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Around the AFC East, Week 5: Buffalo Bills

In today's first installment of Around the AFC East, I chat with BrianG from the awesome Buffalo Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings.  The topic of today is what's up with Marshawn Lynch and his alleged hit-and-run?

The Marshawn Lynch alleged hit-and-run incident seems to be turning into a black hole of sorts, sucking up everything in its path.  What do you see the impact to the Bills come pre-season game time?  How about the regular season?

Buffalo Rumblings
: The first thing to point out with regards to this incident is that it's turned into a "black hole", as you accurately summed it, because of the actions of Frank Clark, the Erie County DA.  It's fairly ridiculous that a misdemeanor crime has gone to a grand jury - Bills executives, including COO Russ Brandon, will testify today (Friday), while three more players have been subpoenaed and could be forced to appear in court prior to the start of training camp (July 25).  I'm not making excuses for Lynch - allegedly, he did a pretty terrible thing - but it's important to keep things in perspective.  His punishment won't include jail time, and it's highly unlikely he'll be suspended, either.

Therefore, I don't see it having much impact a month or two from now.  It will be fairly difficult for Roger Goodell to suspend a player for exercising his Constitutional right to plead the fifth and isn't going to jail.  Lynch may face team repercussions, such as sitting out a quarter at the start of the season, but his punishment will likely be through a plea deal and involve community service.  This has been overblown by a DA looking to make waves.  Other than the initial incident, Lynch hasn't done anything wrong.  He'll get his plea deal, serve his punishment, and barring injury, he'll play the vast majority of the 2008 season.

It's hard for me to disagree with Brian on this one.  We as Patriots fans know all too well how the Media and football outsiders (can you say Sen. Specky?) can blow things WAY out of proportion.  I can sense Brian is angry at the DA mentioned above.  I wouldn't be surprised if the dude's doing it to promote his own career.  You know, grab onto a high profile case and push it as hard as possible.  At any rate, I hope this gets cleared up and the Bills can get back to preparations for the 2008 season.  Marshawn Lynch is a huge part of that.

Thanks to Brian over at Buffalo Rumblings for his excellent answer on the subject.  Head on over to his blog for my answer to his question about your New England Patriots.