The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen need to change. But will they be able to?

The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen need to change. But will they be able to?

have signed or acquired just three new starters so far this offseason and only one on offense. The Ravens have added six new projected starters. The Bengals have added five. The Dolphins, seven. The Texans, eight.

Buffalo sacrificed future flexibility to go all-in in 2022 after the ‘13 seconds’ debacle in Kansas City. When that failed, they delayed an inevitable teardown to take one more run at a title. And it ended the same way things always do for the Bills these days, with a disappointing outing in the playoffs. Now, they’re resetting, letting costly veterans go, and hoping an injection of youth through the draft can be the difference-maker in the postseason.

It’s easy to rationalize Buffalo’s decisions. They’re building a new team, amassing young talent around a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback who is still just 27. But by gambling on youth and sitting out the veteran market, the Bills are in danger of letting this season slip by. Hoping you can retool the roster for another five-year surge would require believing that Allen can remaster his game or stay healthy. And those are the nagging question at the heart of the Bills organization: who do they want Allen to be? And for how long can he do it?

Early Allen teams prioritized the run game and defense elements that McDermott, a defensive-minded coach, believed would be the difference in the postseason. Now that approach has fallen short, they’re pivoting, stripping back their commitments on defense to try to put more talent around Allen. But the cap sins of the past have left them with a mediocre receiver group.

“Are we better today?,” Beane said after trading Diggs. “Probably not. It’s a work in progress, and we’re going to continue to work on that.”

Allen is an offense unto himself. If he were throwing to a parade of giraffes, the Bills’ offense would still have a high floor. But the Bills are not trying to eke out results; they’re working on a Super Bowl or Bust timeline. No organization is under more pressure to get over the line. The Bills cannot afford to drift into the NFL’s middle class. Delaying the reboot by one year was an error – and has ramped up the pressure to nail this offseason. If it doesn’t work out, the Bills will have chucked away two prime Allen years.

Early Allen teams prioritized the run game and defense elements that McDermott, a defensive-minded coach, believed would be the difference in the postseason. Now that approach has fallen short, they’re pivoting, stripping back their commitments on defense to try to put more talent around Allen. But the cap sins of the past have left them with a mediocre receiver group.

“Are we better today?,” Beane said after trading Diggs. “Probably not. It’s a work in progress, and we’re going to continue to work on that.”

Allen is an offense unto himself. If he were throwing to a parade of giraffes, the Bills’ offense would still have a high floor. But the Bills are not trying to eke out results; they’re working on a Super Bowl or Bust timeline. No organization is under more pressure to get over the line. The Bills cannot afford to drift into the NFL’s middle class. Delaying the reboot by one year was an error – and has ramped up the pressure to nail this offseason. If it doesn’t work out, the Bills will have chucked away two prime Allen years.

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