In sports fandom, you tend to go through this after years of adversity. You’ll do crazy stuff without the element of thinking things out in order to get out of sports purgatory. I’ve gone through this way too many times as a Buffalo fan. You’d make deals with the devil or just sign T.O. because you’re desperate for that get-rich-quick scheme to get you out of obscurity.
Trust me, I’m desperate. I’ve been that way for all too long.
I remember the Sabres first offseason under Pegula when I didn’t give a crap who they signed as long as they signed anyone. My whole POV was silly looking back, “Who cares how much money it costs to sign Ville Leino!? What has being frugal with NOT signing FAs gotten them?” We can even go to T.O. signing here, AKA: The locker room cancer. The consensus at that time from me was “Who cares if he’s a troublemaker?! What has having choir boys on this team gotten us? NOTHING!!!”
If the checkered past didn’t exist, you probably wouldn’t really be desperate. With being in that state of mind, you can just be irrational while rationalizing that desperate times come for desperate measures.
You can come up with crazy ass scenarios like losing out for the top pick for 5 straight years because your POV is “What has being average gotten us in the last 5 or 10 years?”
That’s it. Your past examples of failure is the ultimate reason to mortgage the future or go through tanking in order to get to hopefully the ultimate goal.
I don’t know much about Jadeveon Clowney besides what I’ve read about him. He looks like a Greek God of defensive ends, but there’s been some stuff about lack of effort. However, who cares?! It is exciting to try something new and venture away from status quo, right? Plus, what has being conservative gotten us?! We are going on 15 years of no playoffs.
That’s the problem.
I kind of feel folks who want to make a deal like this are just looking at the past instead of the future. Fans have gone through so much, it gives us the rights of passage to just say, “Fuck it! Go for it! What do we have to lose since we’ve been losing for so long?”
It is like going through an awful relationship and then a breakup follows and your friends are telling you to let loose and do all sorts of drugs because you had gone through so much before. Drugs are bad, but screw it! You went through hell and should be able to try new things.
Once you go through the metaphors and past failures, it always boils down to football. Frankly, I love the Bills front 7 as it sits now. I think if the Bills can keep the front 4 together as is, they can be a top 5 unit in the league. The defense wasn’t the problem last year, it was the offense.
If you do a trade like this where you possibly send three 1st round picks for the top pick (Note: I’d do it if it were exchanging this years 1st round picks and the Bills giving up a 1st next year), it can pigeon hole you to not improve the team past this year.
On top of that, we still have zero idea what we have with EJ Manuel.
EJ is the 450lbs gorilla in the room. If EJ played out of his mind as a rookie, I’d totally be down with this trade. However, I have zero idea what we have with him and if he falls on his face this season, you really couldn’t replace him with a 1st round pick for at least 2-3 years. Further more, I think a trade up like this has to be for a franchise QB. That’s why the Redskins (RGIII), Falcons (Mike Vick), and Giants (Eli Manning) gave up multiple picks. The last time a team traded up for the 1st pick without drafting a QB was the Bengals in 1995 with Ki-Jana Carter.
This is a QB driven league and I don’t exactly think a stellar pass rusher who gets you 12-14 sacks a year is going to win you Super Bowls. Name the last elite pass rusher who guided their team to a Super Bowl without the help of having a decent QB? The last two Super Bowl teams leading sacker had 8.5 and 9 sacks for that Super Bowl season. Jared Allen, Mario Williams, J.J. Watt and DeMarcus Ware don’t exactly have stellar postseason accolades, do they?
I know some brought up the Bennett trade from 1987, but to me, that deal made sense because the Bills already had Batman on offense (Jim Kelly) and Superman on defense (Bruce Smith) who both were coming off decent 1986 seasons and were young. Bennett was a missing ingredient and when I look at this team, I still think they are a year or two away from really needing that guy to push them over the top. They just need more pieces to the puzzle or at least for me to think some of their younger guys are going to become all-pros.
In the end, I just don’t think an elite defensive end is going to alter the franchise to the point that you mortgage the future when the present is still very uncertain.