By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
Drayton Florence – Signed by the Bills in 2009
The career of Drayton Florence is a reminder that promises of financial bliss sometimes don’t work out so well in the National Football League.
Florence was a second-round choice of the Chargers in 2003. He eventually worked his way into a starter’s role at times during his five years there, but left as a free agent in early 2008. Florence signed a six-year deal with the Jaguars for $36 million – and then was released only a season later.
That brought him to Buffalo, as he signed a two-year, $6 million deal. It turned out he was a good fit with head coach Dick Jauron. Florence became a starter quickly, and played well enough to earn a new three-year contract for $15 million in 2011. But a season later, Buffalo drafted Stephon Gilmour and Ron Brooks. Florence was released right after the draft, and spent two seasons as a reserve in Detroit and Carolina.
He was a good guy off the field too.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)