Shutdown Corner - NFL

The Buffalo Bills defense is ranked last in the NFL in points allowed. The unit has allowed the most rushing yards in the league. Its point differential is an NFL-worst -77. And, of course, the Bills are the only team in the NFL without a win. So if the Bills defense is the worst unit of the worst team in the league, does that mean the defense's worst player is also the worst player in the entire NFL?

[Related: The biggest draft busts of the decade]

Evidently, according to Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News. In a Thursday column, Sullivan says second-year linebacker Aaron Maybin(notes) is the worst player in the NFL because he can't get on the field for the Bills defense:

It's quite possible that Maybin is the worst player in the NFL (though a case could be made for John McCargo(notes), another former Bills' first-rounder who has been inactive all six games).

There's a good chance Maybin will be inactive again this week [he wasn't activated last week in Baltimore, the first time that has happened in his pro career] against Kansas City, the NFL's top rushing team. After a year and a half, he hasn't gotten better. If anything, he's regressed. Maybin has 21 tackles in 21 games. He has no sacks. This season, he's been on the field for 66 plays, with few tangible results.

The Bills gave Maybin a $15 million signing bonus after his holdout in 2009. That's not the sort of return on investment that made capitalism great. If Maybin were some seventh-round pick -- like, say, Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) or Stevie Johnson -- he'd be long gone by now.

Maybin was the 11th pick of the 2009 draft. He's already been moved from defensive end to linebacker, but hasn't found his role in the Bills' new 4-3 scheme. Coaches won't put him on special teams and undrafted rookies are getting more playing time than him.

Sullivan says it's because Maybin is terrible and should be cut. The latter part might be true, but I refuse to believe Maybin is an awful football player. He did something at Penn State, enough to make him the No. 11 pick in the draft. (Yes, maybe the Bills picked him too high; but it was a couple spots too high, not a couple of rounds. Maybin wouldn't have dropped past, say, No. 20.) In most cases like this, it's a lack of work ethic that's the real culprit. That's why cutting Maybin would be silly right now. Give him some time to mature, then reevaluate. The deactivation could be the kick in the pants he needed. Or it could be the beginning of the end of his time with the Bills.

[Rewind: Star receiver voted most overrated player in league]

But is he the worst player in the NFL? Nah. As long as Jake Delhomme(notes) is still on a roster somewhere, Aaron Maybin doesn't have much to worry about. 

Thanks, Morning Jolt

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