Reed and Thomas: Not Bills FitsJune 12th, 2010 at 9:39 pm by Paul Peck under 4 Warn Weather
The Chargers made a few roster moves this week that might have had Bills fans wondering. They signed Josh Reed, who was not re-signed by Buffalo when he became a free agent in March. With the current state of the Bills receiving corp, fans may be wondering why the Bills didn’t bring him back. The answer to that is the same reason why the Chargers would sign him. Reed is limited, and can really only be effective as a slot receiver running short routes across the middle. His lack of deep speed was always a factor in the role he played witht the Bills. Yes, his veteran smarts might have helped a young Bills corp. But that young corp needs chances to grow and perform. I also think the Bills have plans for C.J. Spiller and Roscoe Parrish as slot receivers. The Chargers interest comes from a lack of veteran wideouts while Vincent Jackson stays away as a restricted free agent. Also, some injuries at the receiver spot left SD looking for bodies. Reed may have a hard time making the team once Jackson and the injured wideouts return.
San Diego also signed 36 year old left tackle Tra Thomas. Fans may have wondered why Buffalo wouldn’t pursue him to fill their glaring hole at the position. I suspect that Thomas really can’t play fulltime anymore. The Chargers starter is Marcus McNeil, also staying away in a contract dispute. GM A.J. Smith probably expects McNeil back for the season, so he has no plans on using Thomas for anything more than a backup role. It also tells me that the Bills may not be looking for a quick-fix, stop gap at left tackle. They want to develop Demetrius Bell, or at least find out if he can be a solid starter. Signing an aging veteran doesn’t allow that to happen. If Bell does not return from his knee injury and perform well in training camp, then you could see Buddy Nix make a move on a vet like Flozell Adams. For now, the youth movement rules as the Bills try to rebuild. The Chargers are in a win-now mode, and that’s why they signed the two veterans.