Bills RB Henry has earned opportunity to be traded
Posted: Tuesday March 29, 2005 11:33AM; Updated: Tuesday March 29, 2005 2:10PM
Bills RB Travis Henry rushed for 1,438 yards in 2002 and 1,356 yards in 2003.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
The situation involving Travis Henry and the Buffalo Bills finally has reached its boiling point. He's griping about the team not accommodating his wish to be traded. His agent claims this matter could get ugly if it doesn't get resolved soon. Meanwhile, the Bills say they want the best possible deal for their disgruntled running back. Personally, I'm surprised it's taken this long for Henry to fire away publicly.
For those who haven't been following this matter, Henry was the Bills starting running back for three years until he lost his job to Willis McGahee midway through last season. When the 2004 campaign ended, the Bills granted Henry permission to seek a trade. Henry has recently told the Buffalo News and the Associated Press that he has an equitable proposal on the table: a swap that would send him to Arizona for disgruntled left tackle L.J. Shelton. The only problem? Henry claims the Bills are dragging their feet on the deal and he's tired of waiting.
I can understand Henry's frustration. He watched the Bills use a first-round draft pick on McGahee in 2003, right after Henry ran for a career-high 1,438 yards that year. Henry then gained 1,356 yards the next season while fully aware that McGahee would be coming after his job soon. I'll admit that Henry had a fair chance to hold on to his spot last season -- he started five of the first six games before injuries and McGahee's presence limited him to a career-low 326 yards -- but let's be serious. The Bills had taken a considerable gamble by drafting McGahee, who was coming off a major knee injury. They were determined to get him in the lineup eventually.
But this is where Henry deserves credit. He didn't gripe. He didn't morph into a locker room cancer. He didn't do anything to make the situation worse for himself. He kept his mouth shut, worked his butt off and tried to make the most of what had to be a difficult situation. His willingness to play the good soldier is one reason for the Bills to accept what appears to be a sensible swap.
This current proposal, without knowing all the specifics, sounds equitable. The Cardinals need a running back since Emmitt Smith has retired and MarcelShipp is recovering from a broken left leg. The Bills need a left tackle, because last year's starter, Jonas Jennings, signed a free agent deal with San Francisco. The problem, however, is that the Bills apparently don't consider this a fair trade. They think they can do better and I'm assuming that's because Henry is a more accomplished player at his position than the 29-year-old Shelton is at his. Here's the reality: The Bills probably won't see a better offer. The market for running backs is too soft.