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Bills waive good-bye to Maybin Drafted in '09 to rush passer, he had no sacks

The team's media release was simple and direct: "The Buffalo Bills today announced that LB Aaron Maybin has been waived."

No explanation, no career statistics listed below. But there was no need to explain how and why the stats from Maybin's two uninspiring years with the organization aren't worth mentioning.

The team officially severed ties with Maybin, arguably the biggest draft bust in franchise history, on Monday. Drafted with the No. 11 pick overall in 2009 because of his stellar ability as a collegiate pass rusher, Maybin finished his Bills career without a sack and just 24 tackles, including 15 solos.

A source told the News the Bills tried in vain to trade the linebacker before he was placed on waivers. The team signed Maybin through 2013 and in two-plus years with the team he earned $10.9 million which includes a $2 million signing bonus and a $7 million option bonus he received before the 2010 season.

"It's all about us as a team trying to get better but it's also about him," Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said. "We could have used him and gone on through preseason and that kind of thing and then done it, [but] he would have had very little chance to get picked up."

"He feels like he's going to have an opportunity to go elsewhere and start all over again and hopefully get into a system that will be a little more conducive to his skill set," said Chafie Fields, Maybin's agent. "He said the Bills wanted to go into another direction and they were a little more comfortable with what they had."

A source said that if Maybin clears waivers, he could sign a deal with another team as early as today and San Francisco, Detroit and Oakland have shown the most interest. Fields declined comment.

In Maybin's last game with the Bills, he was credited with one tackle in the preseason loss Saturday at Chicago. His most notable play came on a sprint-out to the right by Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie with 1:30 remaining on a 3rd-and-15 from the Chicago 20. Maybin rushed from the left and was knocked flat on his back by running back Marion Barber.

"We don't [evaluate on] just the game because you can create a hero or you can create a goat in a hurry in a game," Bills coach Chan Gailey said. "It's everything involved the whole time the guy is here. To use Buddy's term it's his whole body of work."

It is becoming clear that the Bills are trying to distance themselves from draft mistakes made during the Marv Levy/Dick Jauron era. Of the players drafted in the first three rounds from 2006 through 2009, only Leodis McKelvin, Eric Wood, Jairus Byrd and Andy Levitre remain on the roster. No one from the entire 2007 draft is on the roster, a draft in which the Bills' first three picks included Marshawn Lynch, Paul Posluszny and Trent Edwards.

With Brian Orakpo and Brian Cushing still on the board, the Bills selected Maybin, the defensive end out of Penn State with the No. 11 overall pick. The Bills employed a 4-3 defense at the time and Jauron was adamant that Maybin was perfect for the scheme. He appeared in only 21 percent of the team's snaps as a rookie.

The Bills made a shift to the 3-4 when Gailey was hired last season and Maybin was moved to outside linebacker, a position many believed was more geared to his strength because of his speed and athletic ability. But Maybin made an appearance in only 87 plays a year ago and was inactive for five consecutive weeks.

While the Bills coaching staff and Maybin's teammates were high on his work ethic, he was a player without a true position. At 228 pounds, Maybin typically gave away as much as 100 pounds or more against offensive tackles and was not fast enough to play safety. He also lacked football instincts to excel at linebacker.

"I don't know what scheme he fits at that size unless you're a strong safety or something," Nix said. "He says it's his metabolism, but he couldn't hold weight."

Still, Maybin believed he could produce if he were on the field more.

That wasn't going to happen with the Bills.

"When you miss on a pick that high -- in the first, second or even third round, it's sets you back because you keep trying to fill that void," Nix said. "That's the reason we took a little longer. We needed him, we wanted him to improve and we wanted to make sure we gave him every opportunity."

In terms of Bills draft busts, Maybin may be the most significant.

Left tackle Mike Williams was the No. 4 pick overall in 2002 and was a major bust, but he started 47 games and played 51 for the Bills. Defensive end Erik Flowers, 26th overall in 2000, played 31 games over two seasons and made four sacks -- four more than Maybin.

Defensive end Walt Patulski, No. 1 overall in 1973, appeared in 56 games and tight end Tony Hunter, No. 12 overall in '83, played two seasons and caught 69 passes. Wide receiver Perry Tuttle, the 19th pick in 1982, caught 24 passes in two years, and while 1980 No. 1 overall pick Tom Cousineau never played for the Bills -- electing to play in the CFL -- the linebacker wound up making 59 starts in the NFL.

Maybin has just one.