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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Does Maroney trade impact Lynch?

By Tim Graham

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- If the New England Patriots can trade Laurence Maroney, then why can't the Buffalo Bills trade Marshawn Lynch?

Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch rushed for just 13 yards on three carries in the season opener against Miami.
That was a question posed to Bills coach Chan Gailey on Wednesday.

There are parallels to each situation. Maroney, a 2006 first-round draft choice, was on the outs in a crowded New England backfield. Lynch, a 2007 first-round draft choice, hasn't stood out in Buffalo's backfield.

The Patriots dealt Maroney and a sixth-round draft choice to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round draft choice Tuesday.

The Bills probably could get similar value out of Lynch but have decided to keep him on the roster with Fred Jackson and rookie C.J. Spiller.

"Opinions vary of whether it's too many" running backs in Buffalo's backfield, Gailey said. "In preseason, we didn't have too many. I know Green Bay wishes they had one more.

"Everybody's got opinions on what's right. We feel that having the three that we have right now is a very good situation for us. We've got to continue to get better with each one of them and see how their roles play out as the year goes on. This is a situation in the NFL where you can't have too many good running backs."

How the situations differ is that Lynch has been more statistically productive than Maroney and has two years left on his contract, whereas Maroney is in the final year of his contract and likely would have been gone via free agency after the year.

"We felt like it was the best thing to do for our football team," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on a conference call. "He's done a lot of things for us in four years. He came in as a young player and improved a lot. He worked hard, and I have a lot of respect for Laurence. We just thought it was the best thing for our team right now to move on from that."

The Bills have invested more in Lynch, a 12th overall draft pick. An NFL source told me in training camp the Bills' front office was wary of dealing Lynch just for the sake of unloading him because there's a good chance he would go elsewhere and post numbers much more impressive than whatever the Bills got in return.