The Fall of the Bills Dynasty Picks Up Speed as They're About to Lose Their Two Best Defensive Players
By way of making a full confession, I was being semi-sarcastic when I wrote this at the end of the Buffalo Bills' season:
It was one of those things where you use satire to make a larger point. In this case, that the world had been crowning the Bills for the better part of four seasons, when they hadn't won anything more than those "AFC East Champs" t-shirts your grandmother who doesn't follow sports sees on the rack at WalMart and buys it for you because she thinks you'll like it. So that post was just meant as a dig to Bills Mafia. My way of saying Buffalo is the team of the future. And always will be. Because their window is closing.
I just didn't know how right I was. Because no sooner had the dust settled from embarrassments like this:
… then they lost Leslie Frazier, one of the most successful defensive coordinators in the league, for next year at least and maybe longer.
And today we find out that losing the coach who led the No. 2 scoring defense, one that gave up the fewest yards in the league, is the least of their concerns:
Yahoo - The Buffalo Bills defense could take a significant hit in free agency if the recent report regarding linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Jordan Poyer end up being true.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bills are expected to lose Edmunds, a two-time Pro Bowler.
“They’re also expected to lose Tremaine Edmunds in Buffalo as well, a free agent, and I don’t think he’ll be back in Buffalo,” Schefter said on NFL Live.
Poyer, a 2022 Pro Bowler, was also a franchise tag candidate for the Bills, but the fact that he went untagged doesn’t bode well for his future with the team, either, as Herm Edwards pointed out on the show.
“It’s quite puzzling that you lose your [defensive] coordinator. You lose your safeties. It’s kind of interesting if you’re the Buffalo Bills right now,” said Edwards.
Oof. Maybe this is just the Patriots fan in me talking after years of listening to the world tell me the Bills would dominate the division for as long as Josh Allen chooses to live among us humans before being beamed back to his home world, but it would take a heart of stone not to laugh.
But to be fair to me and all Pats fans, Tremaine Edmunds has been the bane of our existence since he came out of Virginia Tech at the age of 20. In the five seasons since, he's been to two Pro Bowls. He doesn't miss games. He doesn't miss tackles, as he's had between 100 and 121 every year. And last year received Pro Football Focus' highest coverage grade among all linebackers, an exceptional 90.0 on the strength of an interception and 10 PBUs.
Poyer was Franchised this past season after posting a preposterous passer rating when targeted of 13.7, by far the best in the league. With five interceptions, five PUBs, and a reception % of 46.4, which was 4th best among all defenders. Last year he took a step back while missing five games. But practically no season could compare to the one that earned him the Franchise Tag. And at 32, he's still got miles left on his drivetrain. They just won't be in Buffalo.
Like I said in that semi-sarcastic post from January: It's hard getting to the top, but it's even harder staying there. Coaches leave. Payment comes due on players. The irreplaceable ones have to have replacements. And whoever takes Frazier's seat at the table, he's going to look at his hand and see his two best cards are no longer there. If there's any justice in the world, one or two of them will be in New England, but that's a story for another blog. For now, all we can do is acknowledge that the mighty are indeed falling in Orchard Park. Sad. Very very sad.