Inside The Bills

Gilmore & Taylor among top 25 2017 free agents

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 12:06 pm

Call it putting the cart before the horse, but it’s a relatively slow time on the NFL calendar with still a week before NFL training camps open. So ESPN Insider John Clayton ranked the top 25 NFL free agents for 2017 and not surprisingly, a pair of Bills made the list.

Stephon Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor, both of whom are entering the final year of their current contracts, made the top 25 list. Gilmore ranked 25th and Taylor ranked 16th. Here’s what Clayton wrote about each of them.

25. Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills: Gilmore has threatened to hold out of training camp because of his contract. He’s likely to get a big extension from Buffalo.

16. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills: Taylor proved last season that he can be an above-average starting quarterback. With a big season in 2016, he could get a long-term deal in Buffalo or from another team on the open market.

While the Bills would certainly like to sign both players to long-term extensions, the skewing of the cornerback market by the $15M per year contract signed by Josh Norman complicates things concerning Gilmore. Taylor probably just needs to show progress, boost his production numbers – particularly on third down and in the red zone – and the Bills would be comfortable signing him long term.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-22

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 11:39 am

Only a week until training camp opens Bills fans. We’ll be covering it all for you here on Buffalobills.com. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If the Bush ship sails, any chance that Rex gives Ray Rice his last chance?

@GraysonTumult

CB: I really can’t see that happening. With such a greater focus on domestic violence in the NFL these days, which includes a league wide ad campaign to raise awareness on the subject, I can’t see Buffalo taking that kind of step.

Last year’s training camp should serve as a perfect example on the likelihood of that happening. All five running backs on Buffalo’s training camp roster were all injured at the same time last summer and Ray Rice was not brought in. I don’t see that changing if Reggie Bush elects to sign and play elsewhere.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think the Bills pass on signing Gilmore if Kevon Seymour has a great preseason?

@ZWinterberg

CB: While I think your question is a valid one, I believe the likelihood of signing Gilmore to a long term extension has more to do with the market value of top flight cornerbacks than it does with how well Kevon Seymour comes along in the preseason.

I think they’d like to return Gilmore to the fold long term, but the state of the cornerback market might not allow it.

As I’ve stated more than once on this very page, the Josh Norman deal completely turned the market value at cornerback on its ear. Getting $15M per season from Washington after his franchise tag was rescinded by Carolina threw the cornerback market completely out of whack.

If a zone corner can get $15M/yr. then upcoming free agents like Stephon Gilmore who play almost exclusively man-to-man will likely see getting that much or probably more as fair market value. I’m confident the Bills are not going to enter the $15M/yr. territory.

Could I see the Bills going $12.5M/yr. like the Giants free agent deal for Janoris Jenkins this spring?

Yes.

Would that be enough for Gilmore?

I think it would need to have a lot more guaranteed money than Jenkins’ $28.8M has in his contract for it to happen.

The Norman deal unfortunately could push negotiations between the Bills and Gilmore into an area where Buffalo could potentially be fiscally irresponsible as it pertains to the rest of their roster. And the Bills probably won’t, and should not, do that.

I think if Seymour performs well in the preseason it only helps the Bills front office breathe a bit easier should they reach an impasse with the Gilmore camp on a new contract. At least then they would feel like they have a promising prospect in the pipeline to eventually replace Gilmore in 2017 if all hope is lost on a Gilmore extension.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With suspensions and off field stuff at RB, do you anticipate McCoy being very limited through camp and preseason?

@rockydm92

CB: I think the plan all along was to limit LeSean McCoy’s workload through training camp and the preseason. It has less to do with the recent suspension of Karlos Williams and DUI arrest of Jonathan Williams, and more to do with what happened last summer at training camp.

After sustaining his hamstring injury, McCoy was not the same player for the 2015 season. He was still very good, but not the game breaking talent that has made him one of the most dynamic backs in the league.

The Bills want to ensure they have the game breaking McCoy in their offensive backfield come September, so the plan all along was to pace McCoy. Give him enough work where he’s ready for the regular season, but not so much that he runs the risk of injury or going into the season hobbled.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills would Donald Trump still be able to run for president if he succeeded in purchasing the team?

@JLasher10

CB: Based on what I’ve been able to uncover with respect to executive branch government employees and conflicts of interest, there are ethics rules that require them to divest themselves of stock or property only if they are appointed to their positions (e.g. Secretary of the Treasury). Trump however, would be holding an elected position so those rules would not apply to him.

So not having an expert background by any means on government employee bylaws it appears he can continue as CEO and President of his Trump organization while also serving as President of the United States were he elected.

So if his business holdings included ownership of an NFL team that would appear to be permissible as well.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How was John Miller looking through OTAs?

@JustinWestfall

CB: Keeping in mind that Miller as an offensive lineman is not playing real football in the spring practices as it pertains to his playing duties (full contact blocking) it’s hard to provide you with a true picture of how he performed on the field. That being said I can tell you that Miller has benefitted from an offseason in an NFL strength and conditioning program as opposed to prepping for the NFL Combine and pre-draft workouts.

I just think he’s the kind of player that will make quality advances in his game as a second-year player based on the 12 games of experience he got last year. Keep in mind also that he played most of last season injured with a high-ankle sprain. Now that he’s healthy it’ll be interesting to see how he can perform when he’s 100 percent.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

RB Bush still weighing his options

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 9:51 am

Earlier this week Buffalobills.com confirmed that a contract offer had been extended to free agent RB Reggie Bush by the Bills. Bush, who is coming off an ACL knee injury last November, is training hard this offseason, but is still biding his time in terms of deciding where to play.

In an interview with USA Today, Bush made it clear that he does intend to continue his NFL career, but he has not reached a decision on where he will play.

“I know everybody’s been texting me and asking about Buffalo, but as of right now, I haven’t made a decision,” Bush told USA Today. “But if the opportunity is there, obviously, Buffalo is the most known one right now. But we’ll see. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to be the best opportunity for me and my family.”

At age 31, sustaining an ACL injury led some to think that he might choose to end his NFL career. Instead Bush said it only inspired him more to come back.

“I think when you come off of an injury, you’re that much more motivated to bounce back and to prove that you can still be you,” he said. “And not only to people, but to yourself, as well. That’s my motivation: just to bounce back. And I don’t want to end a career — ever — on an injury. Not that I’m ready to hang it up, but I’m definitely on the back end of my career. I want to put together a solid couple years of really just playing healthy football.”

Bush sounds realistic about the state of his NFL career. He knows he’s on the back side of his playing days, and said when he feels he’s lost a step he’ll walk away from the game. But he’s convinced that time has not yet arrived.

“I know that right now, I’m not ready to shut it down yet,” he said. “I’ve got some good years left.”

Bush hasn’t jumped at Buffalo’s contract offer because for a running back in his situation it pays to wait. Once training camp opens across the league there will inevitably be injuries at the running back position, including some serious ones. That alone could present more favorable opportunities with other NFL clubs that offer more in the way of playing time than Buffalo can currently offer.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Felton wants 2016 to be best year of his career

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 9:21 am

He’s been known for some time now as one of the best blocking fullbacks in the NFL, but Jerome Felton was far from satisfied with his first season with the Bills in 2015. He blames no one but himself, and now is counting on himself to put together the best season of his nine-year NFL career.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Felton publicly pledged to have his best season as a pro.

“Last year I felt I left more on the table,” he said. “That’s one of my personal motivations this year. I want to make sure that I give the Pegulas, the organization and the coaching staff their money’s worth. I’ve really challenged myself this offseason to come in and have my best season. Last year was a learning experience and I was happy to be here. But I’m challenging myself to have the best year I’ve had since I’ve been in the league. I’m just making sure that I’m 100 percent ready to contribute and be a great part of the offense this year.”

“One thing I worked on a lot this offseason is catching the ball. But whatever my role is I want to get up to camp and show what I can do. I’ve always said the better you can play and the more you can show the more opportunities you’ll get. Hopefully we’ll see it on display starting next week.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Sammy Watkins holds local ProCamp

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 21, 2016 – 3:43 pm

watkins-camp-story

Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has spent a majority of his summer in Buffalo, hosted his third annual youth football ProCamp at Erie Community College on Tuesday, July 19 and Wednesday July 20. The camp featured a turnout of around 200 youngsters. Looking to advance their skills, the participants took part in several drills.

The fun and educational experience allowed the campers to learn football basics from Watkins and prep school and college coaches from the area. Each camper also received some special memorabilia to take home such as, an autographed item from Watkins and a camp team photo.

watkins-camp-story-2


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills ‘D’ strong in one area already

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2016 – 12:38 pm

Buffalo’s defense certainly had its share of shortcomings in 2015, but there was one area where they were top 10 good.

ESPN Insider’s Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders in previewing NFL defenses for 2016 looked at the sneaky strengths of the Bills defense in addition to the league’s other 31 clubs. Interestingly when it came to crunch time late in games, Buffalo’s defense was pretty darn good last season. Here was where they stood per Schatz.

Buffalo Bills

Although the Bills’ defense struggled overall (24th in DVOA), they improved to sixth in the league in the fourth quarter or overtime. This wasn’t just a case of opponents running out the clock in wins: The Bills had a better-than-average defense in the fourth quarter whether they were winning or losing the game.

That strong defense late in games helps explain why five of Buffalo’s eight losses last season were by eight points or less. Rex Ryan is obviously looking to get his defense in a place where they’re performing that well in more than just late in the fourth quarter in 2016.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Individual game tickets sold out for select 2016 games

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 20, 2016 – 1:25 pm

update-tickets

With tickets going fast for the 2016 season, here are some updates on what’s available.

Regular tickets are sold out for the Jets, Cardinals, 49ers, Patriots and Steelers games. Season tickets and club seats are still available.

Don’t miss out on the action! For more information, please click here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills 2015 highlights to air on NFL Network

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 20, 2016 – 11:57 am

nfl-network-2015-highlights

Bills fans tune in to the NFL Network tonight, July 20, to see highlights from the 2015 season! Airing at 5:30 p.m., the show will give you access to some of the best moments from last year.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills pass rush to face best in pass pro

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2016 – 10:28 am

In our Camp Countdown today (Wednesday) we examine whether the Bills will enjoy a sack resurgence after a franchise low 21 sacks in 2015. While the number figures to increase in some fashion, how much could be impacted by the fact that the Bills will be facing some of the best pass protection units in football this season.

Here’s a look at the league’s 2015 leaders in sacked percentage. Buffalo is facing four of the top six pass protection teams in the NFL from last season. Obviously rosters and offensive lines change from one year to the next, but knowing the Bills have nine games against teams that finished in the top half of the league in preventing sacks you realize that it’s going to be no easy task to make a giant leap in sack production in 2016.

There is a flip side as six of Buffalo’s games will be against teams that ranked 23rd or lower in sack percentage. The Bills can rack up sacks against the lesser protection teams, but timely quarterback takedowns are most valuable. Can Buffalo get them against the top teams?

Here’s a look at Buffalo’s opponents ranked by 2015 sacked percentage.

1 – Baltimore – 676 pass attempts – 24 sacks – 3.4%
2 – NY Jets – 604 pass attempts – 22 sacks – 3.5%
3 – LA Rams – 473 pass attempts – 18 sacks – 3.7%
6 – Arizona – 562 pass attempts – 27 sacks – 4.6%
10 – Oakland – 605 pass attempts – 35 sacks – 5.2%
11 – Pittsburgh – 590 pass attempts – 33 sacks – 5.3%
16 – New England – 629 pass attempts – 38 sacks – 5.7%
18 – Cincinnati – 505 pass atempts – 32 sacks – 6%
23 – Miami – 588 pass attempts – 45 sacks – 7.1%
25 – Jacksonville – 607 pass attempts – 51 sacks – 7.8%
26 – Cleveland – 609 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 8%
28 – Seattle – 489 pass attempts – 46 sacks – 8.6%
32 – San Francisco – 526 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 9.2%


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills interested in RB Reggie Bush

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2016 – 11:22 am

There has been a lot of speculation that the Bills might be on the lookout for veteran RB help with Karlos Williams suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season following violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport first reported that Buffalo had a certain free agent running back they are interested in.

Buffalobills.com confirmed that the Bills have presented Bush with a contract offer.

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According to NFL.com the Bills have made a contract offer to Bush.

Bush is coming off an ACL injury in the 2015 season, suffered when he slipped at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis last season after running out of bounds and slipping awkwardly on the concrete where the turf field ended.


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Free agent RB Foster works out for Miami today

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2016 – 10:23 am

Free agent RB Arian Foster is probably the best veteran ball carrier still on the market, and he’ll be working out for the Miami Dolphins today. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported Miami’s interest along with another club.

The Detroit Lions will reportedly work out Foster later this week, provided the Dolphins don’t sign him first.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brady not seeking stay of suspension

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2016 – 1:41 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady whose request for an en banc rehearing of his Deflategate case rejected by the US Court of Appeals 2nd Corcuit this week has decided to not seek a stay of the four game suspension. 

Brady however, along with the NFLPA has not ruled out petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case. The NFLPA released the following statement on his behalf. 

After careful consideration and discussion with Tom Brady, the NFLPA will not be seeking a stay of the four game suspension with the 2nd Circuit. This decision was made in the interest of certainty and planning for Tom prior to the New England Patriots season. We will continue to review all of our options and we reserve our rights to petition for cert to the Supreme Court.

Brady’s current four-game suspension would render him in eligible for the Patriots Week 4 game against the Buffalo Bills. 
 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-15

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2016 – 12:03 pm

After a two week vacation Fan Friday returns. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills who is the starting RT, nickel corner, how far apart are gilmore and organization on new agreement?

@ZachDrohweder

CB: The favorite going into camp for the starting right tackle spot is Jordan Mills. Seantrel Henderson has to prove he’s healthy and capable of practicing day in and day out if he’s going to try to win the job back. Cyrus Kouandjio has an uphill battle in front of him to unseat one of them for a starting role.

Nickell Robey is the incumbent and favorite to keep the nickel job, but he’ll have big time competition from Sterling Moore. Corey White is another corner who may factor in there, but Moore will likely be his stiffest competition inside.

As for Gilmore there is no new developments at this point, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change in the next couple of weeks. As has been stated before, the deal Washington handed Josh Norman ($15M/yr) threw the entire cornerback market out of whack. It’s inflated the market beyond where it was expected to be right now and has NFL clubs with top corners concerned they won’t be able to keep them under contract due to where the market was set with the Norman deal.

Norman is largely a zone corner and got paid $15M per year. Players like Gilmore, a man-to-man corner arguably have a tougher job than Norman and are probably expecting at least that much. If Gilmore holds fast to a $15M/yr. contract demand there’s likely to be no new agreement anytime soon. I can’t see the Bills going that high.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Does Jonathan Williams chances take a big hit because of his lapse in judgement? I am really disappointed.

@GraysonTumult

CB: I’m sure the Bills coaching staff is disappointed too after all the encouraging signs they saw from the rookie running back in minicamp. I felt he had a legitimate chance of being the team’s backup to LeSean McCoy. He’ll still be able to compete for that role at training camp, so I don’t know how big a hit this DUI charge will have in terms of where he ends up on the running back depth chart.

Williams’ DUI charges will now be handled in the courts. If he’s found guilty a first offense under the NFL’s revised policy (2014) for DUI will result in a two-game suspension. Based on informed NFL sources that suspension stands a good chance of being imposed at some point during the 2016 regular season.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills where do you think the Bills will rank defensively now that Rex has more guys who supposedly fit his system?

@BenLebo

CB: If everything goes according to plan with Ryan’s more traditional 3-4 scheme, the starting lineup stay relatively healthy and rookies like Reggie Ragland and Adolphus Washington contribute as expected and Shaq Lawson can be back in time to play more than half the season (10 games?) then I think this defense can flirt with being a top 10 unit again.

Granted those are a lot of variables I listed, but the key here is they feel they’ve greatly improved the coaching staff on that side of the ball with DL coach John Blake, Asst. secondary coach Ed Reed and Assistant head coach Rob Ryan. I think the players on defense also learned a very hard lesson last season when they did not fully buy into Rex’s system. So I believe the motivation will be there to redeem themselves after a down season.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills who’s your sleeper going into training camp to make a big impact, possibly start?

Paul catalano@pfc322

CB: I don’t know about sleepers that will start, but I think Dez Lewis could challenge for the No. 3 WR role. He’s really come on entering his second season and had a solid spring. I think Blake Annen is a tight end candidate who could be Charles Clay’s understudy from a pass catching perspective even though vet Jim Dray is the designated blocking TE. And I think with a strong camp rookie Kevon Seymour could be one of the first corners off the bench if there’s an injury to Gilmore or Darby during the season.

I outlined some top sleepers in our Camp Countdown this week.

 

5 – Chris,

Can you give an update on how Kolby Listenbee looks and his chances to make the roster? He has the straight line speed that no one on the roster has but is raw in his routes. I don’t expect him to win the 3rd WR job but is his long term potential and ability to stretch the field make him have more value than some others? Is he a special teams guy either as gunner/returner?

Josh

CB: Listenbee was very limited in the spring coming off double sports hernia surgery. That was followed by an inflamed pelvis. He’s been here at One Bills Drive since minicamp working to complete all his rehab and get medically cleared. At this point I’m not sure it’s going to happen by training camp. His rehab has had some peaks and valleys.

There’s no debating his playmaking potential knowing his straight line speed is world class, and he figures to be an option on kick returns. It all depends on whether he’s cleared medically to participate when training camp opens.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins in top 20 for fantasy players

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2016 – 10:11 am

The NFL Network has been unveiling their top 50 Fantasy Players for 2016 as compiled by the NFL.com fantasy experts. Sammy Watkins was the latest Bills player to appear on the list after LeSean McCoy was ranked 26th overall earlier this week.

Watkins checked in at 20th overall in the latest portion of the list unveiled Thursday night. Here’s a look at the top 50 list thus far, with the top 10 to be unveiled tonight (Friday) on NFL Network at 8 pm EST.

50. Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals, TE
49. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts, WR
48. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos, WR
47. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers, TE
46. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks, RB
45. Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins, RB
44. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins, TE
43. Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers, WR
42. Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders, RB
41. Ryan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles, RB

40. Jeremy Maclin — Kansas City Chiefs, WR
39. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks, QB
38. Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins, WR
37. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots, WR
36. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers, RB
35. Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers, WR
34. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos, WR
33. Matt Forte – New York Jets, RB
32. Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers, RB
31. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers, QB

30. C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos, RB
29. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders, WR
28. Brandin Cooks – New Orleans Saints, WR
27. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers, QB
26. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills, RB
25. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints, RB
24. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers, RB
23. Thomas Rawls – Seattle Seahawks, RB
22. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR
21. Brandon Marshall – New York Jets, WR

20. Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills, WR
19. Alshon Jeffrey – Chicago Bears, WR
18. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers, WR
17. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, RB
16. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals, WR
15. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons
14. Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars, WR
13. Lamar Miller – Houston Texans, RB
12. Jamaal Charles – Washington Redskins, RB
11. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys, WR


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moorman to host local Kan Jam tournament

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 14, 2016 – 5:00 pm

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Bills fans, it’s time to show off your Kan Jam skills!

On Saturday, July 23, Brian Moorman’s P.U.N.T Foundation will be hosting a local Kan Jam Tournament. The first annual event, held at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, will provide participants with an exciting experience, as well as a chance to support a good cause.

Brian Moorman, Bills former Pro Bowl punter, his wife created the P.U.N.T Foundation in 2004 to provide assistance to local children battling cancer. Their vision and commitment to giving back has made a direct impact on the lives of many children and families in Western New York.

“We’re excited about the potential of this event…to create a special opportunity for community members to play this Buffalo-born game…,” said Moorman. “It is an easy and fun way for people to help us keep the organization’s mission strong.”

Individuals 21 and over are encouraged to take part. Teams of two will have the chance to compete for the top spot. The winner from the day will earn a trip to the Kan Jam World Championship in August, a prize pack and much deserved bragging rights.

For registration details, please click here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Bills team statement on Jonathan Williams arrest

Posted by Chris Brown on July 14, 2016 – 10:55 am

Bills rookie RB Jonathan Williams was arrested early Thursday morning on suspicion of DUI in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Buffalo Bills have released the following statement in the wake of the incident.

“We are aware of the report and are in the process of gathering information. We have notified the league office of the report under the rules of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.”

Williams was Buffalo’s fifth-round pick in last spring’s NFL draft.

 


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Dareus “hates” that Brady unlikely to play Wk 4

Posted by Chris Brown on July 14, 2016 – 9:14 am

With the 2nd Circuit of the US Court of Appeals rejecting Tom Brady’s request for an en banc rehearing of his Deflategate case with the NFL, it makes it highly unlikely that the Patriots quarterback will play in the first month of the season. His four game suspension is likely to be served at the start of the 2016 season. That means he’ll miss the Patriots first game against the Bills in Week 4. One guy who is not happy about that is Bills DT Marcell Dareus.

“I hate that Brady’s not going to be there,” said Dareus in an appearance on NFL Total Access. “But when he comes back… it’s on.”

Buffalo’s second matchup with New England will be at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Week 8. If the Bills win the first meeting sans Brady, Dareus said he’ll take the victory, but it won’t feel the same.

“If we win, all right, we win. But I don’t feel like I really won until I beat the guy,” he said. “I love playing against Brady. I get up for him. I play against him every year, and he knows I’m coming. So for him not to be up there tears me up a little bit. But the second time I see him, I’m going to be excited to play against him. That’s the win we want.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brady denied appeal, Deflategate suspension upheld

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2016 – 11:14 am

Tom Brady’s appeal for an en banc hearing by the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has been denied. The ruling by the Second Circuit’s 13 judges came down this morning. It all but ensures that Brady will miss the first four games of the 2016 season.

That includes New England’s Week 4 home game against the Bills, meaning that backup QB Jimmy Garappolo will be the anticipated starter against Buffalo, one of two division games during the course of Brady’s league imposed four-game Deflategate suspension (Miami is the other in Week 2).

His appeal to the Second Circuit was a long shot at best. According to the Boston Globe between 2000-2010 the Second Circuit has granted an en banc appeal to just eight of more than 27,000 cases over that 10-year span.

Brady can still petition the Supreme Court to hear his case and potentially overturn the Second Circuit panel’s 2-1 decision against him, but it’s considered ill advised by legal experts in light of the Second Circuit’s denial.

The NFL Players Association released a statement shortly after the 2nd Circuit denial and stated that they will review all of their options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case (considered highly unlikely), according to the USA Today, Brady and the union could seek a stay that would allow him to play while the proceedings play out in court — a process that could take up to a couple of years.

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, in an appearance on the Rich Eisen show, was hopeful that Buffalo could dethrone New England at the top of the AFC East this season.

“I hope we unseat that guy named Tom Brady sooner than later because I’ll tell you what, enough’s enough,” he said with a laugh. “You’ve already broken the records. You’re already the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. But I respect him. I like Tom, he’s a good friend of mine, but it’s time to change.”

Right now it appears that the Deflategate suspension will help in that regard.

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Worst flame-outs in sports history has Bills tie

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2016 – 11:35 am

ESPN put together a top 25 list of worst flame-outs in sports history. Fortunately this is one list the Bills did not make, but there is a Buffalo tie to the holders of the top spot on this list.

Holding the number one slot for worst sports flame-out in sports history are the 1992 Houston Oilers, for their colossal collapse at the hands of the the defending AFC champion Bills. Here was the synopsis of Houston’s historic flame-out.

1. Houston Oilers, 1992 AFC wild-card game (Jan. 3, 1993)

Seemingly, Bubba McDowell had slammed the door on the Bills in Buffalo. When the Houston linebacker returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter, few observers could imagine the Bills rallying from a 35-3 deficit. But that’s exactly what happened, as the Oilers opened the door to the largest comeback in NFL postseason history with a litany of mistakes. Bills quarterback Frank Reich, filling in for the injured Jim Kelly, rebounded from the interception to throw four touchdown passes, including three to Andre Reed. Buffalo kicker Steve Christie kicked the winning field goal in overtime as the Bills outlasted the Oilers 41-38. Afterward, Oilers cornerback Cris Dishman didn’t mince words: “It was the biggest choke in history. … When we had them down, we should have cut their throats, but we let them breathe and gave them new life.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A closer look at Bills free agent bargains

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2016 – 11:08 am

This offseason some NFL clubs threw a ton of money around. Philadelphia and Jacksonville were the most egregious examples ($543M & $357M). There were some interesting figures though concerning the Bills, who made a concerted effort to add free agent bargains who have a respectable amount of playing experience in the league.

Spotrac put together a look at the offseason spending of NFL clubs in 2016 and the Bills ranked 21st in total offseason spending. The contract extensions for Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito were largely responsible for Buffalo’s total spending figure as more than $75M of their $152M spending total went to in-house extensions (49%).

The Bills, despite signing the 11th highest number of free agents this offseason (12), they spent the least amount of money ponying up just over $10.5M.

Buffalo signed a handful of free agents to one-year deals with several agreeing to veteran exemption deals that provides additional cap relief to a team. Among some of the notables in that category were CB Corey White, S Robert Blanton, WR Leonard Hankerson and TE Jim Dray.

The front office did spend a good amount of money on players signed off waivers where they ranked fourth in total spending, committing more than $25M.


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Posted in Inside the Bills