I don't see it that way. If I'm the Bills' front office, I'd rather Schobel stay away at this point. And maybe that's why Schobel is changing his mind. Perhaps it's a cute ploy to force the Bills into a trade.
Either way, the Bills would be better off without him.
Yes, Schobel would improve Buffalo's defense. Every team could use a pass-rusher. He has recorded 78 sacks in nine NFL seasons.
Schobel will be 33 years old in September and has earned a certain degree of respect, but do the Bills, who are trying to lay a new foundation, need a player who didn't commit himself to work alongside his teammates for several months?
He missed every offseason workout, including mandatory minicamp. He has been a 4-3 defensive end his entire career, but the Bills have switched to a 3-4 defense under new head coach Chan Gailey and new coordinator George Edwards.
Jason Taylor, a player who has accomplished substantially more than Schobel, drew the ire of new Miami Dolphins boss Bill Parcells in 2008 for choosing not to participate in offseason workouts following a 1-15 season. Parcells wanted to establish a new culture and eventually catapulted Taylor off the roster, trading him to the Washington Redskins for a second-round draft pick.
Edwards was Miami's inside linebackers coach at the time.
If Schobel isn't bluffing about a return to Buffalo, there's no telling what kind of shape he would report in. He hasn't been working out under the watch of Buffalo's new strength-and-conditioning crew.
Buffalo's legendary coach, Marv Levy, once noted that when a player starts thinking about retirement he already has retired. I have a hard time imagining that a man leaning toward retirement pushed himself to stay in top shape.
Plus, there's no guarantee Schobel will return next year either. The Bills could bring back Schobel for a season in which they finish fourth and then watch him walk away in 2011 with $6 million of their money and nothing to show for it.
Save the cash and give the snaps to younger players who want to be around for a while.