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C.J. Spiller keeps it real on free agency, says money will be a deciding factor

C.J. Spiller is just a few days away from finding out what's he worth on the open market.

Spiller's contract with the Buffalo Bills expires in a week -- at 4 p.m. March 10, to be exact. But his agent, Chad Speck, can begin shopping his client's services to other teams starting Saturday.

Spiller, who appeared on NFL Network's NFL AM Tuesday, admitted during the show that money will play a role in his decision on where to sign.

"I’ll be foolish and lying to you if I said it didn’t have anything to do with the money because everybody wants to be comfortable," he said. "In the NFL nothing is guaranteed so you want to make sure that you’re able to live comfortable once you’re done playing this game.

"And then also, you want to leave your imprint on this game, too. You want people to be able to talk about you, not just about the player but also about the person. Like I said, I’m looking forward to it. There are different factors that I’m going to play into the situation when I’m deciding where I want to end up at. I know I’m going to make the best decision; I always have."

Last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said "there's going to be some work that has to be done" in regards to getting Spiller re-signed.

"I have confidence that we'll each come to the table with an open mind and we'll try to get a deal done that's great for both sides," Whaley said.

The time to do that, though, is dwindling.

It will be fascinating to see what type of contract Spiller receives if he reaches the open market. At his best, he's a dynamic playmaker for an offense. His best year came in 2012, when he averaged 6.0 yards per carry -- becoming just the seventh player in NFL history to do that in a season.

But injuries the past two seasons have robbed him of much of his explosiveness.

“To be honest, I’m excited about the opportunity," Spiller said Tuesday of testing the open market. "Obviously, you want to stay at a place that you have been there your whole career. But, as both of you guys know, sometimes that doesn’t happen in this business and you have to move on. You thank the organization for what they have done for you and you continue your career somewhere else."

As for specifics on what he'd like his next team to have, Spiller mentioned a strong offensive line and dominant defense.

"People are like, 'why are you worried about the defense?' Well, if the defense gets off the field, they stop the other team, that gives us the opportunity to go back on the field so we can do our thing," he said.

The Bills should have the defense part of that equation down, and new offensive coordinator Greg Roman has proven his scheme is effective at running the ball.

"Obviously I’ve studied him," Spiller said of Roman. "We did some things in our offense that the 49ers did. Anytime an offensive coordinator loves to run the ball, as a running back that’s what you want to do. It’ll be a great opportunity if I do happen to go back because I know that both him and Rex want to run the ball; they want to ground and pound. It’ll be an awesome opportunity.

"I want to return. Pretty much the ball is in their court. If it works out, it’ll be great. If not, I’ll move on."

Spiller also had some interesting comments about the development of quarterback EJ Manuel, who will go into 2015 with a chance to win the starting job.

"I think the biggest thing that he learned was when Kyle" Orton "came in and took over. I think he learned that you can’t be buddy-buddy with everybody," Spiller said. "You’re the face of the franchise, you’re the quarterback so you have to demand everything. You have to let the receivers know where they should be if they want to get the ball. You have to let the running back know this is where the blitz is coming from – 'I need you to get over there and pick up that blitz.'

"I think early on he just really didn’t understand how to step on guys’ toes. And then once Kyle took over, he saw how Kyle did it and it kind of helped him. He’s a tremendous worker; the guy comes to work every day, prepares unbelievably. He’s in there first, leaves late so he has all of that stuff. It was just that buddy-buddy. You know how it is. You come in with some guys in your draft, you don’t really want to step on their toes. But as I told him, you’re the quarterback. You have to do that and I think he learned that.”

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