Inside The Bills

Bills release DE Cap Capi

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2018 – 10:45 am

The Bills made a roster move Tuesday, releasing DE Cap Capi.

Capi was signed to the practice squad last November. He was subsequently called up to the active roster and appeared in the last four games of the 2018 season for the Bills.

Capi registered five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones close to full return from shoulder surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2018 – 5:09 pm

Bills WR Zay Jones had shoulder surgery in January to repair a torn labrum. He reported to One Bills Drive for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program. Head coach Sean McDermott provided an update on his rehabilitation.

“Not quite 100%, but he’s working like some of the other players,” McDermott said. “We do have some guys that are still working, rehabbing, Zay being one of them.”

As for Jones’ off the field incident involving police, McDermott said the team is “satisfied” with where things now stand after speaking with Jones directly.

“The biggest thing right now is where we go moving forward and how we handle our business moving forward,” said McDermott. “Listen, people go through situations and, like I said before, I was disappointed. The biggest thing is that we were able to talk about it and come to a point where we all agree we need to move forward. I’m excited about the future for Zay.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-13

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2018 – 11:50 am

Happy Friday the 13th Bills fans! The draft is fast approaching. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
For a team without a consensus starting QB for the last 22 yrs, does trading up to take 1 of a deep class of QB prospects in the 2018 draft constitute “reaching”? Can Beane/McDermott afford to kick this can down the road?

Keith Archie
@ASCREEN07

CB: I think we are all of the belief that all the stockpiling of Buffalo’s draft capital, which is at a record level in terms of assets, was not done to add nine players to the roster (their total number of picks). It was done to provide them with the ammunition to get a quarterback in this year’s class.

For a plan that has likely been a year in the making, I find it hard to believe that the Bills will not make every attempt to trade up to grab one of the QB prospects they feel is worth the price of moving up the board to select.

Although there will be a couple of options in next year’s draft at QB – Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, Washington’s Jacob Eason, Missouri’s Drew Lock – those players, with the possible exception of Stidham, have to show dramatic improvement on the field in 2018 to be in the same category as the QBs in this class.

Now is the time to strike and the Bills have the assets to make it happen.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills
How do you think Ryan Groy fits into our plans moving forward? Especially without Incognito.

Mark Kammerdeiner
@billsfannum1

CB: I think we’ll have a better idea on that post-draft. It’s my contention that the Bills will add some youth to their offensive line in the draft. The question is will they make additions early in the draft or late? That will likely be determined by what assets they choose to part with in a trade up scenario in round one.

If they add an interior lineman relatively early (rounds 1-3), and it’s a guard who has a chance to start right away then I think Groy is competing for the starting center role. If it’s a late round addition, then I think Groy is more likely to line up in a starting guard role and will compete with John Miller.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Are the Bills interested at all in Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson? Is it even possible that they stay at 12 and take either of those guys or are they definitely going after one of the other four? Namely Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen.

Waves
@BethelWaves11

CB: I believe the answer to this is in Buffalo’s preparation. They’ve scouted and done their due diligence on all of the top 6 quarterback prospects. Truth be told there’s something to like about all six of the top QBs, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were intrigued by any one of these top QB prospects.

I’m sure they probably have two that they covet the most, but when you’re sitting at 12 you have to know for certain who you believe is ready to compete for the starting job now and who is a year away and slot your quarterback prospects accordingly.

As for your question of if it’s possible they take Jackson or Rudolph at 12, in the draft anything is possible, especially at the QB position, where in most cases on draft day their value tends to get pushed up the board because teams get nervous about missing out.

There are a few cases over the years where a QB slides, but more often than not QB value moves up, which is why Rudolph even in the 12-20 range of round one wouldn’t surprise even though most values on him as little as two weeks ago had him late one to early two.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, what’s the plan for the Middle LB spot? I’m sure they’re going to take someone with one of their first 3 picks, but was curious who you’d think would be a fit, especially if they trade up? I like Jewell from Iowa in Round 2 assuming they make jump up in round 1.

Michael Morgante
@md_morgante

CB: This is a position I’m legitimately concerned about because the draft is thin at true ‘mike’ linebacker types. Knowing they could part with draft assets to address QB, I worry that some of the better options at MLB won’t be there for Buffalo.

I do like Jewell as a prospect because of his productivity and instincts, but he might not have all the requisite measurables to excel as a three-down MLB. He has some coverage liabilities to his game in terms of lateral movement and change of direction skills, so I wonder where the Bills value on him would lie.

I believe there are some outside linebacker prospects who could project to ILB, like BYU’s Fred Warner or Vanderbilt’s Oren Burks. NFL teams will have to try to see if some of these OLB prospects are capable of moving inside because the ILB crop is so thin.

Burks is a guy I think could easily project inside because he’s played there before and possesses the cover skills necessary to that position.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why is it taking so long to move to top 5? Everyone knows the #bills are looking to trade

Chetan Rakieten
@chetanrakieten

CB: I don’t know this for sure, but I would think that the Bills, or any other team interested in possibly moving into the top 10 or top 5, have laid the groundwork for a possible trade with another club, but a lot of those decisions are predicated on what players come off the board first.

Let’s just say hypothetically that the Bears want RB Saquon Barkley, but don’t think they’ll get him at 8. Maybe they don’t have the assets to get up to 2, so they’ve talked with Browns at four and the Broncos at five.

Even if they have a deal in place with the Broncos at 5 to move up, there is no sense of pulling the trigger on a deal unless they know Barkley is available. So if Barkley somehow slides past the Browns at four on draft day, then the Bears call the Broncos and pull the trigger to move up to five to take the RB.

That’s why a lot of trades do not happen until draft day.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills history with two 2nd-round picks

Posted by Chris Brown on April 12, 2018 – 10:31 am

A while back we profiled Buffalo’s draft history when they’ve had a pair of first-round picks. This spring Buffalo, at least at the moment, also has two second-round picks. Here’s a look at the 14 times that the Bills have had a pair of second rounders and how they fared with their selections.

The years where the Bills fared the best was in ’76 when they drafted a pair of linemen who each played 10 seasons or more. In ’79 they got a Wall of Famer in Smerlas and a Defensive Rookie of the Year in Haslett.

Cribbs was a gem in ’80, but made a horrible decision to go to the USFL. Schobel and Henry were an underrated pair in 2001. Schobel is second in team history in sacks and Henry was more productive than given credit for, and did it behind a subpar and rebuilding offensive line.

Woods finally had his breakout season, somewhere else. Byrd made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and Levitre has had a long and productive career, even if more of it has now been spent in Atlanta than Buffalo. More time will be needed to judge Jones and Dawkins, but Dawkins rookie year at LT was very encouraging.

Here’s the list, including 1994, when Buffalo had three, second-round picks.

1975 – LB Bob Nelson, DB Glenn Lott
1976 – DE Ken Jones, OT Joe Devlin
1978 – DE Dee Hardison, DE Scott Hutchinson
1979 – DT Fred Smerlas, LB Jim Haslett
1980 – RB Joe Cribbs, QB Gene Bradley
1981 – DB Chris Williams, WR Byron Franklin
1985 – G Mark Traynowitz, WR Chris Burkett
1987 – CB Nate Odomes, DB Roland Mitchell
1994 – WR Bucky Brooks, TE Lonnie Johnson, LB Sam Rogers
2001 – DE Aaron Schobel, RB Travis Henry
2002 – WR Josh Reed, DE Ryan Denney
2009 – S Jairus Byrd, G Andy Levitre
2013 – WR Robert Woods, LB Kiko Alonso
2017 – WR Zay Jones, OT Dion Dawkins


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-30

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2018 – 11:30 am

Happy Easter Bills fans. Here is the latest edition of Fan Friday with your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

QB, Middle Linebacker, & Wide receiver are the obvious choices as to which positions will most likely be addressed in the early stages of the draft. Aside from those is there a position that may be taken early that could be a surprise to most of us?

DarrellF29
@DarrellF29

CB: I think defensive tackle is a position that could be addressed if there’s a good value when they’re on the clock in round one or two. Cornerback is always a position where every team is looking to add depth, but knowing it’s very deep at corner this year, they’re likely to wait on that.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What sort of linebackers have the Bills been looking at in the second round of free agency, and what might they look at on the draft for that position?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I think you saw that GM Brandon Beane confirmed at the owners meetings this week that free agent LBs Will Compton, Karlos Dansby and Mike Minter have all made free agent visits.

As for the draft, inside linebacker is thin this year with about one legit prospect per round. Outside linebacker is a bit deeper, but in terms of who they’re looking at the only real answer I can provide is prospects who fit the prototype of what the defensive scheme demands.

The major prerequisite in terms of skill set is the ability to run and cover. If a linebacker prospect can’t drop and cover excelling in this scheme is more difficult.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, can u see the Bills looking into the RFA WRs that r available? Maybe W.Snead or C.Meredith?

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: The options you mention make sense mainly because both were tendered by their clubs as the original draft round tender ($1.9M), so if they are signed away from their current clubs, no compensation needs to be provided since both Snead and Meredith were undrafted rookies.

The tricky part is you’d arguably have to pay one of these receivers more than the $1.9M they were tendered at. Plus, Meredith and Snead was something more than a one-year deal.

Buffalo has about $15M under the cap and with nine draft picks right now they’ll need to devote about $10M to their rookie pool. GM Brandon Beane always likes to leave a nest egg so they have money to sign players in preseason or during the season in the event of injury.

So if what Meredith and Snead are looking for is far north of $2M per year, I don’t know that the Bills can be players for either of them.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any “Williams” in the draft we should be aware of?

David Ayotte
@Dhayotte75David

CB: The only one that comes to mind is Texas OT Connor Williams. He’s projected as a first-round pick by many draft prognosticators. Some teams see him as a guard because he has only 33-inch arms. But he shouldn’t last much past the early stages of the second round according to many NFL talent evaluators.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Thanks for all the inside scoops and off-season details, for the thousands of fans like myself… How much is Brian Daboll involved this time of yr? (Who can he talk to, work with, etc?) Can he talk to/work with McCarron/Peterman?

Brian Rossignol
@BrianRossignol1

CB: Daboll is currently working with the staff of offensive assistants he inherited to get everyone on the same page with his offensive scheme. I’m sure he’s also contributing with respect to draft prospects through film review and reports, but as far as McCarron and Peterman, he can’t talk to them about ‘X’s and ‘O’s until they come back for the initial stages of the offseason program in mid-April. That’s by rule under the CBA.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Giants approach with 2nd pick

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2018 – 3:14 pm

NY Giants GM Dave Gettleman has a pretty pivotal pick in the 2018 NFL draft with the second selection overall. He’s said he’s open for business, but the general consensus is if Gettleman does trade out of the second pick, he doesn’t want to move down much. Gettleman appeared on the Adam Schefter podcast this week and explained how he’ll look at pick two overall if he in fact makes his pick there.

Gettleman referenced the time when he was a scouting intern with the Bills under GM Bill Polian and how it has influenced him as a GM making draft choices.

“I’m an intern with the Buffalo Bills. Bill Polian is the GM,” said Gettleman. “It’s the 1987 draft and we had the third pick and we’re discussing the players. We’re discussing the players and we had a veteran DB coach by the name of Dick Roach. A heck of a coach. Everybody is talking and Dick jumped in and said, ‘Listen, in my mind, we’re not looking for the third-best guy in this draft. We’re looking for a player who is worthy of being the third pick of any draft. It’s stuck with me all these years and he’s 100 percent right. So that’s what I’m doing.”

Gettleman at the NFL combine also said that he expects to draft “a Hall of Famer” with the second overall pick, which seems to go along the same lines of his above lesson learned.

He was then asked about taking a quarterback at two and what he would need at that spot to take one. Here was his response.

“At the end of the day, if you’re taking a quarterback at two, is he going to make everybody better? Is he worthy of being the second pick of the draft. Is he the guy with 2:39 left in the Super Bowl and you’re down by four, is he taking you down the field? That’s what you have to ask yourself. You can’t hope that he can do it. You’ve got to know in your gut this guy can do it. I’ve talked to (former Giants GM) Ernie Accorsi a million times about Eli (Manning) and he said, ‘Dave, I knew.’”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Foles staying put in Philly

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2018 – 9:01 am

Philadelphia QB Nick Foles was rumored to be on the trade block for the right price, but apparently that price was too steep for any team that had remote interest in the Super Bowl MVP, and now it appears Foles is a lock to be on the Eagles roster for the 2018 season.

That according to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Foles will serve as valuable insurance for the defending champs if Carson Wentz’s ACL rehab should hit a snag along the way, though the latest is Wentz is recovering well from his knee injury last November.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-23

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2018 – 10:13 am

Happy spring Bills fans. Still waiting for the snow to exit for good here in the B-lo. On to your questions from Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are they trading up in the draft?

Bryon Decker
@bryon1963

CB: I think this is an interesting question only because there are many possible answers. First, I do think GM Brandon Beane will try to trade up. The problem is no one at the top of the draft wants to move down to 12.

I think there’s a good chance Buffalo has to take a rung-by-rung approach to use a ladder analogy. If your ultimate goal is to get to the Giants pick at two, the most important thing is to find out how far down the board New York is willing to move.

Word is they covet DE Bradley Chubb (in wake of JPP trade to Tampa) and G Quentin Nelson. Both are likely to go in the top 5 to 7 depending on how the run on QBs plays out at the top of the board.

So the Giants likely do not want to move out of the territory where they know they can get at least one of them. That means their floor for moving down is probably pick 6, which now belongs to Indianapolis.

It’s very likely that the Bills will have to make an initial move into the top 10 first to an area that’s appealing to the Giants in terms of moving down. So a trade with the Colts at 6 is probably step one, before you can talk turkey with the Giants about their pick at two.

The alternative is overpaying from your current spot at 12 to get straight up to 2. That likely means giving up both your ones this year, your one next year and probably something else.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Although you never say never, it looks like the Bills may not be able to get in to the Top 3 of the draft at any price – if the QB(s) they like go off the board, what might a Plan B for the Bills at QB look like now that Taylor is in Cleveland?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: As unappealing as your scenario might sound to Bills fans, Buffalo’s front office must have a contingency plan or plans. That contingency plan is probably taking the best player available at 12, and then they have to determine whether they believe one of the second-tier QBs is someone they can develop into a starter.

Do Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph have what they believe it takes to progress and be a successful starting quarterback in a couple of years? Are they worth the investment?

If they don’t believe they are, then you may have to explore other options if you think you need more than AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman at QB. Do you trade for Nick Foles?

These are all things that have to be considered and weighed by the front office.

The good news is this. GM Brandon Beane is a personnel man who doesn’t tie his emotions to what does or does not happen regarding transactions involving his team or around the league. He’s a cool customer who doesn’t panic. I’m confident he’s thought this whole thing through hundreds of times and has more than one plan in accomplishing what he has set out to accomplish in this year’s draft.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What are your thoughts of the Bills using Shaq Lawson as trade bait to sweeten the pot of any attempt to move up in the draft?

The Duke Of Blasdell
@laduke1969

CB: Trading Lawson isn’t a realistic option. The main reason being that his cap hit right now is $2.8M. If the Bills were to trade him, his cap hit would more than double at $6.07M per overthecap.com and spotrac.com, two of the more respected salary cap monitoring sites.

GM Brandon Beane has worked hard to clean up what was a salary cap mess when he arrived. Moving Lawson via trade would be counterproductive.

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why have the bills been completely absent in the WR market? It’s a pretty significant need

Bromandudeguy
@Bromandudeguy2

CB: It’s a valid question, especially for a passing offense that ranked 31st in the NFL last season. Kelvin Benjamin fully healthy gives you a number one, though he’s not the traditional number one receiver that most clubs have. After that it’s a mixed bag with Zay Jones, Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Brandon Reilly, Quan Bray and Malachi Dupre.

I never believed the Bills were going to be early players in the free agent market for a receiver. Knowing it’s not a strong class of wideouts in the draft, a lot of teams overpaid for receiver talent on the free agent market.

I do admire the Bills resolve to not join the spree of overspending, but there’s no question they need help at the position.

This isn’t an excuse as much as it is a fact. When you’re cleaning up a bad cap situation and you’re trying to fill out a roster that has multiple holes, it’s hard to plug them all in one offseason. Receiver, quite frankly, may just have to wait a bit to be sufficiently addressed.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Getting sick of QB talk, so I’m interested in who the best MLB prospects are in the upcoming draft. If Beane/McDermott have something other than a QB in mind, which LB could you see them spending the #12 pick on?

Joshua Smith
@YhoshLM

CB: Unfortunately it’s a pretty thin crop. There’s essentially one legit MLB prospect per round. If the QB thing doesn’t work out and the Bills stay at 12, Georgia’s Roquan Smith would be a hell of a consolation prize to drop into the middle of your defense. Guy is day one starter and playmaker.

After him the drop off is significant.

Texas’ Malik Jefferson is talented, but he’s too aggressive and doesn’t read plays well. Often overpursues and can be fooled by good QBs.

Virginia’s Micah Kiser is as sharp as a tack, but doesn’t have the coverage skills to be a three-down LB in Buffalo’s system.

Iowa’s Josey Jewell is an intriguing player who looks like he checks all the boxes. Even though he’s not fast on the watch, he plays faster and checks all the boxes. He’s probably a third-round prospect.

Azeem Victor from Washington was suspended twice this past year so he probably doesn’t fit coach McDermott’s profile. Wisconsin’s Jack Cichy is a nice player, but missed all of last season with a torn ACL and has an injury history before that.

Memphis’ Genard Avery has some great workout numbers, but I just don’t see it translate to his play on tape.

Hopefully some of the OLB prospects like Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch and Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter can project inside. Otherwise it’s slim pickings.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-16

Posted by Chris Brown on March 16, 2018 – 1:10 pm

Free agency is rolling as is the trade market. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills or on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

I know Beane said the money is spent…but can they still bring back a few vet minimum guys like Leonard Johnson or Cedric Thornton or Deonte Thompson? All were nice contributors and should not cost much

Lead the Stampede
@Jack_WanderS

CB: Beane did say today that they would be able to do some small signings. In my mind that includes things like veteran minimum deals for players like the ones you mentioned. Probably one-year deals.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think bills slow play the draft or swing for the fences? He has now said both ways. Last year he said no price too high for a franchise QB now he saying if a guy falls. What’s your gut saying?

David Ayotte
@Dhayotte75David

CB: I think Brandon Beane said he doesn’t know whether they’ll move up in the draft or not because there is no way to predict that. The reason why is there is no way for him to know for sure if there will be a willing trade partner in the area where he might feel he has to reach to get the quarterback he might want.

That’s the one variable that no one can count on. There may be a team interested, there may not. So as much as you may want to move up there, if you don’t have someone willing to trade out, it’s not going to happen.

I do believe if the Bills truly want to get the quarterback they may or may not covet, they have to get up to the Giants spot at two.

When Washington did that in the 2012 draft, they executed the trade in the middle of March, six weeks before the draft. They had the sixth pick and to move up just four spots they gave up their pick at six to the Rams and first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 and a second-round pick.

Then in the 2015 draft Philadelphia moved up from pick 8 to pick 2 just 10 days before the draft, giving up a third and a fourth-round pick in 2015 along with a first-round pick in 2017 and second-round pick in 2018.

If they want to make such a move, I think the Bills do it closer to the draft like the Eagles.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

We know they are moving around to draft a young QB but what’s their plan at WR?

JW Mills.
@JWMiller8050

CB: Right now on the roster they have Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Malachi Dupre, Andre Holmes, Zay Jones, Brandon Reilly and Rod Streater.

I would anticipate with the WR market thin and lacking in the upgrade department that the Bills will draft a wideout at some point in the draft. There are not a lot of speed receivers in this year’s class, but a healthy number of productive players whose talent should translate well to the next level when it comes to gaining separation.

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, what is the plan for the interior o-line? Who’s the starting center or is that coming via draft?

Mike Bourg
@Mic_bg

CB: The starting center is expected to be Ryan Groy, who started the last seven games of the 2016 after Eric Wood broke his leg. He’s a great alternative.

The Bills do need to add some youth to the interior and it couldn’t hurt to add some depth at offensive tackle with Cordy Glenn traded to Cincinnati and Seantrel Henderson signing with Houston.

The good news is this is a very good draft class of interior lineman. So finding some new, young talent shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

After the Glenn trade, experts assume the Bills are going to go up even higher. Is it possible they stay at 12, take one of the big 4 if they fall or just take Lamar Jackson, and then use all of their picks to inject youth into what is currently a very old roster?

Josh McCarty
@Josh_McCarty28

CB: Anything is possible in the draft. Beane is excited knowing if he can’t move up the board that he’s going to get a better prospect at 12 than he would’ve gotten at 21. I doubt they take Lamar Jackson at 12. I don’t think many teams value him that high.

If they stood pat and used all of their picks they could do some real damage and build their roster quickly. They’re the only team in the league with six picks in the top 100. Cleveland is the only team that comes close with five picks in the first two rounds.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle’s approach unchanged

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2018 – 3:28 pm

Not that it would surprise anyone who has followed even a part of Kyle Williams’ NFL career. Now on board for his 13th season with the Bills, the defensive tackle pledged to come in an even better version of himself for the 2018 season.

“I believe wholeheartedly that you don’t win games and championships by looking at paper and who you have or don’t have. That’s why you play the game,” said Williams. “That’s why you build a team and hold guys accountable to a standard that you have and you go out there and compete your tail off and try to make it happen. A lot will happen between now and when we kick the football off in September. So my job is to get ready to play. Work out and get bigger, faster and stronger and get ready to come in and lead these guys and bring this team as close together as possible so we can compete for a championship.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-9

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2018 – 11:34 am

Free agency is the next item on the NFL offseason docket. The market opens Thursday afternoon at 4 pm. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills or on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What other players may be on Buffalo’s radar that were recently cut? Seems like the plan is to fill out the roster with low cost value players that won’t count against the comp formula. Also, do you anticipate the Bills signing any of their FAs to more than a vet minimum deal?

Michael McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: I know a lot of Bills fans are chomping at the bit for RB DeMarco Murray, but I believe the Bills have their veteran backup to McCoy in Chris Ivory. If I had to guess, I think it’s more likely that any future additions at running back take place in the draft.

As for signing a free agent to more than a veteran minimum deal, I think it could happen, but not more than two to three times this offseason.

As much as the Bills want to fill out the roster, they’re also trying to achieve a salary cap future that provides them with more flexibility.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Gut feeling. Do they make a deal to get into that top 6-8 and draft a qb?

Mike F
@NYCJayhawk

CB: It’s hard to believe they won’t at least try to move up the board, IF the board falls a particular way. And that’s a big if. If a player or players they covet are off the board quickly, or sooner than they anticipated, I think that would negate any effort to move up the board.

However, if one of the prospects the Bills hold in high regard slips even a little bit further than anticipated, I could see them making a run at him.

Where on the board does that happen?

That’s hard to peg. Brandon Beane did say at the Senior Bowl that he didn’t want to pay a king’s ransom, and in most cases that’s what is required to get into the top five. Does that mean they’re only looking at the back half of the top 10 as a target area?

I don’t think there are any absolutes because the draft is such a fluid, ever changing entity.

When you have 32 teams thinking 32 different things about 250-300 different players, the unanticipated is bound to happen.

I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but with the draft the whole thing is a crapshoot.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

First of all, it was great seeing you and John at the combine! Could you comment on Lamar Jackson? I was a little disappointed in what I saw… seemed tentative

Steve Olsson
@steve_olsson

CB: Good to meet you guys too. I think Lamar Jackson was as advertised. While his completion percentage did improve his junior year, it’s still a part of his game where the consistency must improve. His ball location doesn’t often allow his receivers to gain yards after the catch, often forcing them to adjust to the pass.

Anticipation throwing is not something that’s frequently witnessed on his game tape. He is far and away the quarterback prospect with the greatest ability to extend the play, but I think he will need time to adapt to the pro game.

He reminds me of a shorter Colin Kaepernick, and in the right scheme he could be dynamic. I just wonder how quickly he’ll take to the NFL game, knowing some of the parts of his game that need refinement.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chances they keep Tyrod and draft Lamar Jackson in a scenario like Kansas City did last year.

Timothy Filutze
@timothy_filutze

CB: I don’t think you can rule anything out. The reason why is you don’t know, exactly anyway, how the free agent QB market will unfold and what that will prompt some teams to do if they miss out on a free agent QB they had their eye on (See: Cousins).

It could prompt them to make a trade offer for a QB like Nick Foles or Taylor.

Even Brandon Beane can’t predict what’s going to happen, which is why he said he expects Taylor to be on the roster right now. But if he gets an offer for Taylor that he can’t refuse, that could obviously change things.

As for Lamar Jackson, I think the Bills, much like every team right now, are entertaining all options if they believe it upgrades their quarterback position.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Should the Bills look to add a bigger hitter at SS and move Hyde down to the slot corner position?

Coach
@MoneyAce1984

CB: If you can find a 220-pound safety who can hit and also cover then you can consider that. But where the league is now, the primary prerequisite for a strong safety is to have the ability to cover and not just tight ends and backs, but slot receivers as well.

This has weeded out a lot of bigger safeties who lack cover ability. Ten to 15 years ago 220-pound strong safeties were more prevalent in the league. Now 220-pound players are lining up at linebacker.

The passing league has mandated greater emphasis on finding athletes, who can run, cover and hit on defense. This often means lighter, faster players.

So I don’t see finding a bigger safety who can hit as a priority for the Bills this offseason.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2018 salary cap figure now official

Posted by Chris Brown on March 7, 2018 – 8:39 am

It had been projected slightly higher, but now the 2018 NFL salary cap has been set.

The league announced the Salary Cap for the 2018 league year has been set at $177,200,000 per club.

That’s an increase of just over $10M from last year’s cap of $167M.

The Bills cap limit is almost $189M after they rolled over just over $11.5M of unused cap space from 2017. Following the signing of free agent RB Chris Ivory on Tuesday, Buffalo’s cap room is in the neighborhood of $22M.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills overall pick numbers for 2018 draft

Posted by Chris Brown on March 6, 2018 – 10:36 am

Here’s a look at the official overall pick numbers in the 2018 draft for the Bills by round, now that compensatories and the coin flip for pick nine and 10 for San Francisco and Oakland have been decided.

Bills picks in 2018 draft

Round 1 – 21, 22
Round 2 – 53, 56
Round 3 – 96
Round 4 – 121
Round 5 – 158, 166


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Eagles fielding trade offers for Foles

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2018 – 4:47 pm

The Philadelphia Eagles have already fielded multiple trade offers for QB Nick Foles.

That according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. The veteran NFL reporter is also reporting that the Eagles are not willing to accept anything less than the first and fourth-round picks they got from Minnesota in their trade of QB Sam Bradford in 2016.

NFL clubs are likely seeing what the compensation parameters would be for the Super Bowl MVP, knowing there are going to be multiple suitors for Kirk Cousins and only one team will end up with him on their roster.

“We’re trying to keep as many good players as possible,” said Roseman. “You’re talking about the Super Bowl MVP. He’s been unbelievably successful for us. He’s got great character, great leadership. That room is exactly what we’re looking for. We have a franchise quarterback. We have the Super Bowl MVP. And we have a young quarterback (Nate Sudfeld) as well.

“As we get started with the offseason, we have a lot of areas that we have to address. We’re getting started a little bit later than most teams. And we know in this league if we don’t get to work and get serious about this, we’re going to get butt kicked. Our intention is to keep all of our good players.”

Foles has a year remaining on his contract, so as long as Carson Wentz’s rehab from an ACL knee injury last November continues on a positive track for him to be ready from Week 1 of the 2018 season, it might behoove the Eagles to acquire assets for a backup QB in Foles now, knowing he is likely to get starting job offers as a free agent in 2019 if he remains on Philadelphia’s roster this season.


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Vontae Davis still rehabbing groin

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2018 – 5:19 pm

Recently Bills new CB Vontae Davis was medically cleared coming off of groin surgery last November, but he still has some ground to cover to get all the way back to 100 percent.

In a conference call interview with the WNY media, Davis indicated that he might be limited when the team returns for the offseason conditioning program in the spring.

“Right now, I’m still rehabbing,” said Davis. “I was cleared two weeks ago. It’s a process. I’m still doing a lot of strengthening work. I’m not sure about the spring, yet. I’ll probably be limited, but right now I’m making progress in my rehab process. I’m back training. I’m cleared to do everything. It’s just a process with the strengthening work and everything.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-2

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2018 – 11:39 am

It’s our live from the NFL Combine edition of Fan Friday. Let’s get to your questions from Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hello Chris,

I really look forward to getting your insight every Friday. My question is in regard to the salary cap situation. From what I have seen the Bills cap situation gets very good in 2019. Do you sense that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott may opt to fill holes this year other than at QB, since the price of franchise free agents is expected to be quite high with the demand from other teams you have cited and the price in draft capital the Bills would have to give up to move to a top five slot in the draft?

Thanks,
Mike V.


CB:
Yes, you are correct, the Bills salary cap situation should improve even further in 2019. With respect to quarterback I don’t think their cap situation is going to keep them from pursuing one if they know it will upgrade the position.

I understand your premise, but quarterback trumps everything as I see it, so if you have the opportunity to land what you believe to be an answer at the position, you take a swing.

GM Brandon Beane told me this week that they will consider free agent options at QB and compare those options to the QBs they have on the roster. Now I don’t expect them to be in what will be a bidding war for Kirk Cousins, but there will be other viable options out there.

The same principle applies in the draft. If you’re convinced that one of the QB prospects is the long term answer at the position, you make every effort to land him. If that means parting with the draft capital you’ve accumulated it’s worth it.

Of course, all that being said there has to be a willing trade partner. It’s a two-way street.


2 –
Hey Chris,
Do you think Buffalo would be willing to trade a package of high draft picks for the opportunity to select any of the quarterbacks besides Darnold, Rosen and Allen?  Also, do you think they would be willing to try and sign Sam Bradford in free agency? I know he gets hurt all the time but he can still throw the ball as good as any of the other free agent quarterbacks.  Thank you.

Alexander, Toronto

CB: I think the general consensus in the league is Darnold, Rosen and Allen are the three top prospects. So trading up a package of high draft picks as you suggest for one of the other QB prospects besides those three seems unlikely.

Mayfield’s measurables and the widespread belief in the NFL community that Lamar Jackson should consider wide receiver as his NFL position figure to have them come off the board somewhere between 11 and 25.

I realize it only takes one team to think otherwise to change that, but that appears to be what a good number of teams are thinking.

As for Sam Bradford, yes he still has a good deal of arm talent, but his lengthy injury history will be a deterrent for some teams. I think Bradford is an option if you have a world class offensive line in terms of pass protection.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Brandon Beane mentioned wanting to get a power RB to complement McCoy. Do you foresee Buffalo filling this need in F/A or the draft? With guys like Stewart and Ivory available and guys like Freeman and Chubb projected to be 3rd to 4th round picks, which route do the Bills take?

Michael McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: This is a decision that will depend on whether a free agent RB agrees to the price that Buffalo is willing to pay. Otherwise the Bills will turn to the draft. It’s one scenario where the team will be dealing from a position of strength because there are multiple options in both the draft and free agency.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, can u see the Bills targeting C Ryan Jensen in FA? OL coach J.Castillo coached him in Balt.

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: Jensen stepped into the starting lineup for the Ravens in 2017 as a fifth-year player. I can’t pretend to know how he fared this season. I didn’t see enough of Baltimore’s games.

I will say that head coach Sean McDermott in an appearance on the John Murphy Show admitted that Ryan Groy is the heir apparent at center for Buffalo in terms of replacing Eric Wood.

Now I don’t think that rules out the Bills perhaps pursuing another interior offensive lineman in free agency, but I get the sense that they like Groy, who is entering the final year of his current deal. So I could see them having Groy start in the pivot, see how he fares and if he’s performing well perhaps they extend him.

Yes, Jensen is only 26, but I think he’ll be looking for starter type money and I get the sense the Bills are looking for interior depth that could grow into starting roles down the line with players who are affordable. That’s more likely to be found in the draft where the interior offensive line depth is very strong this year.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

What might be a realistic compensation value for Cordy Glenn if the Bills decide to trade him?

Coach
@MoneyAce1984

CB: This one is hard to answer because different teams will place a different value on landing a starting caliber left tackle. For the teams that need an immediate answer at the position, the value would be higher. For a team that has a young left tackle on their roster that isn’t ready yet, the price they’d be willing to pay would be less because they believe they have a player that could fill the role in a year or two.

I think a good jumping off point would be what Seattle gave to Houston for Duane Brown, which ultimately became a second and third-round pick with a fifth-round pick going with Brown to Seattle. Brown is a 32-year old offensive tackle. Glenn will turn 29 in September.

Glenn is also under contract for three more seasons.

So between his age and his contract I’d like to think the Bills would be asking for at least that much, if not a bit better.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL support healthy for Jim Kelly

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2018 – 12:24 pm

The NFL family was disappointed to hear the news that Jim Kelly’s cancer has returned, but as they’ve done before, they’re expressing their support for the Hall of Fame quarterback, just like they did during Kelly’s first battle with the squamous cell sarcoma that he was able to beat.

L.A. Chargers GM Tom Telesco, a Hamburg native, who cut his teeth in the league working under Bill Polian, was affected by the news having watched Kelly as a Bills fan.

“When you hear news like that it just hits you hard,” Telesco told Buffalobills.com. “I grew up in Buffalo. I grew up a Bills fan. I’m still a Bills fan even though I’m not allowed to be working for the Chargers. But that’s my home and that was my team. Jim Kelly is everything that Buffalo really represents.

“The good thing about Jim, and this is not a cliché, but there’s no one that’s tougher than he is. So if anybody can fight that I know that he can. He’s got a great support group. An unbelievable support group inside and outside of Buffalo, so our prayers are with him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-16

Posted by Chris Brown on February 16, 2018 – 11:33 am

Lets’ get right to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,

Many thanks for all the updates and info this past season. With all the focus on the upcoming draft is there any chance the Bills look to keep Tyrod with a new OC whose scheme may better fit Tyrod’s skill set? Then look to fill holes with all the draft picks they have acquired and/or hope one of the non-top 5 QB’s are still there at 21/22? I realize it is early in the process as GM Beane noted and a lot could change.

Thank you.
Bryon
Plattsburgh, NY

 

CB: You’re right that a lot can change between now and the week after the NFL draft. That being said, I think there is a real possibility that Tyrod Taylor remains the starter. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the quarterback position in terms of what could be available in free agency and who is affordable in a way that doesn’t cripple a team’s cap situation.

As for new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, he certainly comes in with very recent experience working with a mobile quarterback in Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.

I’m sure there will be a lot of conversations among the offensive staff this offseason as to what, and with whom, their best approach would be to move the offense forward. The passing game was frankly substandard last season. Can Daboll help to improve it with Taylor in the lineup?

That’s the big question.

The next question is what other quarterback talent can the Bills realistically acquire in terms of price tag and/or draft capital.

There may not be defined answers on the draft capital question until a week or two before the draft. And with more demand than supply concerning free agent QBs, the price to acquire one is going up and some teams are likely going to overpay.

I get the sense that Bills GM Brandon Beane isn’t big on overpaying, even at QB.

 


2 –
Hi Chris,

Do you think the Bills will draft another wide receiver? Or do you believe that Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones, Deonte Thompson, and Brandon Tate are sufficient?

Your thoughts,
Tony Falzone
Daytona Beach, FL

CB: Perhaps the most important factor about your question is 60 percent of the players you mentioned are impending free agents. Matthews, Thompson and Tate all have expiring contracts come March.

It’s hard to know what each of those players is thinking, although I do know that Thompson enjoyed playing in Buffalo this past year having spoken with him.

Matthews needs a high-volume passing attack to maximize his value. Over the last three years the Bills are dead last in the league in pass attempts at just over 29 per game. Unless there’s a dramatic shift planned by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, or a significant change at QB, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan Matthews looks elsewhere.

Let’s not forget too that he’s coming off a pair of offseason surgeries, so he may have to sign a one-year prove it deal, and that would only increase his need to find a high-volume passing attack.

Thompson and Tate should be affordable options to bring back to the fold. Hopefully a full offseason helps Kelvin Benjamin blend into the passing game more effectively and Zay Jones takes a big step in season two of his career.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What position do you see the Bills making their biggest-dollar signing at in free agency, presuming they look to make another Micah Hyde-level signing?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I don’t get the overwhelming sense that the Bills will be big spenders in free agency. GM Brandon Beane has made it clear he is still trying to get the Bills cap in a more flexible position and sees free agency as a means to set themselves up for the draft.

To me that means filling some positional holes with value-based signings, not big splash type moves.

If there were to be a signing the level of Micah Hyde this offseason I think it would be at linebacker, defensive tackle or cornerback. And to be clear, not all three, but rather at one of those three positions. That is where they are short on numbers when it comes to starting-caliber players.

It’s reasonable to believe Beane would like to have a starting-caliber player plugged in at one of those positions prior to the draft at the very least.

 

4@ChrisBrownBills

There are numerous reports out there that the Bills have been scouting Josh Rosen extensively, do you think the Bills perceived high interest in him is smoke and mirrors, or will do what’s necessary to go get him?

Michael McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: To be truthful I’d be disappointed if the Bills didn’t scout Josh Rosen and every other top quarterback prospect extensively. Buffalo’s scouting department wouldn’t be doing their level best if they didn’t scout each QB prospect extensively. It’s par for the course.

To what lengths would the Bills go to land Rosen, or any other QB prospect that may be at the top of their board?

That’s tough to peg, only because I believe it will largely depend on how the top of the board unfolds.

I don’t see the Bills paying a king’s ransom to get to the top of the board. There are just too many other holes for the team to address. Solving the quarterback position for the long term is perhaps the most important hole to fill, but a dozen other teams are looking to do the same thing.

That drives up the cost of doing business to accomplish that.

I think GM Brandon Beane feels out the market both in free agency and the draft and then makes a judgment call on whether it’s worth paying the price to address the QB position in a way that would satisfy him and head coach Sean McDermott.

I realize that’s probably not a pinpoint answer, but it’s the best I can do at this point.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any chance the Bills draft a 1st round QB AND seek a big name free agent like a Foles, Cousins, or Bridgewater?

Jason Carroll
@jasonlikesfun

CB: I would be surprised if they did both.

The reason why is, if you’re drafting a QB in round one, you’re pretty convinced he’s your long-term answer at the position going forward. If he’s not then you shouldn’t be drafting him in round one.

The thought process is much the same with the free agent QBs you mentioned. If you’re going to land a free agent like Cousins or Bridgewater (provided he’s ruled a free agent – NFL Management Council has to determine this) you’re going to be either be paying franchise QB type money or parting with assets for Foles (who is under contract) that indicates you believe him to be franchise caliber.

If you’re willing to do that in free agency I think you’re committing to that player long term at the position. So drafting a QB in round one as well seems counterintuitive, especially when there are plenty of other positional holes to be filled on the roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Frazier eager for 2018 season with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 13, 2018 – 3:28 pm

Although he was interviewing for the Colts head coaching job just last weekend, a job that has since gone to Frank Reich, Leslie Frazier is glad he’s back in Buffalo preparing for the 2018 campaign.

“I was out there on Saturday and met with their general manager and some of their other top brass,” said Frazier of his meeting with the Colts last weekend while appearing on the John Murphy Show. “It was a good experience. As you know Frank (Reich) got the job and I’m happy for him. A great guy and great friend. It was a great experience for me, but I’m looking forward to our 2018 season here in Buffalo.”

Frazier said the interview process was a bit unique for him and the other two candidates, Reich and Dan Campbell, knowing it was round two for the Colts after Josh McDaniels reneged on taking the job.

“It’s a short window to get prepared because nobody saw it coming. We were all on the same timeline and you just prepare and put your best foot forward,” said Frazier. “Every situation is different. They were looking for integrity and leadership and I think most teams are, but sometimes they’re looking for something a little bit different. But the interview wasn’t a whole lot different from what I’ve been through in the past.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-9

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2018 – 11:44 am

The 2018 offseason is in full swing now with the Super Bowl behind us. Lets’ get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
IMO their biggest hole, besides QB is at LB. Do you feel they will address this in FA or the draft? I believe we need a experienced MLB.

Tim Feathers
@tbill538

CB: Linebacker is unquestionably a hole because of who they could potentially lose to free agency. Preston Brown and Ramon Humber are both free agents. That’s two starting caliber players. Obviously, they could re-sign one or both, but it will be interesting to see if Brown wants to test the market, knowing a player’s second contract is usually the big money one.

Also the Bills would undoubtedly like to get faster at the linebacker position. I believe the team’s decision on Brown will ultimately determine their course of action at linebacker. If he’s back I see them supplementing the position primarily with the draft. If not, it’s likely to be a mix of free agency and the draft.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Bills look to replace Brian Gaine? I really liked their front office acquisitions last off-season and hope they try and maintain multiple quality personnel and GM types
BC72
@bchud1972

CB: I think that’s to be determined. With Lake Dawson also up for the Panthers GM job, Buffalo could lose two members of their scouting department. I think when GM Brandon Beane knows whether Dawson is back or not he’ll then assess the duties of those men and decide if they need to replace either by promoting from within and hiring from the outside.

You are right though, Beane assembled a heck of a staff in year one, and the pursuit of some of his hires is a strong validation of that.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With the money that Smith and Jimmy G got, so the Bills a) pickup TT option and draft a guy to sit behind him for a year similar to Smith or b) pickup his option and trade him as it would still, at $18 million, be cheaper than signing some of the higher end FA right now?

Ryan Cox
@RyanACox34

CB: Getting Tyrod to renegotiate his deal last offseason was an astute move by the Bills. Though some still see the $18M cap hit as tough to swallow, it’s a very reasonable deal. And the chance of them going another season with Tyrod at QB while drafting a QB to groom is possible.

It’s hard to predict which way it will turn, knowing there will be quarterback options in free agency, potentially by trade if the Eagles are willing to listen to offers for Nick Foles and in the draft.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Would you personally trade the #Bills’ 21, 22, and RD3 to Denver for the fifth-overall pick if Rosen and Darnold are off the board?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: I personally wouldn’t. I think those two are by far the top two QB prospects from all the scouting people I’ve talked to around the league over the last few months. Unless you feel players like Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph are right there with them and still on the board I don’t make that deal.

I think you only give that draft capital up for one of the best QBs in the draft, not QB three or four, especially since I feel there is a drop off that’s more sizable than pick 2 to pick 5.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
What are the chances they re-sign Gaines?

Zach Kozoduj
@koz9130

CB: I think there’s a legitimate chance they’ll make an effort to re-sign him. It all depends on the supply and demand in free agency. The market will have some decent talent available if players don’t re-sign with their current clubs (e.g. Malcolm Butler, Rashaan Melvin, Trumaine Johnson), but I don’t think the Bills want to pay giant money.

Gaines durability issues (he’s missed 26 games over last 3 seasons) figure to make him a more affordable option, plus he’s just 26-years old. So his affordability makes him a realistic re-sign candidate. The only thing that changes that is if they can find a more durable player without having to pay significantly more.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills