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Time for the Bills to deal Marshawn Lynch

Buffalo needs upgrades, and RB could have value on the market. Matt Bowen

Print This April 12, 2010, 06:35 AM EST
12 Comments

The clock seems to be ticking on Marshawn Lynch’s career in Buffalo these days. It’s something that has been speculated since the end of the 2009 season, and with the NFL Draft quickly approaching next Thursday, it’s time for the Bills to look for buyers.

According to a team source who spoke to the National Football Post yesterday, Bills ownership has grown tired of Lynch’s act — and he doesn’t look to be a fit for new head coach Chan Gailey. Although that isn't an automatic ticket out of town, the solution is simple: Trade Lynch while he’s still considered to have value throughout the league.

Buffalo needs players. It has an open QB competition coming this August during camp, and although it owns the ninth pick of the draft, this is a roster that needs major upgrades. Happens with a coaching change for sure, but we’re talking about a franchise that has to find a way to beat New England for the first time since the 2003 season before it can become a contender.

To do that, Gailey is going to need players who fit his scheme and buy into his program.

Draft picks start to carry major weight, and the more that Buffalo can get — while dumping players that don’t have the character or the desire to play for Gailey — the more opportunities this club will have to start making those upgrades with young talent that it can build a team around.

I do view Lynch as having some value on the trade market. Although his production was down last season (450 yards, 3.8 per carry), he’s still a former first-round pick who has shown that he can play at a Pro Bowl level. The off-the-field issues? Something to think about if you’re a GM looking to make a deal, but if you see Lynch having production in your system, it’s easy to pretend those issues don’t exist.

For the Bills, this is a trade they should look to get done. Fred Jackson is the starting running back for this team. He has a unique first step to the hole, runs with a nice blend of speed and power and, more important, finishes runs with his pads square to the line of the scrimmage. A good, solid running back who has a lot of miles left in those legs.

Add that to the idea of Gailey selecting a back though the draft who can complement Jackson in the Bills’ third-down sub packages — a player in the mold of Ole Miss’ Dexter McCluster — and I don’t see how Lynch fits with this team on offense or in the eyes of the front office.

We talk about it all the time with coaching changes in the league, and this could just be another example of Gailey cleaning house. Or it could be an example of the team looking to move on from a player who doesn’t fit what it’s trying to do from a team aspect.

Either way, the Bills need to get something done and get something in return if they can pull off a deal — and start upgrading this roster to compete in the AFC East.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

Comments

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Mark Bua
Apr 12, 2010
08:57 AM

Matt,

I know there was talk on local sports radio in San Diego about the Chargers trading for Lynch. Do you think that AJ Smith might be willing to part with the Chargers extra 3rd rd pick for Lynch? I doubt it will happen due to his character issues but it would give the Chargers a chance to use their first 2 picks to address DT, CB, or OL and reach for a RB in the 3rd rd or later.

Paul
Apr 12, 2010
11:15 AM

Mark- I think the 3rd may be too high for Lynch, but I do agree with him in San Diego.

The gritz blitz
Apr 12, 2010
11:23 AM

Marshawn I always felt had a pretty complete game . He's a decent runner who has great hands & can block . That being said he also likes guns & weed . I can't really see him having that much value. Matt what do you think the Bills could get for him ?

Matt Bowen
Apr 12, 2010
11:49 AM
Matt Bowen

@Gritz-

You bring up a good point about the off the field issues. Usually, teams are willing to give a first round pick another chance at all costs if he has only played for one team. But, that will be the sticking point when it comes to value.

We know he can play and carry the load as a No.1 if he is in the right system. I think a fourth rounder is fair, but it all comes to the GM and the scheme. Would you take the risk? Lots of reward there....

nubbers
Apr 12, 2010
12:57 PM

Matt -

Do you think that Lynch could be a good fit in Green Bay sort of as a change of pace back to Grant, someone who can go and bang between the tackles as well as be a threat out of the backfield or do you think he would fit better in a different system? The reason I ask is there was a lot of talk about GM Thompsom taking Lynch in the first round (this was before they got Grant in a trade w/ the Giants obviously) and later took Brandon Jackson instead. The Bills took Lynch before GB picked, but I think Lynch could have ended up in GB had the Bills passed on him.

nubbers
Apr 12, 2010
12:57 PM

Matt -

Do you think that Lynch could be a good fit in Green Bay sort of as a change of pace back to Grant, someone who can go and bang between the tackles as well as be a threat out of the backfield or do you think he would fit better in a different system? The reason I ask is there was a lot of talk about GM Thompsom taking Lynch in the first round (this was before they got Grant in a trade w/ the Giants obviously) and later took Brandon Jackson instead. The Bills took Lynch before GB picked, but I think Lynch could have ended up in GB had the Bills passed on him.

Darren
Apr 12, 2010
12:58 PM

Matt: I'm surprised, seeing as how you are a member of the media (sort of), there was no mention of Marshawn's refusal to speak with reporters. This is one of the primary factors why he has nobody in his corner. We are only left with speculation, both to his on-field and off-field behavior.

Last season, I can count the number of solid plays by Marshawn on one hand (awesome run off tackle against the Jets in TO, which led to a Lynch TD run Kerry Rhodes wanted no part of preventing, a long run against KC in which he had no closing kick, and perhaps his other TD, a Fitzpatrick fake that froze the Panthers D enough for Lynch to twirl into the end zone.)

Conventional wisdom in Buffalo was that the 3-game suspension set back his rhythm and adversely impacted his entire season. There is some truth to this, especially considering the monster games Freddy Jackson had in Lynch's absence. But what does it say about Lynch that the suspension threw off his entire season, that he was unable to recover and right his ship?

In my opinion, sports, especially football, is all about how players deal with prosperity and adversity. Obviously there hasn't been much prosperity in Buffalo for the past 10 years, although 2008's 5-1 start is the latest example of this team's inability to handle prosperity. If Lynch could not handle the adversity of losing his starting job to Jackson during his suspension, why would a new team think he deserves a #1 gig?

nubbers
Apr 12, 2010
01:36 PM

Matt -

Do you think that Lynch could be a good fit in Green Bay sort of as a change of pace back to Grant, someone who can go and bang between the tackles as well as be a threat out of the backfield or do you think he would fit better in a different system? The reason I ask is there was a lot of talk about GM Thompsom taking Lynch in the first round (this was before they got Grant in a trade w/ the Giants obviously) and later took Brandon Jackson instead. The Bills took Lynch before GB picked, but I think Lynch could have ended up in GB had the Bills passed on him.

CaptObtuse
Apr 12, 2010
02:45 PM

nubbers-

Do you ever get the feeling people ignore you?

Matt Bowen
Apr 12, 2010
03:04 PM
Matt Bowen

@nubbers

Do you see Ted Thompson dealing away draft picks for another RB? One who has baggage? Can pick up a dynamic back later in the draft if the Packers want to upgrade.

@Darren

Does he have to be a No.1? Would like him as a No.2 on a lot of teams, such as Detroit behind Smith when he returns... if you can get him for cheap.

Thanks

gjecat
Apr 12, 2010
05:57 PM

Another NFL player who doesn't appear to have a clue as to how lucky and blessed he was , and may never be again if he doesn't get his head on straight . I'm getting real sick of these fools who don't get just how lucky they are to be able to get rich playing a game for a living . get a clue or get lost .

LionsfaninClev
Apr 12, 2010
07:22 PM

Wouldn't want him in Detroit unless it was for a 6th Rd pick in 2011. Too much risk.

The Lions could get a RB without all the character issues in Round 3 or 4, who may turn out to be just as good, if not better, than Lynch.

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