On Tuesday morning, Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix told the media that they would like to re-sign Paul Posluszny. A little over 12 hours later, Posluszny had moved on from the team that had drafted him.
The former Bills linebacker agreed to terms on a 6-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars according to NFL.com.
Posluszny leaving is a blow to the franchise in a few different capacities.
1) They lose an ideal starting ILB in their defense
- Posluszny isn't a world-beater, but he certainly isn't a joke around the league either. He's a slightly above average linebacker that had a good reputation around the rest of the league. But the worst run defense in the league without Posluszny is not going to get any better. If the Bills stick with their current crew, two of Andra Davis, Reggie Torbor and Kelvin Sheppard would be starting. I'm sure most of you who just read that sentence are saying, 'YES! START SHEPPARD!' Beware of that thinking. This is a unique year for rookies in that they've had zero preparation time with coaches. Combine that with normal rookie growing pains and the fact that he's only a third round pick, that's a recipe for disaster. They need to bring him along slowly.
2) They lose a leader in the clubhouse.
- From being around the team all last year, I can tell you that Posluszny did have a big voice in the locker room. Buddy Nix knew that, Chan Gailey knew that, and that's why they fought so hard to re-sign him. Posluszny could have been a vital step in bringing Sheppard up to speed quickly.
3) The salary cap hole just got a whole lot deeper.
- It's not a crushing blow, but money they had planned to utilize on Posluszny to help get them to the salary cap floor now has to be used elsewhere. It's also fair to bring up the league-wide perception of this move. Posluszny was one of the most recognizable names around the league for the Bills, and rather than staying with Buffalo, he jetted town as soon as he could. I'm not saying it's fair, but perception is a hell of a thing.
I'll say this: the Bills better not mess around with Drayton Florence. They need him back in a big way now to save face. Doug Whaley, Tom Gibbons and the Pro Scouting department have their work cut out for them, too. An inside linebacker with more experience than Sheppard, and more upside than Davis and Torbor is sorely needed.
One last thing:
With Posluszny's exit to the Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills officially have no players remaining on their roster from their draft class of 2007.