By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
Bryce Paup – Signed by the Bills in 1995
Here’s an example of a free agent signing that couldn’t have worked out better for the Bills. They certainly got great value when they signed Bryce Paul.
The linebacker/defensive end was only a sixth-round draft choice out of Northern Iowa in 1990. He slowly gained a bigger role in the Green Bay Packers’ defense, but was more or less a regular by his third year. Paup could always rush the quarterback, and broke out into stardom with 11 sacks in 1993. He was coveted by many teams as a free agent in the spring of 1995.
Buffalo signed him to a three-year deal worth $7.6 million. Paup had an almost absurd season, coming up with 17.5 sacks to lead the league. That earned him a Defensive Player of the Year selection as well as a trip to the Pro Bowl. Paup didn’t reach those heights after that due to injuries, but he was still a Pro Bowler in his next two seasons.
The veteran left in the spring of 1998 for Jacksonville, signing a five-year contract worth $22 million. Once departing, he claimed that the Bills had misdiagnosed his injuries, and criticized the team’s weak offense. Paup only spent two seasons with the Jaguars, and then finished his career as a reserve in Minnesota.
Here is a symphony of sacks:
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)