Thanks, but no thanks
Bill Cowher (Getty Images)
Bill Cowher (Getty Images)
BFR Publisher
Posted Nov 24, 2009


One down, bring on more. Former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher is the first big name to spurn Bills. Now it appears Ralph Wilson has his eyes set on Mike Shanahan. According to a report linked inside, Shanahan is a realistic option in Buffalo....

Selling the Buffalo Bills to a big-name coach will not be easy.

That much is clear after Super Bowl-champion Bill Cowher reportedly spurned the Bills. According to reports, the Bills told told Cowher that a contract worth $10 million per year was realistic -- they were willing to give him the king's ransom.

And still, that massive payday wasn't enough to lure Cowher out of retirement. This all-star panel of coaches (think: Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren) will be very difficult to sign.

Presumably, Ralph Wilson's eyes are set on the former Denver Broncos head coach Shanahan. Both parties are meeting this week. As we discussed here, going with Shanahan would be a great move for the offensively challenged Bills. He has experience molding quarterbacks, working with the zone-blocking scheme and winning big games. For a team that has lacked a legitimate quarterback since Jim Kelly, Shanahan is the perfect remedy. To hook him, Buffalo would probably need to hand him the dual head coach/G.M. role.

But hold the phone, folks. It may be difficult to land Shanahan right now. With more attractive vacancies sure to open up, he may wait this process out. He has expressed interest in returning to the NFL, but chances are Shanahan will want to see all of his options before making a decision. A chance to command the Houston Texans' loaded offense, for example, could be an offer Shanahan can't refuse. Matt Schaub is arguably the best young quarterback in the game. Further, Buffalo's long-term sustainability as a franchise may not be very appealing to the big-name coaches as Cowher's actions attest.

Then again, money talks. If Wilson was ready to unload $10 million on Cowher, Shanahan could jump at the opportunity.

We'll see. A ton of variables go into this decision. According to this report Shanahan to the Bills IS very possible.

Give Wilson credit for slamming his foot on the pedal this late in his career. Nobody really saw this coming. Wilson seems willing to go after the big dogs first and foremost, rather than taking the cheap way out. Now that's Hall of Fame-worthy.

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