Suddenly, Terrell Owens isn’t the biggest distraction in Buffalo anymore. Instead, that role falls to Donte Whitner, whose first big mistake may have been being a Bills player in Cleveland. Whether it’s that or his general bad timing in going off the boil outside the House of Blues — isn’t that supposed to be a chill concert venue? — he’s just made the Bills’ troubling offseason a bit longer by receiving counts of aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting police.
(He didn’t run from the law, he fought it.)
According to Buffalo TV station WIVB, Whitner was arrested around 3 a.m. in Cleveland, as the former Ohio State star joined the likes of teammate Marshawn Lynch, Colts-turned-Broncos defensive end Darrell Reid and Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer among the ranks of NFL players to be booked and released this offseason. Add in the contentious contract negotiations of Jason Peters and the signing — and belated workout arrival — of Owens, and Buffalo has practically become a Dallas of the Great Lakes region.
The question is whether the Bills will thrive or shrink in the sudden glare of the media spotlight. Unlike past offseasons, where the team has remained starkly anonymous despite making a handful of moves, this Buffalo team will enter the season with as much intrigue as any other NFL squad.
While that’s a different approach for the Bills, it’s not necessarily a bad one. Of course, any potential success assumes Whitner is released from his disorderly conduct and resisting police counts a little more leniently than Lynch was with his driving with firearms charges. After all, missing one key player for three games doesn’t help. Missing two can be crippling for a team like the Bills.