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Modrak Gone

Some Bills fans might see this as a fitting conclusion to a good draft. Tom Modrak has been relieved of his duties. It seems a bit ironic, doesn't it? Modrak ran the college scouting operation for a near-decade of failure and somehow remained in Ralph Wilson's good graces. Then last weekend, the Bills have a draft that's widely praised in NFL circles and Modrak loses his job.

This move isn't a great surprise. Teams often wait until after the draft if they're going to make changes in the front office. But a skeptic might have wondered if Modrak had a job for life under Wilson. What other college scouting chief could have survived the selections of Mike Williams, Donte Whitner, John McCargo, Aaron Maybin, J.P. Losman, James Hardy and Marshawn Lynch? Have I left anyone out?

Of course, it was fashionable to suggest that Modrak wasn't the one making the final call. It was always convenient to say his hands were tied, that he was overruled and couldn't be held responsible for all the team's blunders. But I feel the same way I do about the Sabres' Darcy Regier. If it was so difficult for him to do his job, if he was inhibited by ownership, he should have resigned with dignity.

Instead, Modrak continued to collect a paycheck from Wilson while living in Jacksonville. He could have been GM after Tom Donahoe was fired, but he got a much cushier gig. Don't cry for Tom Modrak. He did just fine for himself. He'll get paid the remainder of his contract. He understood the value of deferring to Wilson and not making too much noise when his opinions were overruled. Modrak was a perfect companion to dysfunction, a smiling accomplice to Wilson's bad management.

He was a smart, shrewd man. Too bad it didn't translate to the place it mattered most: The draft room.

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