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Marshawn Lynch trade even better now for Bills


By Tim Graham

At the time, the Buffalo Bills allowed themselves to get taken advantage of with how they parted with running back Marshawn Lynch.

But at least he's somebody else's headache now.

Any doubts the Bills made the correct choice by sticking with Fred Jackson should be erased with Lynch's latest arrest, this time for suspicion of drunk driving Saturday in the Oakland area.

California Highway Patrol confirmed the arrest Monday night. The San Jose Mercury News reported Lynch's blood-alcohol content was over the .08 legal limit, according to a CHP spokesman.

Lynch, now with the Seattle Seahawks, probably faces an NFL suspension as a repeat offender for bad behavior. He received a stern warning from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after a 3:30 a.m. Chippewa Street hit and run in 2008. A year later, Lynch was arrested on gun charges in Los Angeles. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor. Goodell suspended Lynch the first three games of the 2009 season.

Lynch's next suspension should be a doozy.

The Bills drafted Lynch 12th overall in 2007, but all they got in return for him just three years later was a 2011 fourth-round draft pick and what turned into a 2012 fifth-round draft pick -- partly because of Lynch's baggage and partly because the Bills misplayed their hand.

Lynch was only 24 years old and already had a Pro Bowl campaign to his credit when the Bills tried to trade him. But teams refused to offer market value for Lynch because the Bills had no leverage.

While an injury allowed Fred Jackson to rush for over 1,000 yards in 2009, the Bills drafted C.J. Spiller ninth overall in 2010, creating a glut.

And everybody knew who the Bills desperately wanted to unload.

Yet the Bills also apparently were timid in dangling Lynch. Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer reported after the Bills made the deal with the Seahawks four weeks into the 2010 season that the New Orleans Saints would have given the Bills a third-round pick had they shopped him around.

Lynch has been tremendous at times for Seattle, producing one of the most epic runs in NFL history to eliminate the defending Super Bowl champs from the 2010 playoffs. Lynch rushed for a career-high 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, making him first-round material in your upcoming fantasy drafts (until his latest arrest, that is).

Buffalo drafted left tackle Chris Hairston and linebacker Tank Carder with the draft choices they obtained from Seattle.

As such, Buffalo's General Manager Buddy Nix, head coach Chan Gailey and the rest of the staff have slept much better the past few nights than their counterparts in Seattle.

(Photo: Associated Press)

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |