One of the reasons why the future could be bright for the Buffalo Bills is their young corps of wide receivers: Robert Woods, T.J. Graham, and Marquise Goodwin. However, there’s one guy that could have been part of that group who the Bills missed out on, and that’s Da’Rick Rogers who is now with the Indianapolis Colts.
Rogers went undrafted mostly due to behavioral and maturity issues away from the field that forced him to leave the Tennessee Volunteers and transfer to Tennessee Tech for his final college season, but the Bills signed him after the draft and gave him a chance in the preseason. However, Rogers was eventually cut and later landed in Indianapolis where he became a frequent target during the final month of the season and into the postseason, giving him a chance to stay in the league despite going undrafted.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Bills cut him; a player with a history of problems off the field and attitude issues on the field is not going to be cut a lot of slack from head coach Doug Marrone, and when Rogers struggled to make an impression early in the preseason it was easy for Buffalo to cut ties with him. But considering his talent and upside, perhaps Marrone and the Bills should have given Rogers more of an opportunity, especially with an underwhelming group of receivers outside of Woods, Graham, and Goodwin who are all young and yet to reach their potential.
Rogers is far from solidifying a job in the NFL long term, but when he’s been on the field with the Colts late in the season he’s been productive. If he can overcome the non-football issues that have plagued him in the past, he has the talent to become an impact player and have a substantial NFL career.
If only the Bills had held onto Rogers longer and given him more of a chance he could have started to break out for them in the latter stages of the regular season and been a part of their plans for years to come. Rogers is a physical specimen who has the potential to be a team’s top wide receiver. With the Bills, he could have formed a young and talented tandem at wide receiver with Woods while his size would be a great complement to the speed of Graham and Goodwin.
We won’t know for a few years whether the Bills made a mistake by letting Rogers go or not, but a player of his talent level should have been given more of a chance. That’s especially true for a team like Buffalo that could use a receiver of his skill set and needs a bit of good fortune — such as an undrafted receiver overcoming his past mistakes and blossoming into a star. If Rogers continues to break out with the Colts or any other team, there will be no doubt that the Bills missed a golden opportunity, and that’s not something a team in their position can afford to do.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.