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C.J. Spiller, Jairus Byrd won't crack NFL Network's 'Top 100' list

By Tim Graham

C.J. Spiller's going to need a bigger fire pit.

The Buffalo Bills running back told me last month he hoped to appear on the NFL Network's annual top 100 players list, but if that didn't happen, then it would "add another woodblock" for his internal fire.

Only the top 10 remain, and neither Spiller nor safety Jairus Byrd have been revealed. They won't be among a remaining group that should include Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Calvin Johnson, J.J. Watt, Von Miller and Patrick Willis.

Although the "Top 100 Players of 2013" were voted on by players, they don't naturally think of Buffalo when ranking the NFL's best. Pass-rusher Mario Williams is the only Bill on the list, coming in at No. 72.

Williams would be behind Spiller and Byrd on my list of the most valuable Bills. Maybe behind a healthy Kyle Williams, too.

But what are the chances any Bills appear ahead of the player unveiled Thursday night at No. 11, New Orleans Saints superstar Drew Brees? Nil.

"That would be a great honor to be on because that's voted on by your peers," Spiller told me after a voluntary workout a few weeks ago. "But if not, you can't let that kill your confidence.

"It would just add another woodblock to your fire because you always want to be one of the best in this league and at your position."

Spiller ranked eighth in rushing yards and fifth in yards from scrimmage last year. He posted one of the best averages in NFL history at 6.0 yards a carry.

Ten running backs already have been named on the "Top 100" list, including 2012 rookies Doug Martin at No. 57, Alfred Morris at No. 64 and Trent Richardson at No. 71.

Byrd went to his second Pro Bowl last year before the Bills placed their franchise tag on him.

Five safeties have been unveiled: No. 18 Ed Reed, No. 66 Earl Thomas, No. 87 Bernard Pollard, No. 91 Troy Polamalu and No. 96 Dashon Goldson.

The NFL Network noted Thursday night there won't be any more safeties named.


C.J. Spiller | Jairus Byrd | Kyle Williams | Mario Williams
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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 |