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The Buffalo Bills had a superb draft this year, grabbing a likely superstar for their long-underachieving offensive line in Mike Williams as their headliner. They also helped themselves in a number of other positions, but the biggest splash was their trade for former Patriots star quarterback Drew Bledsoe. When I heard of the trade rumors last week, I was ambivalent; for all the movement the Bills have made this offseason (they will go into the 2002 season much improved, on paper, over the 2001 edition), they are still in my estimation a year or two away from being truly competitive at a high level. It seemed odd to me for them to try to land a star quarterback who is in the final three years of a long-term contract — precisely the years which are the most expensive, because that is how NFL teams structure their contracts these days. (The idea being, of course, to unload the player or get him to renegotiate before the team actually finds itself in the position of having to pay those huge dollars on the back end of the contracts.) Also, Bledsoe comes to the team having suffered a fairly serious injury last year (delivered by Jets mercenary-LB Mo Lewis, of course), making his acquisition at least slightly nerve-wracking. But the Bledsoe deal is done, and he’s the quarterback, so of course I will now root strongly for his success here. (For the record, my take on the mercifully-completed Rob Johnson-Doug Flutie saga is this: They both stunk.)

(The paranoid conspiracy theorist in me — my inner Oliver Stone, if you will — wonders just how much connection exists between the Bills’ desire to get the Bledsoe trade done and the fact that the initial five-year leases of the four-year old “club seats” at Ralph Wilson Stadium are due to expire at the end of next year. News of the Bledsoe deal brought about the spike in Bills season-ticket orders that the team brass were no doubt praying for.)

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