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)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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