This off-season, the Buffalo Bills uncharacteristically pulled out their chequebook as the front office handed out a whopping $224-million dollars in contracts in hopes of a return to the playoffs.
Buffalo is currently amidst the longest post-season drought in the NFL — 13 seasons.
So far, it’s looking to be a bad deal as Bills fans are quickly finding out that big spending doesn’t always translate into wins.
Nix made Mario Williams the highest paid defensive player in the history of the NFL, signing him to a six-year, $96-million contract including $55-million guaranteed.
Williams is on pace for five sacks this season, which would be the worst statistical total of his career. If that isn’t underwhelming enough, the former first overall pick only has 11 tackles through five games.
Hardly what the Bills had in mind when they shocked pundits by landing the highest profile free agent in the market.
Perhaps it is too soon to call Williams a bust, but one thing is certain: if he continues to look disinterested week after week, Bills fans won’t be a happy bunch.
Improving the pass rush was number one on the wish list for the Bills, as along with Williams they also inked former Patriots defensive end Mark Anderson to a four year, $19.5-million contract.
Anderson has been a disappointment as well, with just one sack thus far. Last season Buffalo allowed a franchise-worst 5,938 yards against, this defence had higher expectations this season with these pricey additions.
It was supposed to be different. Instead, they have been outscored 90-17 in the past six quarters.
This past week against the 49ers, the Bills defence became the first team in history to allow 300 yards rushing and 300 yards passing in a single game.
Defensively, Buffalo is in trouble for the foreseeable future, and it doesn’t get any better on the offensive side.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s six year, $59-million contract could be the worst ever handed out in franchise history.
And they have had some bad ones, Rob Johnson (five year, $25-million), Derrick Dockery (seven year, $49-million), Brad Smith (four year, $15-million) just to name a few.
Fitzpatrick was signed after a hot start last season, since then the former Harvard graduate has a record of 3-11. He looks more like a journeyman quarterback, not the franchise leader the Bills had envisioned when locking him up.
Fitzpatrick’s 12 touchdown passes this season are misleading, most of these have been racked up in garbage time. The more telling stat is his 58.3 per cent pass completion and eight interceptions.
Cutting Fitzpatrick is an option, but neither Tyler Thigpen nor Brad Smith has shown anything that resembles a starting QB.
With these horrible contracts on the books for years to come, the light at the end of the tunnel for Bills fans may still be a long wait away.