Bills decide against Wall of Famer in 2019

Why not Eric Moulds?

Howard Simon
July 30, 2019 - 4:22 pm

Photo: Andy Lyons - Allsport via Getty Images

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Much to my chagrin, the Buffalo Bills have decided not to add a name to their Wall of Fame during this their 60th anniversary season.

This will mark the fourth time in the last seven years that no one has been added to the Wall of Fame, which currently shows the names of 23 former Bills players.

There are just two wide receivers on the wall, and one of the all-time greatest pass catchers in the history of the Bills is not one of those two. Elbert Dubenion became the first receiver selected back in 1993, and Hall of Famer Andre Reed was picked in 2006.

It's time Eric Moulds joins the group.

A first round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft by, then, general manager John Butler, Moulds played 10 seasons with the Bills and 154 games, while totaling 675 catches, 9,096 yards and 48 touchdowns. Moulds is second all-time in franchise history in all three of those categories behind only Reed. The former Mississippi State Bulldog is also No. 2 all-time for the Bills in career 100-yard games with 26, also behind Reed.

Moulds still owns the two best single season totals with 1,368 yards in 1998 and 1,326 yards in 2000. In 1998, Moulds became the first Bill, and is still the only Bill, to record a 100-catch season. He actually holds the top-two slots with his 94-catch total from the 2000 campaign.

From 1998 through 2005, Moulds totaled 8,523 receiving yards, which was seventh best in the NFL over that stretch.

Postseason success can certainly boost a player’s chances for such a franchise honor, but Moulds’ career included the start of the playoff drought. He only played in two playoff games, but in the Wild Card loss to the Miami Dolphins at the end of the 1998 season, Moulds was unstoppable with nine catches for 240 yards (a Bills postseason record) and a touchdown. 

Moulds accomplished all of that despite the fact he played with eight different starting quarterbacks over his 10 years in Buffalo. His career started with Jim Kelly’s final season in 1996 and included Todd Collins, Doug Flutie, Rob Johnson, Alex Van Pelt, Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman and Kelly Holcomb. Not exactly a who’s who of NFL quarterbacks. A three-year run with Bledsoe from 2002 through 2004 was the longest stretch of Moulds’ career with the same starting quarterback. 

Moulds took over the role of the No. 1 target for the Bills as Reed was playing the final two years of his Bills career, and Moulds hung on to that slot until he was traded away in April of 2006. Moulds was everything a quarterback would want in a top target with his ability to get downfield, his ability to get separation and his propensity to win one-on-one battles.

You know how coaches and general managers talk about finding receivers who are open when they aren’t open? That was Eric Moulds. No one ever questioned his toughness, and you could count on him to show up and play even through injuries. Moulds missed just six games over the 10 seasons with the Bills. 

As far as his place in Bills history, Moulds was one of three receivers named to the Bills' 50th anniversary team. Reed and fellow Hall of Famer James Lofton were the other two. Of the 11 players selected for the offense on that 50th anniversary team, seven are on the Wall of Fame. Moulds, Lofton, Ruben Brown and Pete Metzelaars are not. Brown will likely see his name go up on the Wall of Fame at some point.

Did you know that only one player has been selected for the Wall of Fame since Phil Hansen in 2011? It was Cookie Gilchrist in 2017, and that honor came way too late; that’s a whole different story.

The Bills need to honor a deserving player in 2020, and that next player should be Eric Moulds.

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