In past weeks there has been major speculation that the Buffalo Bills‘ 2007 first round draft selection, Marshawn Lynch, will not be wearing a Bills jersey in 2010.
After a dismal performance in 2009, rushing only 120 times for 450 yards and two touchdowns, paired with multiple off the field incidents, it seems like Marshawn’s time as a Bill is up.
Lynch lost his starting job to Fred Jackson after he wasn’t able to regain his ability after a three-game suspension to begin the year.
Now, Jackson is slated as the starting running back for 2010 and Lynch will be riding the bench again if he doesn’t clean up his act.
But would dealing Marshawn Lynch be beneficial to the team? I don’t think so. As of now, Lynch and Jackson are the only backs on the depth chart, and for a team with more holes than Swiss cheese, losing a quality back with a high ceiling like Lynch wouldn’t be a good move.
New head coach Chan Gailey has been known to utilize a run-heavy offense in his previous years, which will definitely take a toll on the smaller Fred Jackson. Gailey has made statements that having more than one back is necessary to win football games in the NFL and has even given a prototype of the type of back he would like to acquire to make Buffalo a three-headed tandem.
That prototype is a “5′9″, 185-pound or 195-pound, quick-as-a-cat water bugs, that are running backs-slash-receivers that might give you a little punch on the field.”
But does Lynch want out of Buffalo? When Marshawn joined the Bills, he was a fan favorite, rushing for over 1,000 yards in his first two seasons and reaching a Pro Bowl. He has yet to make an appearance at One Bills Drive for their voluntary offseason workouts, which is unexpected considering his play (or lack thereof) from last season.
With a new coaching staff, it probably would have made his case a little stronger if he showed desire to learn and improve while competing to earn back his starting role in the Bills’ backfield.
Making a Case for Lynch to Stay
Marshawn Lynch has little to no trade value as of now. Even though Lynch had great success in his first two seasons he is a damaged commodity, and if he continues his antics off the field he could be suspended much longer than three games. In today’s game, running backs are a dime a dozen and come from all ends of the spectrum—just look at Fred Jackson!
Trading Lynch would most likely only garner a third or fourth round pick, based on his play from last season. Personally, I don’t think a fourth round pick would make up for the potential the team’s former first rounder has to offer.
Lynch also offers a change of pace to the Bills’ rushing attack. Jackson is a quick, agile runner, while Lynch is a beast who can give and take hits while running clock in late-game situations. Lynch also serves as a viable goal-line back for the near future, as Jackson wasn’t able to find the end zone very often despite his 1,000-yard performance.
Personally, I don’t think the Bills are in any position to trade Lynch. His trade value is lower than he is worth, and losing him would add another dent to the already dwindling roster. Marshawn has proven that he can be effective, and both Gailey and Buddy Nix have expressed that they want Lynch on the team.
The Bills need to give Lynch another chance to prove that he is worthy of our first round selection in 2007 behind an offensive line that isn’t changing every game. Buffalo’s offensive line didn’t fit the style of play that Lynch is used to. Jackson was able to make the quick cuts between tackles due to his agility, but Lynch is more of a bruiser back.
Lynch does need to get his act together, get to the offseason workouts, meet with the coaches, and do everything he needs to do to get his job back. I don’t know if I see Lynch being a major threat in 2010, but I do expect his numbers to be significantly larger than last year’s.