(Cornelius Bennett)

5 Candidates for the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame in 2016

Biscuit and a Cookie find themselves as the top candidates for the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame.

The Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame has 30 members following Lou Saban’s addition to the wall last year. A Wall of Fame committee decided on Saban last year during Bills training camp.

Knowing that the committee will be meeting again in the near future, Buffalo Football Report is looking at five candidates who should be considered for the Wall of Fame in 2016. Although this list is not in a specific order, we do feel that the last two names are the most deserving of the five.

Ruben Brown

Towards the end of his career, Brown lived off of his reputation a bit. That said, there was a period of time where Brown was among the elite guards in the NFL. In his time with Buffalo, Brown made eight consecutive Pro Bowl appearances (1996-2003) and his toughness could never be questioned. The guard only missed eight games in his nine-year career with the Bills.

Brown went on to one more Pro Bowl during his stint with the Bears.

Eric Moulds

Bills fans will never know how special Moulds could have been in the NFL. He was outstanding with Buffalo, but never had consistent quarterback play. Moulds’ rookie season was Jim Kelly’s last in the NFL. Upon Kelly’s retirement, Moulds played with the following QBs recording starts: Todd Collins, Alex Van Pelt, Doug Flutie, Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman, and Kelly Holcomb. That’s not a real “Who’s Who” of QBs, it’s more of a “What’s That?”

Despite playing with a wide variety of QBs, Moulds still finished his Bills career with 675 receptions, 9,096 yards, and 48 touchdowns. He is second all-time in Bills history in receptions, yards, and touchdowns behind Andre Reed.

Moulds had six seasons of 900 yards or more in Buffalo and you have to wonder what his stats would have looked like with a franchise QB under center.

Butch Byrd

Byrd is Buffalo’s all-time interception leader. In Buffalo, Byrd played in 98 career games, 84 starts according to Pro Football Reference, and recorded 40 interceptions. That averages out to about .48 interceptions per game. As Buffalo’s interception leader, Byrd is also the all-time leader in interception yards (666) and is tied with Tom Janik and Nate Clements for career interceptions for touchdowns (5).

In his playing career, Byrd was named to five AFL All-Star teams and was a three-time First-Team All-Pro. Byrd is also seventh all-time in punt return yards (600) for the Bills. He’s a very deserving candidate.

Cookie Gilchrist

Gilchrist may be the most deserving candidate on this list, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Buffalo waited until 2017 to place Gilchrist on the Wall of Fame. Russ Brandon has noted that Thurman Thomas won’t be waiting long to have his number retired and may assume that means the ceremony will occur in 2017. With the number 34 possibly being retired, what better year to also put a former 34, Gilchrist, on the Wall of Fame?

Gilchrist was only with the Bills for three seasons, but he was an AFL All-Star all three years and was a first-team All-Pro twice in his time with Buffalo. In 42 games with the Bills, Gilchrist ran the ball 676 times for 3,056 yards, and 31 touchdowns. He added another 875 yards and four touchdowns on 78 receptions. In Legends of the Buffalo Bills, Butch Byrd refers to Gilchrist as the heart and soul of the 1963 and 1964 teams, the latter of which won an AFL Championship.

His tenure with the Bills was short, but Gilchrist is more than deserving of a spot on the Wall of Fame.

Cornelius Bennett

Bennett has at least been considered for the Wall of Fame as it was noted that Van Miller beat out Bennett for the honor in 2014.

Among the Super Bowl Bills teams, Bennett is certainly the best player to not be on the Wall. Bennett started in 128 games for the Bills from 1987-1995. In that time, Bennett recorded 751 total tackles, 52.5 sacks, six interceptions (one for a TD), 22 forced fumbles, and 19 fumble recoveries (one for a TD).

Bennett won the AFC Defensive Player of the Year award twice during his tenure with Buffalo (1988, 1991). In addition to this accolade, Bennett was also named to five Pro Bowl teams during his time with Buffalo and was a three-time first team All-Pro. Bennett’s outstanding play also led to him being named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team. The linebacker was also named to Buffalo’s 50th Anniversary team.

The linebacker certainly deserves the honor after all of his accomplishments on the field with the Bills.

 


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