I know what you are thinking…Does Donald Jones deserve any ink or cyber traction?
Yes..Yes, he does.
My odes/happy trails pieces go beyond the player and into what exactly the player represented here. Donald Jones represents why feel good stories aren't feel good when the team actually sucks. He stunk. It was laughable that in a passing league, the Bills would try and sell Jones as being a #2 WR. He wasn't. He pretty much sucked.
He was the worst player to ever have his own TV show. He couldn't stay healthy. He had drops. He was just so ordinary. Sure, he had some moments (See: TD in his first game against Bengals and 100-yards against NE to go along with a key breakup of an INT), but he just shouldn't have been your #2 guy.
The Bills were right in letting go Lee Evans because he was always overrated and overpaid. However, they were wrong in trying to sell Donald Jones as being the heir apparent.
So why am I writing about a terrible WR?
Because he represented an era of Bills teams that thought they could turn water into wine. Jones may be the poster child of Chan Gailey's arrogant ways of thinking he can make anyone into a player. An era in which we glamorized the underdog stories like Donald Jones, Arthur Moats, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, the stories of the frog becoming the prince are wondrous and feel good, but if the fairytale doesn't have a happy ending, then it isn't a fairytale.
I gotta tell you, I'm pretty much over the underdog stories. I want players, people. I want guys you can win with. Not guys that we can relate to because they were bagging groceries prior and were long shots to make the team. The Mark Wahlberg "Invincible" story doesn't work when you lose for 13 straight years. When they were 5-2 in 2011, they were great! When they went 7-18 in their next 25 games, the "Nice guys finished last" rhetoric reared its ugly head. The feel good stories lose their luster.
Yes, Donald Jones was decent for an undrafted player. I'm sure people will say he was a good quote and was a popular guy in the locker room. That's nice, but winning isn't based on a popularity contest and you can't have your #2 WR be that guy.
Hopefully, the Bills realize that and try winning with talent and not character guys.