I Can’t Believe That Worked

by Ryan

NFL.com isn’t the best of resources for news about the Bills, but last night they were all over the front page. The first story is about Jason Peters and his contract talks. The second is, of course, about Terrel Owens. However, the one that caught my eye was entitled the following:

Even coming off injury, LB Crowell still has many suitors

Now wait a minute, that injury wasn’t that big a deal, right? Well not according to this story. It says Tampa Bay has been talking to the linebacker about a one year deal, and he has also met with the Lions this past week. The Eagles have also expressed interest, and a meeting with the Bills is scheduled for Monday if no contract is signed. But here’s what got me:

Philadelphia has also expressed interest in Crowell, 27, who is coming off knee surgery that landed him on injured reserve for the entire 2008 season. Crowell has not met with the Eagles.

Crowell’s health is an issue but he is expected to be cleared for full football activity by the time teams start full-team, non-contact workouts after the draft in May or June.

Wait, are we suddenly forgetting why he was on IR all season? Let’s see what Allen Wilson wrote for The Buffalo News back on September 5, when all this injury business went down:

Outside linebacker Angelo Crowell was placed on the injured reserve list Thursday evening, just three hours after head coach Dick Jauron announced that Crowell had elected to have arthroscopic surgery on a troublesome left knee.

Such a procedure usually requires only one to four weeks of recovery time.

So the Bills placed their strong side linebacker on IR with an injury that takes four weeks at most to recover from on the eve of his contract year. That means he would be healthy and ready to play for 75% of the season, right? There’s nothing fishy about that, is there?

Well at the time it seemed the general consensus was that the Bills did it to spite Crowell for electing for surgery without notifying them. Putting him on IR would hurt his ability to leverage and get a contract when free agency hits. Now if I remember correctly we all thought this was shady and clearly hurt the Bills in the long run. It never helps to take away a football team’s strong side linebacker, but when the Bills started so fast everyone seemed to forget that Crowell sat at home healthy while injuries started to pile up once again.

And now here we are in the middle of free agency and people are wondering how much Crowell’s minor surgery from September will hurt his contract value. It’s funny to see how quickly the league forgets the little details, isn’t it?

Also, if Crowell does meet with the Bills on Monday, is it safe to say that putting him on IR… worked? I mean it seemed very unlikely at that time that Crowell would re-sign with the Bills, and popular opinion was that their relationship was shattered when this happened in September. It still seems very unlikely, but it would be very interesting if it worked out that way.

I guess we’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.