After the Buffalo Bills lost out on the Paul Posluszny sweepstakes, fans have been quite vocal about the need for an inside linebacker to fill the void.
Just in the Nick of time (Oh come on, I just had to), the Bills come to terms with former Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett on a three-year, $12 million deal.
This signing makes almost too much sense, and is just what the Bills need.
1) Barnett fills a need
- There's no doubt I would have pulled my hair out if they had gone in to the season with Andra Davis and Reggie Torbor as the starting inside linebackers of the team. Davis can start, but Torbor is more of a depth guy anyway. Barnett allows the Bills to be patient with rookie Kelvin Sheppard in bringing him up to speed for this season.
2) Barnett is just as good as Paul Posluszny
- Sure, he may have never matched Posluszny's tackle statistics from a season ago, but the bottom line is this: Did you ever really notice Posluszny on the field for doing something extraordinary? Even if Barnett is the same way, the Bills are on the hook for three years and $3 million per season less than they would have been if they matched the deal for Posluszny. A sound business decision that makes good football sense. No arguments here.
3) Maybe, just maybe, they'll end the Arthur Moats ILB experiment before it gets started
- You've already read about my distaste for the move of Moats to inside linebacker, after being the most promising rookie from last season at the outside linebacker position. Now with Barnett, Davis, Torbor, Sheppard and Danny Batten and Chris White fighting for a roster spot, I believe they can safely move Mr. Moats back to the outside. Well, we can only hope.
The only drawbacks to Barnett? He's had his season cut way short in two of the last three seasons with a knee injury in 2008 and a wrist injury this past season. But in the year after his knee surgery, Barnett had 105 tackles and four sacks. Not too shabby.