this team will be gone..replaced with cheap new draft picks and non draft picks.  Even the vet minimum will be "expensive", especially after Josh gets his $40 mil a year deal.  Thats not an arrow for Josh, its just the  Bills being pulled back to the NFL earth.

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9 minutes ago, bigK14094 said:

The Bills are much improved in terms of function. But, the design of the league is that teams rise and fall with the draft and the salary cap.  Belicheck was candid in an interview recently.   The Pats had sold out the cap in past years and this year were paying the price.  The Bills did that also.  Now, this version of the Bills has the old salary cap.  When the new reduced version comes into play, a lot of the vets that have made this team will be gone..replaced with cheap new draft picks and non draft picks.  Even the vet minimum will be "expensive", especially after Josh gets his $40 mil a year deal.  Thats not an arrow for Josh, its just the  Bills being pulled back to the NFL earth.

There is no guarantee that the cap will drop this offseason, there is talk of holding it as is, expecting a return to normal next season.  And Josh will get his $40 million after 2 more seasons, at that point, the cap will be higher and we'll likely have lost many veterans to reduce our cap numbers.  I'm not overly worried about the cap. Imagine if Amazon buys streaming rights to the broadcasts, cap might be going up substantially after the next  broadcasting contract.

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19 minutes ago, bigK14094 said:

The Bills are much improved in terms of function. But, the design of the league is that teams rise and fall with the draft and the salary cap.  Belicheck was candid in an interview recently.   The Pats had sold out the cap in past years and this year were paying the price.  The Bills did that also.  Now, this version of the Bills has the old salary cap.  When the new reduced version comes into play, a lot of the vets that have made this team will be gone..replaced with cheap new draft picks and non draft picks.  Even the vet minimum will be "expensive", especially after Josh gets his $40 mil a year deal.  Thats not an arrow for Josh, its just the  Bills being pulled back to the NFL earth.

 

While what you wrote is mathematically correct, indisputable, I think it does not adequately credit what McDermott and Beane have built and are building.  What you wrote is certainly not lost on them.  That is the thing with this coach/GM combo - they have a long-term view.  I believe, and hope, they will manage the transition from having a terrific QB on a rookie deal to a team with a superstar QB on his second contract.  They have already shown they can hit on draft picks and reasonably priced vet signings.  Hyde, Poyer, Williams, Beasley and Brown were all modestly priced.  Outside of the first round: Dawkins, Milano, Bass, Epenesa, Wallace, Singletary, Moss, Davis, to name a few.  Who knows what the future holds, but enjoy the ride and trust The Process!! 

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2 hours ago, bigK14094 said:

The Bills are much improved in terms of function. But, the design of the league is that teams rise and fall with the draft and the salary cap.  Belicheck was candid in an interview recently.   The Pats had sold out the cap in past years and this year were paying the price.  The Bills did that also.  Now, this version of the Bills has the old salary cap.  When the new reduced version comes into play, a lot of the vets that have made this team will be gone..replaced with cheap new draft picks and non draft picks.  Even the vet minimum will be "expensive", especially after Josh gets his $40 mil a year deal.  Thats not an arrow for Josh, its just the  Bills being pulled back to the NFL earth.

 

I think I'm gonna go watch St. Jude's Children Hospital commercials for a couple hours straight to cheer myself up.

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2 hours ago, klos63 said:

There is no guarantee that the cap will drop this offseason, there is talk of holding it as is, expecting a return to normal next season.  And Josh will get his $40 million after 2 more seasons, at that point, the cap will be higher and we'll likely have lost many veterans to reduce our cap numbers.  I'm not overly worried about the cap. Imagine if Amazon buys streaming rights to the broadcasts, cap might be going up substantially after the next  broadcasting contract.

 

No Bills fan should be worried about the cap. We can't keep everybody but we are very well set up. 

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2 hours ago, bigK14094 said:

The Bills are much improved in terms of function. But, the design of the league is that teams rise and fall with the draft and the salary cap.  Belicheck was candid in an interview recently.   The Pats had sold out the cap in past years and this year were paying the price.  The Bills did that also.  Now, this version of the Bills has the old salary cap.  When the new reduced version comes into play, a lot of the vets that have made this team will be gone..replaced with cheap new draft picks and non draft picks.  Even the vet minimum will be "expensive", especially after Josh gets his $40 mil a year deal.  Thats not an arrow for Josh, its just the  Bills being pulled back to the NFL earth.


Salary Cap discussions are worth having when you’re paying a QB, but I honestly don’t see a parallel between the Bills and teams selling out against the cap.   
 

The Pats issue is they can’t draft and don’t have a QB now.  Bill can blame the cap all he wants, but it’s much deeper than that for NE.  
 

The one spot on this team that, as currently constructed, won’t remain as so when we pay Josh, is the Defensive Line.   That is where we can pay Ed Oliver and another solid EDGE pass rusher, but will have to rely on the rotation and hit on some draft picks to keep a strong DL out there.  We won’t be able to pay a Hughes AND Addison.  We won’t be able to waste money on a Trent Murphy who isn’t even active.  No money for a space eating DT in Star.   Those positions will need to be filled by true rotational guys and draft picks IF we want to provide Josh Allen with a top 10 OL & strong weaponry.   
 

The FO’s assumptive view of not paying RB’s also helps. 

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Great post. Honestly, I'd rather suffer and then have this kind of payoff than the other way around.  Pats fans under 30 are like trust fund kids - it's hard to appreciate the wealth when you've never known poverty.

 

We're well set up w/ a great coach and a QB who just keeps getting better.  It's all homer of me to say this, but I think Allen could be in the GOAT discussion before all is said & done.  He's that good, and that determined.

 

As for the salary cap thing that others have brought up:  I think Beane may have that figured out, as well.  He has a knack for finding guys like few other GM's I've seen - very targeted FA acquisitions, as well as successful contributors in the mid & later rounds of drafts.  I hated losing Lawson, but ultimately, it didn't really matter too much.  We'll probably have to get used to losing talented players who we love, but Beane is building a sustainable model for success, imo.

 

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