TORONTO - They held on to him during the draft. Then they showcased him for a few weeks supposedly creating a market for his services.
It even looked like they had succeeded for a minute there with that campaign when the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks all looked like they were at least remotely interested.
But in the end all Marshawn Lynch brought the Bills was a fourth-round pick for next season and a conditional draft pick in 2012.
That’s a first-round pick, 12th overall for those who can’t recall that 2007 draft for a fourth rounder.
So much for a bidding war.
Like everything else with the Bills these days, the big Marshawn Lynch return was a big fat bust.
But if you are looking for a silver lining in this deal, that’s not too hard to find either.
First the Bills rid themselves of a guy who wasn’t going to make anyone’s good-guy team.
A hit and run incident, two separate incidents when he was arrested on weapons charges not to mention an assault charge by a former girlfriend that was subsequently dropped have all hurt Lynch’s image in Buffalo.
There are those in Buffalo who would have been happy giving Lynch away for nothing just to get him off their team. That’s how bad his reputation had become in Buffalo.
The other upside, and the one the football fans left in Buffalo can actually appreciate, is the fact that Lynch’s departure will pave the way for more touches for C.J. Spiller.
The Bills first-round selection, No. 9 overall, from this past draft was a revelation during the pre-season but has been a spectator for much of the regular season.
While Lynch led the team in carries and yards as the Bills showcased him, Spiller had all of 14 carries for 49 yards.
With no more Lynch around, the touches for Spiller should increase dramatically as he goes from a three-back committee to just himself and Fred Jackson sharing the rock.
What could have been
Lynch became the Bills fallback plan in that 2007 draft when the 49ers selecting 11th grabbed linebacker Patrick Willis. But there was plenty of talent behind the Lynch selection that would have looked good in Buffalo today.
The Jets managed to grab a certain all-star cornerback in Darrelle Revis with the 14th selection. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who is making a huge impact in Pittsburgh these days was taken at 15.
And for a team desperate for a quarterback, the Eagles grabbed Kevin Kolb with the 36th pick in the second round. Among the receivers that were drafted behind Lynch were Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, and Sidney Rice. Top tight ends included Chicago’s Greg Olsen and Indy’s Anthony Gonzalez.
A look back at the biggest producers of Week 4 made it the week of the old guy. Most yards by a quarterback went to 30-year-old Carson Palmer who put up 371 in a loss to Cleveland. Most by a running back went to LaDainian Tomlinson who rushed for 133 against the Bills. And carrying the old man flag for the week was the top receiver of Week 4, 37-year-old Terrell Owens who hauled in 222 yards worth of catches in that same loss to Cleveland ...Trent Edwards must really be liking the Jacksonville scene. Down there barely a week after showing next to nothing in Buffalo and already the Stanford grad has climbed to No. 2 on the depth chart behind embattled David Garrard just in time to return to Buffalo where the Jags visit this week ... While he awaits an MRI on his left groin, Redskins running back Clinton Portis has told a Washington radio station he is not expecting to play this weekend. Ryan Torain would likely get the nod in Portis’ absence.