In three seasons and 35 games started for Levi Wallace for the Buffalo Bills, he has become a foundational piece in the defensive secondary, albeit a somewhat controversial player among fans. It is no secret that being the cornerback playing opposite Tre White is a tall task, one that will bring inevitable scrutiny along with heightened expectations and workload. The most important factor in Wallace’s Bills tenure has been his ability to be part of the process. Wallace has given his best on the gridiron and off of it, for this team. Wallace believes in this team, its culture, and its goals; his fellow teammates and team staff do as well.
The Buffalo Bills took a risk in not tendering Levi Wallace just a week ago during this tumultuous cap churned off-season. The underlying risk was that (as an untendered RFA) Wallace would be entered into the free-agent pool, thus able to pursue contracts with and hear offers from other teams around the league. As that happened, Bills fans rushed to the conversation on whom would be the CB2 successor in place of Wallace. Normally there are not many questions about McDermott’s secondaries, and consistency is a valued ideal in that area as well.
In many free-agent situations (if not all of them) a player’s agent assumes a key role as the “middleman.” The goal is for agents to seek out or evaluate offers from teams for the player who they are representing. Wallace’s situation which ultimately resulted in a return to the Bills is a unique case in this regard, one that Bills fans can, will, and are appreciative of. According to NFL Reporter, Mike Garafolo, Levi Wallace was absolute in his wanting to return to Buffalo.
Garafolo’s tweet, as seen above, leaves out one extremely important detail. Levi himself has said that the reason he was and is so fiercely committed to Buffalo is that he asserts the Buffalo Bills will win a Super Bowl. That kind of intense belief from a player is evidence of how the process is paying off. Furthermore, it is evidence of how good this Bills team is and where player sentiment is for this team. The barometer for the Bills championship climate can now add the Levi Wallace situation among its many factors.
Is Levi Wallace the optimal solution at the 2nd spot on the Bills’ Cornerback depth chart? That is arguable and likely will continue to be a contested point of discussion. What is known, however, is that Levi Wallace is a valuable contributor to this team. He will fight for success at all costs.
The Bills retain the ability to have Wallace play Cornerback opposite Tre White and can rotate him if need be. His 60.1 PFF grade for 2020 won’t jump out of the screen, but despite that, he remains a valuable piece of the Bills defense that can challenge younger players like Dane Jackson and contribute to the team. It is reasonable to assert that development never stops for players in the McDermott system. Perhaps in his upcoming fourth year, with a (hopefully) more complete off-season, Wallace can continue to refine his skills and solidify his confidence.
DARKHORSE BONUS POINT:
Buffalo Fanatics own Rico Belony recently enjoyed an interview with Bills Legend, Steve Tasker. Steve pointed out that Wallace came into this league as a complete wildcard, an undrafted free agent with unclear expectations. Wallace fought his way onto this team and earned place, praise, and promise. A player who started off as a good story has become a good player. Tasker defended Wallace fiercely and for good reason. While the Bills have other options and some flexibility at the position, Wallace will not be unseated from his spot without a fight. “Until you can get a better guy, you need to shut up.” – Steve Tasker
To see the Steve Tasker interview clip with Rico, on Wallace CLICK HERE.