Time to put Lynch on the trading block?
On Wednesday, the NFP’s Joe Fortenbaugh wrote about the possibility of the Bills making a deal with the Chargers — who are in the market for a running back — by sending Marshawn Lynch out west for cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
The Bills have talent at corner, but with a new GM in Buddy Nix and a new head coach in Chan Gailey, everyone on the Buffalo roster is for sale. That’s just the reality of the NFL when changes are made in the front office and on the sidelines. I’ve been on those teams, and everyone is on the block as the roster will be completely turned over within a couple of seasons.
Is Lynch a possibility to change uniforms? Of course, and even if you don’t want to hear about the idea of the Bills using Lynch to add to the secondary, what about the idea of actually moving their former first-round pick?
Since Nix took the job in western New York, he’s been analyzing the roster, and once Gailey was hired, the real evaluation process began. Every player will be broken down. Do they fit Gailey’s scheme? Can they stay healthy? Are they a fit from a locker-room perspective? Can we dump their salary? Are they a part of our future? What type of value do they have?
The last one may be the most important when we talk about Lynch. In my opinion, Fred Jackson is the starting running back of the Bills. He’s physical, can break tackles and has a running style — a slashing style — that enables him to slip through holes and penetrate to the second level of the defense. Plus, he’s accountable on Sundays.
That isn’t a knock on Lynch because the former Cal star is a dynamic running back and has a skill set that should be enticing if he’s floated on the open market.
And that’s the real story here. Jackson was more productive than Lynch in 2009, and I expect that to continue in 2010. He’ll see more touches and will be more involved in the game plan.
Now is the time when Lynch may have his best value.
And with 2010 being an uncapped season — and a big question mark for 2011 — if the Bills have any inclination to trade the running back, this is the exact offseason to do so.
We know there will be plenty of teams that will listen and probably multiple teams that will call back with an offer of their own. Lynch is young, he’s shown that he can carry the load as a feature running back (two 1,000-plus-yard seasons), and he can catch the ball out of the backfield.
The off-the-field issues? They may cause some teams to hesitate, but if you want Lynch and you see him as your No. 1 option in the backfield, you’ll soon forget those headlines.
Buffalo will have to decide what its options are in the backfield and what it needs in return if it does try and move Lynch. This is a team with question marks and a team that could use an extra player at a position in need — such as QB — or an extra draft pick for April.
Is it time to float his name out there and see if there are any takers? That’s up to Nix and Gailey, but this is the offseason for trades and speculation on ways that every franchise can make a big move.
And it never hurts to see what you can get in return at this time of year.
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For a look at eight potential trades involving RBs, check out this article from Bleacher Report.