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Inside The Bills

Bills do not use franchise tag

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 4:14 pm

The deadline for teams to make use of the franchise and transition tags has come and gone and the Bills chose not to use either.

Bills GM Doug Whaley confirmed it Monday afternoon.

“We have chosen not to use the franchise or transition tags this year,” said Whaley.

There was some speculation as to whether the Bills would make use of the franchise tag on free agent to be Jerry Hughes, but that obviously did not come to fruition

The free agent market opens on March 10th.


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Report: Miami uses transition tag on TE Clay

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 3:08 pm

Miami TE Charles Clay was expected to be a popular free agent target were the Dolphins to allow him to reach the free agent market next week. It appears Miami has made it considerably harder for other NFL clubs to go after the versatile offensive player.

According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dolphins placed the transition tag on Clay Monday.

The Dolphins are hoping that the $7M figure drives other NFL interest away. Under the rules of the transition tag another NFL club can still sign Clay to an offer sheet and that Dolphins would have seven days to match the offer. If not Clay would sign with the club that made the offer and that team would not have to provide the Dolphins with any compensation. If Miami matched the offer sheet Clay would have to re-sign with the Dolphins.


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Bills adjusted cap higher than NFL figure

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 2:01 pm

The 2015 NFL salary cap is confirmed at $143.28 million. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club has the option to carry over unused cap space from the prior League Year. The Bills have chosen to do so.

Below is Buffalo’s adjusted salary cap position given their carryover amount and other adjustments from the 2014 season, which is about $2.5M higher than the league figure.

Team        Carryover              Adjustments         2015 Salary Cap     2015 Adjusted Cap

Buffalo       $2.647M                    ($145,977)                 $143.28M                    $145.78M

 


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Official franchise tag figures by position

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 1:39 pm

The NFL released the salary cap ceiling for 2015 Monday as well as the official franchise tag figures. Here’s a look position by position.

Pos.    Tag amount
QB     $18.544M
RB     $10.951M
WR    $12.823M
TE      $8.347M
OL      $12.943M
DL      $14.813M
DT      $11.193M
LB      $13.195M
CB      $13.075M
S         $9.618M
K/P    $4.126M

 


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Salary cap set for 2015

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 1:34 pm

The NFL has officially set the salary cap for the 2015 calendar year and for the second year in a row the figure has jumped $10 million.

This year’s salary cap was set at $143.28 million, more than five million above the initial projection of $138 million a few months ago.

The teams with the most cap room this offseason are Jacksonville ($68.2M), Oakland ($55.4M) and Cleveland (53.7M) according to OverTheCap.com.

The Bills rank 11th in cap space at just over $31 million.


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Projected 2015 franchise tag figures

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 9:46 am

The 2015 NFL franchise tag figures have not been officially released, but here are the projected numbers courtesy of NFL.com’s Albert Breer, with the deadline being 4 pm today (Monday).

Projected 2015 franchise-tag amounts
Position               Salary
QB                        $18.51M
RB                        $10.93M
WR                       $12.80M
TE                        $8.33M
OL                        $12.92M
DT                        $11.17M
DE                        $14.78M
LB                         $13.17M
CB                         $13.05M
S                            $9.60M
K/P                       $4.12M


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Browns agree to terms with QB McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 8:50 pm

The Cleveland Browns have announced that they’ve agreed to terms with free agent QB Josh McCown.

The announcement was made late Friday with multiple reports also noting the signing.

The Bills hosted McCown for a visit prior to the NFL Combine and expressed interest in the 35-year old quarterback as well.


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Fan Friday 2-27

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 11:39 am

NFL free agency is just over a week away. The Bills are expected to be players. For now let’s get to this week’s edition of questions from you the Bills fans on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My question is- What veteran quarterbacks do you feel that could be available to help the Bills immediately? Definitely not Cutler, the Bills have already proven once you get under his skin he’s done competing!  Maybe Sanchez?  Do you think he can turn the corner in his leadership and playing ability?

Kevin E.
Colorado by way of Hamburg, NY

CB: Josh McCown is the obvious target right now. I think the Bills will see if any veteran quarterbacks that don’t have a future with their current clubs are released in salary cap moves prior to the start of the new league year before pouncing on another free agent target. Rest assured they are dead set on adding a veteran quarterback to their roster in some way.

 

2 – Chris,

Thanks again for the great coverage of our Bills, my question revolves around the defense going back to a 3-4. How do you see the front seven shaking out? Is Dareus the nose tackle or do we go with him and Kyle Williams at defensive end and add a big bodied space eater? I’m also curious about the linebackers, I’d think you’d put Alonso and Brown inside, Mario on one side and then I’m lost. If Hughes stays in the fold does he play the other side? Where does this leave Bradham who emerged as a solid player? I look forward to your input thanks again.

Will.
GO BILLS!

CB: With respect to the defensive line you have to remember that Ryan’s system is not a traditional 3-4 with a true nose tackle. They don’t have a true two gap, head up on the center nose. They play more of a shade alignment with two defensive tackles. I think Mario Williams will split time at defensive end and outside linebacker depending on the down and distance.

Manny Lawson will shift to strong side linebacker much like he did in Pettine’s defense two seasons ago. If Jerry Hughes is back he’ll presumably rotate in and out with Lawson and likely flip back and forth between and end and outside linebacker role.

As for the full-time linebackers I think it will be a feeling out process for the defensive staff. They have 2013 tape of Kiko Alonso in this defense, but they do not have any feel for Preston Brown in that system. They also don’t have the current version of Nigel Bradham in this defense aside from perhaps the last two games of 2013 when he began to show flashes of his true ability. So how they align those three will take shape through the course of the OTA practices.

The secondary obviously remains largely the same with the decision of free agent Da’Norris Searcy being the only possible departure.

 

3 – Chris,

Has Shane Carden from ECU been on anyone’s radar at OBD? I live in the Carolinas so we get more coverage about this guy. He’s playing in the senior bowl as well. He has reputation for being an accurate thrower (to me this should be the top consideration for a QB). Maybe a steal in the mid/late rounds. Thoughts from the insiders?

John

CB: Obviously the Bills scouting department is aware of Carden. He was a throwing quarterback at the NFL Combine last week. Carden set all kinds of records at East Carolina, but my concern lies with his throwing mechanics and arm strength. I don’t think he has the arm to cut passes through the wind that we often find here in Buffalo come November and December.

A lot of his passes float and hang in the air too long. He also has a propensity to throw off his back foot. There’s no debating his career was a very productive one. He broke all of David Garrard’s passing records at ECU, but I’ll be surprised if he’s taken before the seventh round. At best he’s a career backup in the league by most accounts.

 

4 - Hello Chris,

Thank you for all your hard work keeping those of us away from Buffalo updated on the best team in the NFL!

While I do not dismiss Rex Ryan’s abilities as a coach or motivator, my defining image of his tenure in New York was the newspaper cover image of a Jets clown car with coach Ryan at the wheel.  Traditionally the team has eschewed flamboyant personalities in the past.  Has the team discussed this with him, or can we expect the seemingly endless diatribe of controversy, arrogance and inanity that plagued the Jets?

James

CB: I think you can probably take his handling of his press conference with the NFL media at the NFL Combine as an example of what to expect. He sidestepped several opportunities to be bold with a prediction or two for the 2015 season. He also dodged loaded questions about his former team. So I’m anticipating a little more self-restraint from coach Ryan this year. We’ll see.

 

5 - Chris
It seems that with the restrictions in the NFLPA agreement, it is difficult to work with players except during certain dates in the offseason ?
If we had some interesting players, could a team rather than sign them to a contract, perhaps open a Football Training School with free tuition and room and board to develop their skills? Those popping out would be offered a contract etc. don’t use team coaches, rather qualified instructors with experience in positions we have a need.

Thanks
Jim in Florida

CB: Unfortunately I don’t see the NFLPA agreeing to that in any way. The players fought for time away from the game to reduce the pounding on their bodies through the offseason with limitations on padded practices and live hitting. They’re not going to agree to do that in a separate training academy. Most players do that on their own.

I suppose there could be street free agents interested in that kind of arrangement, but who is paying for it? NFL owners are not going to incur another cost to make that happen. I just think it’s unrealistic.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Erin Kelly book ‘Kelly Tough’ released

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 10:04 am

Erin Kelly, oldest daughter of Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, has released a book chronicling the struggles and triumph in dealing with her father’s well-publicized cancer battle. Here are details.

‘Kelly Tough’ is an intimate, deeply personal account of life inside the Kelly family. It includes never-before-shared photos, journals, and stories will be revealed. Readers will go behind the scenes with the Kelly family and experience their private struggles and failures as well as their determination and passion.

It’s available on Amazon.com right here.


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Report: Browns still in hunt for McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 9:47 am

While there are reports that the Bills are negotiating with the reps for free agent QB Josh McCown, apparently they’re not alone.

That according to the Associated Press, which is reporting that the Browns are also trying to strike a deal with the free agent signal caller. It’s believed that both clubs are offering McCown the opportunity to compete for the starting job at quarterback, so the difference maker will likely be money.

McCown was released by Tampa Bay earlier this month and visited both the Bills and Browns.

 


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Fred talked to C.J.

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2015 – 3:22 pm

CM6_9043
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller have been the closest of teammates in the five seasons they’ve spent together. Whether that continues remains to be seen, but Jackson has kept in contact with Spiller throughout the offseason and just spoke with him Thursday.

“I talked to C.J. I talked to him earlier today,” said Jackson at his D-3 Nation initiative launch. “He definitely wants to be back in Buffalo. It’s just going to be about getting the job done and getting the numbers worked out. I know there are going to be other teams interested in him. He’s a tremendous athlete and a tremendous running back. We’d all be foolish to sit here and think other teams aren’t going to come after him.”

Spiller said earlier this week that he’d like to re-sign with the Bills, but there is clearly a gap in the thought process of what Buffalo and the Spiller camp believe is the right deal. Whether the two sides can bridge that gap is something that will have to materialize in the next week or so.


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Report: McCown visiting Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2015 – 9:21 am

Free agent QB Josh McCown is meeting with yet another NFL club interested in his services.

According to an ESPN.com report, McCown is being hosted by the Cleveland Browns on a two-day visit. The visit began on Tuesday and will stretch through today (Wednesday). McCown has also met with the Bills and the Jets. Chicago has also expressed interest meeting with him at the NFL Combine, a team he played for just two seasons ago.

McCown is reportedly most interested in competing for a starting job, something that would seem likely in Buffalo, New York and Cleveland.

The veteran QB has been able to mull his options since he’s essentially the only viable free agent QB on the market right now with free agency not opening for quarterbacks with expiring contracts until March 7th, when NFL clubs can begin to contact and negotiate contracts with prospective free agent players.

It’s assumed that McCown will make a decision on what team he’d like to play for soon to begin negotiating a contract long before the other free agent QBs enter the pool of available talent.


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Who Spiller likes from RB draft class

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2015 – 3:16 pm

Tennessee Georgia Football
C.J. Spiller is mulling over his free agent options with two weeks until free agency opens. He’s aware that as a free agent he’s not only competing with fellow free agent running backs, there’s also a pretty good class of rookies coming into the league this spring.

Spiller appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio and mentioned one running back in particular that he’s followed closely and enjoys watching.

“There is a lot of young talent at the running back position that’s coming out in this year’s draft. I think this is probably the deepest that I’ve seen in a while, from guys that are explosive to the pounding guys,” said Spiller. “So I’m excited to see what they’re capable of doing. Some have had tremendous careers. The one who I stay in touch with and follow the most is Todd Gurley. I love the way he competes and runs the football. He’s fast and a big guy so I’m excited to see where he lands. I hope he lands where a veteran running back can take him under his wing and show him the ropes.”


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Tons of praise for EJ from Spiller

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2015 – 3:11 pm

EJ Manuel, C.J. Spiller
Among the items that C.J. Spiller had on his free agent checklist for a team was a great quarterback. Buffalo’s EJ Manuel is not that yet, but Spiller expressed a belief that the third-year quarterback will get there.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday, in addition to discussing his free agent options, which include a possible plan to return to Buffalo, Spiller said he believes EJ can be a winning quarterback in the league.

“I believe he will. The thing that I love about EJ the most is his character,” said Spiller. “He was put in a bad situation last year. He was 2-2 and got benched for Kyle Orton. But at the same time that really helped him learn about the quarterback position. He was a young guy and a couple of his receivers came out the same year with him. So I don’t know that he knew how to handle that.

“I think after he watched Kyle Orton orchestrate the offense and demand certain things from guys on the offensive side of the ball he kind of grasped that and took hold of it. Every day he came prepared. He competes at the highest level. He always believed in his ability. I think he’s going to be a great fit and a franchise quarterback that can get a team to the playoffs and have a chance to go and win a Super Bowl. I have nothing but high praises for him. I love the guy. He’s a competitor. I’ll go to bat for that guy any day.”


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Spiller: I love me some Rex Ryan now

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2015 – 3:08 pm


Bills impending free agent RB C.J. Spiller appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday and discussed his free agent options, leaving the door open for a return to Buffalo. Two factors that may work in Buffalo’s favor are their plans to run the ball a lot and their head coach.

“The Bills made a tremendous hire in Rex Ryan,” said Spiller. “Definitely I think Rex was the guy for the Buffalo Bills. I love me some Rex Ryan now.”

Spiller has a relationship with Ryan having crossed paths several times at Clemson, Spiller’s alma mater, where Ryan’s son is currently a wide receiver.

The Bills back also expressed an interest in offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s system, which will have a strong commitment to running the ball.

“I have been studying some of the 49ers and what they did. He’s a guy who loves to run the football and as a running back that’s what you want a guy that likes to run the ball, no matter what,” said Spiller of Roman. “I think too many times if a run gets stopped for a two-yard gain some offensive coordinators get away from that. But coach Roman sticks to his guns. He’s going to be physical. You’ve got to excited about that as a runner.”

At the top of Spiller’s checklist of things he wants in a team was being a fit in the offense.


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Michigan St. CB tops in the 40

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2015 – 3:21 pm

There weren’t too many sub-4.4 40 times turned in by the defensive backs on the last day of on field testing at the NFL Combine, but Michigan State’s Trae Waynes, considered one of the top corners in the draft class did not disappoint.

Waynes posted the fastest 40-time with a 4.31 Monday. Here’s a look at the top 10 40 times by the DBs.

1 – CB TRAE WAYNES – MICHIGAN ST. – 4.31
2 – FS JUSTIN COX – MISSISSIPPI ST.- 4.36
3 – CB RONALD DARBY – FLORIDA ST.- 4.38
T4 – CB CHARLES GAINES – LOUISVILLE – 4.44
T4 – CB DORAN GRANT – OHIO ST.- 4.44
T4 – CB CRAIG MAGER – TEXAS ST.- 4.44
T4 – CB JOSH SHAW – USC – 4.44
T8 – FS ERIC ROWE – UTAH – 4.45
T8 – CB D’JOUN SMITH – FLORIDA ATLANTIC – 4.45
T10 – CB SENQUEZ GOLSON – MISSISSIPPI – 4.46
T10 – FS DAMARIOUS RANDALL – ARIZONA STATE – 4.46

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Report: TE Clay expected to re-sign with Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2015 – 10:41 am

Miami Dolphins impending free agent TE Charles Clay may not make it to the free agent market. That according to a Palm Beach Post report.

Per the report, which cites an anonymous source, Clay is expected to re-sign with the Dolphins rather than test the free agent market. Clay can serve as an in-line tight end, H-back and move tight end.

Clay is deemed by many NFL observers as a good fit for Greg Roman’s offense with the Bills. Buffalo however, may never get the opportunity to speak with the versatile tight end.


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Clemson pass rusher Beasley a workout winner

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2015 – 10:18 am

Clemson pass rusher Vic Beasley was expected to test well being an elite level athlete, and at the NFL Combine he did not disappoint.

Beasley was one of the top performers in almost every on field event for the linebacker group. He ranked in the top five in each of the following categories.

40 yard dash – 1st – 4.53
Bench press – 1st – 35 reps
Vertical leap – 3rd – 41 inches
Broad jump – 3rd – 10-feet 10-inches
20-yd shuttle – 4th – 4.15 seconds

Beasley has played both defensive end and outside linebacker in college, but projects to linebacker in the NFL. He’s got 25 sacks over his last two seasons and projects as a first-round pick.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Top 10 LB 40 times

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2015 – 10:07 am

Here were the top 40 times for the linebacker group at the NFL Combine.

1 – OLB VIC BEASLEY – CLEMSON – 4.53
2 – OLB KWON ALEXANDER – LSU – 4.55
T3 – ILB STEPHONE ANTHONY – CLEMSON – 4.56
T3 – OLB BUD DUPREE – KENTUCKY – 4.56
5 – ILB BEN HEENEY – KANSAS – 4.59
T6 – OLB DANTE FOWLER, JR. – FLORIDA – 4.60
T6 – ILB BRYCE HAGER – BAYLOR – 4.60
T6 – OLB ELI HAROLD – VIRGINIA – 4.60
T9 – ILB ERIC KENDRICKS UCLA – 4.61
T9 – OLB EDMOND ROBINSON – NEWBERRY – 4.61


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Jeremy Langford tops RB 40 times

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2015 – 3:12 pm

Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon is the consensus top back in the draft this year, but on Saturday he was beaten out for the title of fastest back in the draft by one of his Big 10 rivals.

Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford ran the fastest 40 time among the running backs posting a 4.43 at the NFL Combine.  Here’s the top 10 list for running backs.

1 – JEREMY LANGFORD – MICHIGAN ST. – 4.43
2 – KARLOS WILLIAMS – FLORIDA STATE – 4.48
3 – TREY WILLIAMS – TEXAS A&M – 4.49
4 – DAVID JOHNSON – NORTHERN IOWA – 4.5
5 – MELVIN GORDON- WISCONSIN – 4.52
6 – CAMERON ARTIS-PAYNE – AUBURN – 4.54
T7 – JAVORIUS “BUCK” ALLEN – USC – 4.55
T7 – DUKE JOHNSON – MIAMI – 4.55
9 – MICHAEL DYER – LOUISVILLE – 4.58
T10 – AMEER ABDULLAH – NEBRASKA – 4.61
T10 – B.J. CATALON – TCU – 4.61
T10 – MIKE DAVIS – SOUTH CAROLINA – 4.61
T10 – MARCUS MURPHY – MISSOURI – 4.61

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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