The Buffalo Bills haven’t been afraid to reach for players with checkered pasts under new coach Rex Ryan, but new rumors indicate that the team could be taking a swing at one of the league’s most controversial players.
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is back on the market and waiting for a suitor, and at least one league executive thinks the Bills could give him a chance.
Sports Illustrated‘s Don Banks talked to a dozen executives about what could be next for Rice, and one unnamed exec believes Buffalo might be the best fit.
“I think I’m in the minority on this, but I think he plays this year,” a high-level club executive told Banks.
“But it’ll have to be for a really strong front office organization. Seattle, Green Bay, Dallas, situations like that. I’m a little bit surprised that it has taken this long for someone to sign him. Buffalo could be another team to watch with Rice. They don’t have a need at running back right now, but I’m told Rex Ryan thinks the world of him from their time together in Baltimore (in 2008). He loves him. He doesn’t like him. He loves him.”
The story would seem to check out. Rex Ryan hasn’t been afraid to give players second chances, signing guard Richie Incognito and wide receiver Percy Harvin. Ryan has also been stocking the Bills with some of his favorite players, signing quarterbacks Matt Simms, Tyrod Taylor, and fullback John Conner.
But even with Rex Ryan unafraid to take on players others teams may not touch, the rumors that Ray Rice is headed to the Buffalo Bills might still be far-fetched. For one, the Bills are already stacked at the running back position. Ryan just traded for LeSean McCoy, and the Bills already had veteran Fred Jackson in the backfield. The Bills also have Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon, a special teams ace to go along with the recently drafted Karlos Williams.
The Ray Rice to the Buffalo Bills rumors might not make sense for a more important reason — Rice’s own play. Even before his suspension Rice was seeing his production fall off a cliff, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry in his last full season. The Bills — or any other team — could replicate that kind of production with a late round draft pick, which would also come at a much cheaper price.
[Image via The Football Feed]