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Who is the Bills top free agent signing?

Posted Mar 17, 2012

The acquisition of DE Mario Williams Thursday is considered one of the biggest free agent signings in team history. Williams himself isn’t one to talk. He’d rather prove his worth on the field come September. In the wake of the blockbuster signing we offer up some of the more successful pickups for Buffalo in the last 20 years?

2012 - Mario Williams - No other defensive end has more sacks since 2007 than Williams (48.5, tied with Ind. Robert Mathis).

2011 – Nick Barnett – The former Packer proved to be a valuable addition as he solidified the linebacking corps, led the team in tackles (130), was second in interceptions (3) and would’ve earned more Pro Bowl consideration had the team finished the season strong.

2009 – Terrell Owens – The veteran wide receiver was entering the twilight of his career, but he brought the hype and made the Bills a national story. He likely would’ve produced more had the move to Ryan Fitzpatrick as starting quarterback come sooner.

2009 – Ryan Fitzpatrick – The Bills likely didn’t know what they were getting. Fitz was signed to serve as the backup to Trent Edwards, but he went on to become the team’s unquestioned starter two years later.

2003 – Takeo Spikes – Actively recruited by Bills fans in the 2002 season finale when he brought his Cincinnati Bengals to Ralph Wilson Stadium, Spikes made a pair of Pro Bowls in his time with Buffalo and helped lift the Bills’ defense to a number two ranking a year after signing with the club.

2003 – Rian Lindell – The Seattle free agent was signed after Mike Hollis did not return following the 2002 campaign and went on to become the most accurate kicker in team history.

2002 – London Fletcher – The middle linebacker never missed a game in his career including his five seasons with the Bills. Led the team in tackles all five seasons.

1998 – Doug Flutie – Former Pro Personnel Director A.J. Smith was the driving force behind the signing of the 3-time CFL MVP. Flutie helped rescue Buffalo from an 0-3 start in 1998 to make the playoffs at 10-6 and made the Pro Bowl.  

1996 – Chris Spielman – Spielman brought an added dose of intensity to Buffalo’s defense with his football-obsessed persona. He led the team in tackles in his only full season with the Bills (1996).

1995 – Bryce Paup – The pass rusher enjoyed immediate success with Bruce Smith rushing off the opposite side logging 17.5 sacks in his first season with Buffalo earning Defensive Player of the Year honors.

1995 – Ted Washington – Paup may have earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, but Washington was the linchpin of Buffalo’s run defense as he commanded double team attention affording Paup and Bruce Smith a lot of one-on-one matchups. Washington had a big role in Buffalo’s number one ranked defense in 1999.

1992 – Steve Christie – The free agent kicker went on to become the Bills all-time leading scorer and has the most memorable kick in team history with his overtime game-winner over Houston in the ‘Comeback Game.’

So it’s up to you. Which signing was tops over the past 20 years?