CAPACCIO: Step-back in 2018 wasn't unexpected, but now it's time for Bills to start winning

The team heads into one of their most interesting offseasons ever

Sal Capaccio
December 30, 2018 - 9:38 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Kyle Williams said after the game on Sunday that the days are long but the years go fast. That’s very true just of this year alone. It seems like only yesterday I was packing my mini-fridge and heading to St. John Fisher for training camp. But now, here we are. 20 games later (counting preseason), and already reflecting back and starting to look ahead to 2019.

Going into the season, I thought the Bills would be right around .500, maybe seven wins. Maybe they would get lucky and even get to nine once again. They obviously fell short of that expectation, but the truth is, this is probably the year they were meant to have and were set up for from the beginning. Last year, making the playoffs wasn't expected, but it happened. They had the year they were probably supposed to have this year. So it’s now no surprise 2018 was a step back.

General manager Brandon Beane bit the bullet on the salary cap that was left for him and cleared out, virtually, all of the dead money left on the books. They broke in a rookie quarterback, and a raw one at that. After Josh Allen returned from his elbow injury, that’s what the season became about - his development. He showed progress, and even a lot of promise.

But now, it’s time to take that step forward, maybe even a giant leap. They have roughly $85 million in salary cap space available to them this offseason, a top-10 first round pick and some extra draft picks on top of that. They’ll have an ability to use plenty of assets to improve the roster and, mostly, give Allen protection and weapons. However, they can’t be foolish about it. Beane still has to spend his money and draft picks wisely to really take the next step.

I’ve heard people say that the Bills have been setting themselves up for the year 2020. I don’t think so. I think they’ve had 2019 in mind all along, and now we’re here. It will be Year 3 of the new regime, and in this league, that’s about what you get to turn things around.

I think this team is on the right track with the right vision, but now it’s time to show it. No more being young. No more salary cap restraints. No more searching for the quarterback. It’s time to start winning. That starts Monday when Beane and McDermott begin evaluating their roster and coaching staff and making the necessary changes to do it.

Welcome to the most exciting and interesting offseason for the Bills in many, many years.


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