The first week of free agency had a different element to it. Not only were there player trades, but they included some of the largest names in the game. Haloti Ngata, Jimmy Graham and a handful of others were on the move. As Bills GM Doug Whaley watched it all unfold and made a couple of trades of his own, he admits there was an unprecedented nature to the start of this year’s free agent period.
“I’ve been in this 20 years and that was probably the most activity I’ve seen on the trade front in terms of the quality of players,” Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “I think it’s just the byproduct of teams trying to get better and teams trying to move assets and get something in return. It was also a byproduct of the salary cap. Having some players that are maybe a little higher in the salary cap and you’ve got to do some adjustments just to try to keep your team relevant.”
Seeing such quality talent on the move was unusual, but it was chiefly tied to one thing. Money.
“It’s all money. You sign these guys and they have cap numbers and when you first sign them it’s great,” Whaley said. “Then you get down the road and you add pieces here and there and then you stop and realize you have to reduce your cap number and if the guy balks instead of trying to get nothing for him you offer him up in a trade and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
In year’s past when NFL clubs knew a team had to move an established veteran player with a high cap figure, most would not swing a trade and instead just wait until the player was cut and try to sign him as a free agent. In this new league year that hasn’t happened.
“I think people are starting to see if you really want this guy remove all doubt (and trade for him),” Whaley said. “You can sit and wait, but then you’re competing with other people. Now you may have to give up something, but at least you get the guy you want. If you want the guy, do what you have to do to go get the guy.”
Tags: Doug Whaley, NFL free agency
Posted in Inside the Bills