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Several Free Agents Looking at More Than Just Money

Bills' free agent players like Nate Clements, London Fletcher and Chris Kelsay will probably be pursued by several teams if they reach the open market next March and will have to strongly considering the most lucrative offers.

And while that's more than understandable that's not necessarily the case for a lot of the other Bills players due to become free agents. For some of the other Bills free agents to be it won't be all about the money.

Wide receiver Andre Davis found a niche for himself on special teams where he excelled at the gunner position despite constant double teams and at times triple teams this season. He was one of the leading tacklers on coverage teams. He's also bounced around the league a lot the past couple of seasons playing for Cleveland, New England and now Buffalo.

"This is my fifth year so time is steadily ticking by," Davis said. "It's getting to a point where you don't want to be moving around much anymore. I've been through that twice already. It's never a fun time to have to pick your family up and have to move somewhere else. So if the best situation is to stay here for me then so be it. It's not even about the money."

Kiwaukee Thomas faces a similar situation. Having played for Jacksonville, Miami and Buffalo the past three seasons he's looking to settle down somewhere for more than a year especially with his children getting older.

"Now having a family with kids I have to decide what's comfortable for everybody because my kids are in school," said Thomas. "For me for the first time it's going to be a family decision and (we have to) determine what's best for my family."

For a player like Coy Wire there are other dynamics that enter the equation as he makes his first trip into free agency. Wire's career came full circle as he returned to the linebacker position for the first time since his senior year at Stanford. In Perry Fewell's defensive scheme he can play linebacker at 220-225 pounds because pursuit and athletic ability are critical. Wire may have played his way into a much more promising opportunity moving forward with the Bills.

"I'm thankful I was given the opportunity this year and I think I fit really well in this scheme," Wire said. "I'm just thankful that they recognized that and gave me this opportunity."

At the same time Wire values the camaraderie and unity that now exists in Buffalo's locker room. He's been with the Bills long enough to see the divided teams as well as the close-knit ones. And the atmosphere in the locker room now is so appealing that it will play a factor in his free agent decision making.

"I'm going to consider the quality of life for me and the character of the men that I'll be playing with," said Wire. "Just because another team may present me with an opportunity doesn't mean it's the best opportunity. A lot of times in free agency it's all about dollars and for me I would prefer to be in an organization and amongst players that care about each other. That just makes everything so much better. That's crucial to my decision making process."

Free agent fullback to be Daimon Shelton has been around long enough to know that ultimately it's a business, but weighing everything he too would prefer to build on the relationships he's developed on the field with his Buffalo teammates.

"Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn't," said Shelton of free agency. "In my situation I would love to come back and be part of this team. I definitely have made some relationships with guys. I've got some chemistry going with Willis (McGahee) and Anthony (Thomas). So if I come back it would be great."

Shelton also values the relationship he has with head coach Dick Jauron, something that isn't lost on Anthony Thomas, another veteran who has worked under Jauron before and feels comfortable playing for a coach with which he is familiar.

"It's a guy that I know a lot about and he knows a lot about me," said Thomas. "He knows what I'm capable of and I know what he's thinking so that helps out a lot. You kind of know what his plan is and what he expects out of you. He's a guy that's true to his word. Right now I'm kind of comfortable with my man Dick (Jauron) and this team. We'll have to see what happens."

And as much as players covet stability, familiarity and teammates they feel they can trust, team success is also a major factor. All of Buffalo's free agents feel the team is developing into a contender, and most want to help the team take the next step and reach the postseason.

"I think there are really big things on the horizon for this football team," said Wire. "It would be a blessing to be a part of that going forward."

"They're building to win a championship and that's a factor too because you want to win," said Kiwaukee Thomas. "I want to win a Super Bowl before I get out of this thing and I believe the Bills are heading in that direction."

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