Friday, July 16, 2004
By John Clayton
The Bills won a waiting game to acquire the pass-rushing services of former Steelers linebacker Jason Gildon.
Gildon agreed late Friday night to a one-year deal worth around $1.25 million. There are also around $500,000 worth of incentives in the contract. He also had been talking to the Bengals and Packers.
The 31-year-old Gildon will compete with Jeff Posey for the strongside linebacking job. He may also be used as a pass-rushing defensive end in nickel situations. Gildon has 77 career sacks during his 10-year NFL career, with 60 in the past six seasons.
Gildon considered reuniting with his former linebacker coach Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati, but the Bengals stuck to a two-year proposal that didn't work for Gildon. The Packers were also pursuing him to help their pass rush, which recently cut defensive ends Joe Johnson and Jamal Reyolds.
In the end, Gildon was persuaded to sign with the Bills by the general manager who drafted him in Pittsburgh. Tom Donahoe sold Gildon on the idea of coming to the Bills and adding a veteran with playoff experience. Acquiring defensive players with playoff experience has been a theme for Donahoe. Since last year's training camp, Donahoe has added safety Lawyer Milloy, defensive tackle Oliver Gibson and cornerback Troy Vincent.
Last season, the Bills signed defensive tackle Sam Adams.
Gildon was a mainstay in the Steelers' 3-4 defense since being given a starting job in 1996, his third season in the league. His specialty was rushing the passer from the linebacker spot. He had three double-digit sack seasons during his NFL career and went to four Pro Bowls.
The Steelers decided to release him during the offseason to free up cap room and rely on their younger linebackers
Would have been nice...
I feel pretty angry that so many players have slipped through our fingers this offseason. Everyone meets w/ the bengals and Marvin and then all reports will say we are the frontrunners, and then they sign elsewhere. I know we dont have the best history over the last few years, but comeon, we were 8-8 last season, we have a great HC, our offense has some huge talent on it, and our D is shaping up pretty nicely.
On the flipside though, maybe we just arent willing to dish out the money for these guys and dont want to overpay for their worth.