Inside The Bills

Bills 1st round picks by position

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2017 – 8:38 am

The Bills hold the 10th pick in the NFL draft tonight. We took a stab at who we think the Bills will take in round one in our mock draft. Here’s a look at the most popular positions selected by Buffalo in the first round in their history.

As seen below running back is the winner in round one for the Bills, running back is the winner followed closely by cornerback and wide receiver.

Pos.  Number
RB      9
CB      7
WR    7
DE     6
S        4
DT     3
LB     3
QB     3
TE     3


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills rookie cap to increase

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2017 – 8:57 am

With the Bills acquiring an additional fifth-round pick from New England after the Patriots signed restricted free agent Mike Gillislee, Buffalo’s rookie cap will now increase to accommodate the additional player salary the Bills will inherit via the draft. Here’s a look at just how much.

With some assistance from overthecap.com the Bills original rookie pool was approximately $6.33M. Now with the additional fifth-round pick from the Patriots, Buffalo’s rookie cap number will be about $6.86M, a tad more than a half million dollar increase.

Here are the approximations for rookie pool monies for each of Buffalo’s current picks.

Bills 2017 picks
Round 1 – 10th overall – $2.986M
Round 2 – 44th overall – $1.098M
Round 3 – 75th overall – $687K
Round 5 – 156th overall – $532K
Round 5 – 163rd overall – $530K
Round 5 – 171st overall – $524K
Round 6 – 195th overall – $503K


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-21

Posted by Chris Brown on April 21, 2017 – 12:14 pm

The draft is almost here! On to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Will O.J. Howard make it to the bills at pick ten?

Jordan Branch
@BuffaloBranch83

CB: I think every Bills fan should hope so. Buffalo would be running the card up to the table if he was still on the clock. Howard in my estimation is one of the six truly elite prospects in this class along with Garrett, Thomas, Fournette, Adams and Lattimore. You could make a strong argument for Hooker, Allen and McCaffrey too, but those are the top six as I see it.

In order for Howard to get to 10, I think at least one of the quarterback prospects has to come off the board in front of them. Ideally two of the perceived top QBs go in the top 10. That would push more of the truly elite talent down the board so the Bills have a chance to get one.

Cross your fingers.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills What is the likelihood of Buffalo trading back into the first round?

The Polish Mafia
@AdamPia

CB: If you’re talking about moving back into the bottom of round one, I just don’t see it. Here’s why. More than one NFL talent evaluators has confirmed for me that the difference in talent level and upside from player 11 or 12 and player 49 or 50 is negligible. So to give up what is already a limited stash of draft choices (currently six) to move back into the bottom of round one to get a player who likely won’t be all that different from one you will get at 44 in round two seems ill advised.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills If the Bills pick up the option for MG, can they allocate some of that $4m into a signing bonus so it won’t be such a heavy cap hit?

JuJu
@JuAintRight

CB: As I understand it the Bills have to match the terms of the contract, which would eliminate any option to restructure the deal initially. I have to check and see if and when, for example they want to extend his contract further to spread out cap hits, when they would be allowed to do so.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

If u were 2 use cereal 2 convince Whaley/McDermott who 2 draft #1, what cereal (best cereal) wld u use and who would u be convincing them 2 draft?

Joshua Smith
@YhoshLM

CB: To answer this question accurately I think you’d need to know what players were available when Buffalo was on the clock. I take my cereal very seriously. I’d prefer Lattimore or Adams and would go with Rice Chex and Cap’n Crunch on those. Lattimore can check anybody he lines up against and Adams can run and hit.

In round two I’d go with Honey Smacks (formerly known as Sugar Smacks) because I want them to take WR Zay Jones there. So the Frog on the box signals my affinity for Jones. I ‘Dig ‘Em.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, I know it wouldn’t b a pick that would go over with most Bills fans? But can u c the Bills drafting McCaffrey?

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: You’re right it wouldn’t be popular, but it wouldn’t be a reach or outlandish pick at all. I’m pretty confident McCaffrey goes in the top 10 somewhere. Personally I don’t think he gets past Carolina at eight. The reason why he’s so valuable is because in addition to his elite physical skill set is he can legitimately be lined up at receiver in addition to running back. He can also help on returns.

So a player with his multi-faceted production and athletic measurables to match signals top 10 talent. Not to mention his dad had a successful career in the league with Denver.

If the Bills pick him the narrative will be, ‘here they go again replacing running backs like they did with McGahee and Marshawn and Spiller.’ If the Bills don’t match the Gillislee offer sheet that line of criticism will be even louder.

What will be lost in such a scenario is the veritable matchup nightmare McCaffrey would be no matter where he lines up on the field. I believe he’s an elite talent, so he fits the value at 10.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills prompting Browns to trade up?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 19, 2017 – 3:51 pm

There has been a lot of talk the past week that the Bills have a lot of interest in North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky. The Browns, who are in dire need of a quarterback, but won’t take one with their top pick, reportedly have made overtures to the Jets, who have the sixth pick, to trade up from their second spot in round one at 12 to leap frog Buffalo.

That according to NFL draft site, WalterFootball.com. According to their report, sources say that the Browns and Jets are talking about a trade that would have the Browns moving up from the 12th pick to the Jets’ selection at No. 6 in order to take a quarterback with Trubisky the primary target. Here’s the rest of their report.

In order to move down, the Jets want the 33rd-overall pick (second round) and the selection at No. 108 (fourth round). Those are the first choices on the second and third days of the draft. Leading off those days of the draft, New York would have some highly coveted picks that could allow them to trade down again with a team that is desperate to land a player they didn’t think would make it to that spot.

Cleveland is trying to trade its second-round pick, No. 52 overall, and the first selection in the fifth round, No. 145. With the sixth pick, the Browns are believed to want Trubisky. Cleveland is concerned that the Jets or the Bills (at pick 10) would take Trubisky before Cleveland is on the clock at 12.

Even if Trubisky goes off the board earlier to the 49ers (2) or the Bears (3), the Browns may want to do the trade in order to land Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson before Buffalo is on the clock. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Patriots extend Gillislee offer sheet

Posted by Chris Brown on April 18, 2017 – 2:00 pm

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport the New England Patriots have extended Bills restricted free agent RB Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet.

Per Rapoport it’s a two-year deal worth $6.4M.

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The Bills now have five days to match the offer to keep Gillislee in Buffalo. If they choose not to match the offer the Bills would be compensated with New England’s fifth-round pick.

Buffalo tendered Gillislee with an original round tender last month. Gillislee rushed for 577 yards on 101 carries to average 5.7 yards per rush and was second on the team among non-kickers in scoring behind LeSean McCoy with nine total touchdowns.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

‘Zo to tap into ex-Panthers intel on expectations

Posted by Chris Brown on April 10, 2017 – 12:52 pm

Lorenzo Alexander feels more comfortable being a vocal leader in his second year with the Bills. But he wants to do it within the constructs of head coach Sean McDermott’s expectations. That’s why he plans to tap into the knowledge some of the ex-Panthers on Buffalo’s roster to make sure he’s got a full understanding of the new head coach’s methods and messaging.

“That’s why they’re here,” said Alexander of free agent signees Mike Tolbert, Leonard Johnson and Philly Brown. “Coaches often bring guys from other places where they’ve been because they understand the expectation level. They understand the culture that he wants and what he means when he says certain things. So they can definitely be sounding boards for his message and I can also talk to them as well for things like, ‘What does it mean when he says this?’ Or, ‘How did you guys do that here?’ Or ‘What did that picture look like in your locker room?’ And maybe we can take some of those tidbits that they learned from what he did in other places and apply it here so we can win.”

Alexander and the three ex-Panthers signees are among a group of players we profiled on Buffalobills.com as Bills culture makers under coach McDermott entering the 2017 season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-7

Posted by Chris Brown on April 7, 2017 – 11:30 am

Draft day is closing in. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Could the Bills be legitimately in the hunt for Sherman?

Crowe
@KookaberraCrowe

CB: I don’t see Buffalo as a realistic trade partner with the Seahawks. Here’s why.

Seattle is looking to cut their payroll and get younger. Draft picks are what they are after in exchange for Sherman. With the Bills possessing just six picks in this year’s draft, which is known as a deep class with great value in rounds two through four, I can’t see the Bills parting with picks to inherit a 30-year old corner making the kind of money Buffalo themselves chose to avoid when they let Stephon Gilmore walk.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills

What do you think the bills biggest need is heading into the draft? #fanfriday #gobills

I Just Want To
WIN@JKolba


CB:
I’m not trying to hedge here, but I believe it’s linebacker and cornerback. They need premium athletes at both positions, which is why I think if the value is right that’s what they look to address early in the draft.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is there anything at this (admittedly very early) point to differentiate Sean McDermott from his lengthy list of unsuccessful predecessors?

Paul Lane
@BfloBizDATA
CB: While I think it’s easy to differentiate coach McDermott from his immediate predecessor knowing their approach to coaching is diametrically opposed, we all know that his abilities on game day as a coach are complete unknowns. No one has seen him operate as a head coach on the sideline on game day.

So while there have already been several encouraging signs (assembling a proven staff, connecting with players, clear vision for the team, adding a specific kind of player talent) all people care about in the NFL are the results. And until everyone sees how he arrives at those results there’s no way to differentiate coach McDermott from those who came before him.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Kyle Williams will need to be replaced soon and has been injured more often the last few years. Which draft 17 or 18 do they replace him in?

Michael Cybulski
@Brockv5Michael
CB: First, I would like to point out that with the exception of the 2015 season when he played in six games, Kyle Williams has played in 15 games or more in four of the last five seasons.

That being said I do believe that depth on the interior of the defensive line is an underrated positional need for Buffalo in this draft. Unfortunately the depth on the defensive line is better on the edge than on the interior in this class.

I could see them looking for a good mid-to-late round value at defensive tackle. I like UCLA’s Eddie Vanderdoes. He performed well at the Senior Bowl and could still be there in round five. That’s right where Buffalo landed Kyle Williams back in the 2006 draft.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Joe Mixon is still available late, do you think the Bills would draft him? What round would be good enough value to offset PR headache?

Andy
@AndyThinksStuff

CB: Mixon is going to be in different places on a lot of teams’ draft boards, and there will be some boards where he doesn’t appear at all. Knowing the talent that Mixon possesses I believe round four is where a lot of teams will feel comfortable selecting him. As you know Buffalo doesn’t have a fourth-round pick, so I don’t know if the Bills will ever have the opportunity to match the risk with the value.

And as we’ve seen in the past there is usually one team that is willing to roll the dice and takes such a prospect a lot earlier than most anticipate.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New mock goes LB for Bills at 10

Posted by Chris Brown on April 5, 2017 – 1:19 pm

The choices for the Bills at pick 10 have ranged from QB to safety to wide receiver to linebacker. There’s been a common name associated with the Bills regarding linebacker prospects at 10 in Reuben Foster. But the latest mock draft from Rotoworld went with a different linebacker for Buffalo in round one.

Rotoworld.com’s draft analyst Josh Norris went with Temple’s Haason Reddick, who has been of the biggest pre-draft risers since his monster week at the Senior Bowl in late January. Reddick proved himself capable of moving from a defensive end role at Temple to an off the ball linebacker. A solid workout at the Combine only helped boost his draft stock all the more.

Here was Norris’ reasoning for his Reddick pick for Buffalo.

10. Buffalo Bills – LB Haason Reddick, Temple – Linebacker is a pivotal position in Sean McDermott’s defense, and athleticism is a critical factor for linebackers to star in the system. Neither Preston Brown or Reggie Ragland scream “range” like Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. Reddick offers that athleticism (93rd percentile) as well as possible blitzing or pass rushing possibilities.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills to work out QB Mahomes

Posted by Chris Brown on April 3, 2017 – 1:22 pm

The Bills restructured the contract of Tyrod Taylor and will have him in the fold for the foreseeable future, but it clearly won’t preclude them from kicking the tires on some of this year’s quarterback prospects. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Buffalo will hold a private workout with Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes.

According to Rapoport  the workout will take place next week. The Bills are one of 18 teams to schedule either a private workout or pre-draft visit. The private workouts that have already taken place were with Arizona, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans.

Mahomes most recently had a pre-draft workout with the NY Jets on Sunday.

The Texas Tech QB is seen as the wild card in this draft class. Though he has major mechanical flaws, his athletic talent is undeniable and that has some teams taking a much closer look.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-31

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2017 – 12:35 pm

The NFL draft is a month away! Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills If we stay put @ 10 because lack of trade partner how much can we gain trading back in second round, pick wise?

@taylor_degeorge

CB: A lot of it would depend on where the Bills would be moving back too. If they slide back 10 spots to pick 54 in the draft, for example, it would require an additional late third or early fourth-round pick going to Buffalo to make the value work. If Buffalo was to move all the way to the bottom of round two it would require a high third-round pick in addition to make that work.

In essence Buffalo could conceivably recoup an additional third-round pick or a fourth-round pick (something they currently don’t have) to move back in round two.

That might not seem like much, but in this draft it’s valuable knowing the depth at a handful of positions in this class.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Can you offer some insight on Zach Brown’s situation and why the Bills let him move on? Seemed like a good, young, Pro Bowl LB. Thanks!

Justin Crow
@jcrowrva

CB: I think what often stands in the way of a player the caliber of Zach Brown reaching a new deal, with the Bills, or anyone other team for that matter, at this stage of free agency is simple. It’s money.

No NFL team including the Bills has signed Brown to this point because his asking price is probably too high.

I understand where Brown is probably coming from. His value has probably never been this high since he was a second-round pick as a rookie. He led his team in tackles, played most of the season with a broken hand and went to the Pro Bowl (albeit as an alternate).

He probably believes that should count for something and I don’t disagree with him.

But ultimately players can’t control what the market is willing to pay, and it’s clear three weeks into free agency that the market is not in line with what Brown wants to play for at this point.

3 – @ChrisBrownBills wouldn’t Ruben Foster make sense to make the defense complete and dynamic?

Michael Minutella@MichaelMinutel4

CB: Reuben Foster is a dynamic player and linebacker is unquestionably a need position for the Bills. He is certainly fast enough and has the range to be a weak side linebacker in a 4-3 system. Foster has also demonstrated the necessary cover skills to fit that role. It’s a player who certainly makes sense at 10 and likely fits the value there.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills If the Bills were to go DB at 10, realistically (assume Adams Latt Hooker gone) who would be your pick #bills

Bill Carr@billcarr_10

CB: I think other options that could be considered at 10 at defensive back would almost exclusively be corner at that point if the top two safeties are off the board. Lattimore is the only lock top 10 cornerback, but another consideration could be Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey.

Beyond him I don’t know that the value fits at 10 for another defensive back. LSU Tre’Davious White is someone to consider, but there seems to be mixed opinion on him so I don’t see him going quite that high. Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie I think is going to come off the board sooner than some might expect, but 10 is probably too early.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Preston Brown a good fit at the outside linebacker role in the new defense or is he too slow?

@JaredBailey23

CB: First, I think you’re jumping the gun a bit here in assuming that Preston Brown is going to play outside linebacker. I think Reggie Ragland and Preston Brown will each be lined up at middle linebacker and let the coaches decide who ultimately lines up where. Knowing the entire defensive staff is new I anticipate that this will take some time in the spring to spell out specific roles.

All that being said, if Brown was to move outside I think he could be a fit on the strong side, a spot he played some in college at Louisville. He’s certainly strong enough to set the edge and fill the other duties of that position. He wouldn’t be as good a fit in the weak side role which requires top end speed, range and cover ability.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mayock updates his top 5 by position for draft

Posted by Chris Brown on March 21, 2017 – 2:14 pm

He put his first list of his top five at each position for the 2017 draft class just before the NFL combine. Almost a month later, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has re-issued his top five by position list from the 2017 talent pool and there has been some movement at some need positions for the Bills.

Chief among them cornerback where Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore moved up to the top spot from being ranked second in the initial Mayock rank. Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey moved up from three to two, while Washington’s Sidney Jones, Florida’s Teez Tabor and LSU’s Tre’Davious White slipped out of the top five completely. Jones’ drop is probably due largely to his Achilles injury suffered at his pro day.

Washington’s Kevin King, Ohio State’s Gareon Conley and UCLA’s Fabian Moreau round out the new top five at corner.

At receiver East Carolina WR Zay Jones moved up one spot from five to four, swapping places with E. Washington WR Cooper Kupp.

And at linebacker, Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham and Florida’s Jarrad Davis swapped places, with Davis moving up from four to three and Cunningham sliding back.

A lot of times Mayock alters these positional ranks based on what he’s hearing from NFL club executives directly. Here’s a look at all of his position listings.

Quarterback
1. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
2. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
3. Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
4. Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech
5. Davis Webb, California
Running Back
1. Leonard Fournette, LSU
2. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
3. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
5. Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
Rise: Fournette (2), McCaffrey (3), Perine (NR)
Fall: Cook (1), Joe Mixon, Oklahoma (5, added to special exceptions)
Wide receiver
1. Corey Davis, Western Michigan
2. Mike Williams, Clemson
3. John Ross, Washington
4. Zay Jones, East Carolina
T-5. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
T-5. JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC
Rise: Jones (5), Smith-Schuster (NR)
Fall: Kupp (4),

Tight end
1. O.J. Howard, Alabama
2. David Njoku, Miami
3. Evan Engram, Ole Miss
4. Gerald Everett, South Alabama
5. George Kittle, Iowa
Rise: Everett (5), Kittle (NR)
Fall: Jake Butt, Michigan (4, added to special exceptions)
Offensive tackle
1. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
2. Garett Bolles, Utah
3. Antonio Garcia, Troy
4. Roderick Johnson, Florida State
T-5. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
T-5. Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M
Interior OL
1. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
2. Cam Robinson, Alabama
3. Dan Feeney, Indiana
4. Dion Dawkins, Temple
T-5. Ethan Pocic, LSU
T-5. Pat Elflein, Ohio State
Rise: Dawkins (5), Elflein (NR)
Fall: Pocic (4)
Interior DL
1. Jonathan Allen, Alabama
2. Caleb Brantley, Florida
3. Malik McDowell, Michigan State
4. Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
5. Chris Wormley, Michigan
Edge rusher
1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
5. Tim Williams, Alabama
Rise: Thomas (4), McKinley (5)
Fall: Williams (2)

Linebacker
1. Reuben Foster, Alabama
2. Haason Reddick, Temple
3. Jarrad Davis, Florida
4. Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
5. Alex Anzalone, Florida
Rise: Davis (4)
Fall: Cunningham (3)
Cornerback
1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
2. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
3. Kevin King, Washington
4. Gareon Conley, Ohio State
5. Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Rise: Lattimore (2), Humphrey (3), King (NR), Conley (NR), Moreau (NR)
Fall: Sidney Jones, Washington (1, added to special exceptions), Teez Tabor, Florida (4), Tre’Davious White, LSU (5)
Nickel
1. Budda Baker, Washington
2. Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
3. Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
4. Desmond King, Iowa
5. Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Safety
1. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
2. Jamal Adams, LSU
3. Malik Hooker, Ohio State
4. Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
T-5. Marcus Williams, Utah
T-5. Marcus Maye, Florida
Rise: Peppers (3), Melifonwu (5), Williams (NR), Maye (NR)
Fall: Hooker (1) , Budda Baker, Washington (4, added to nickel)
Special exceptions
1. Adoree’ Jackson, USC
2. Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
3. Sidney Jones, Washington
4. Jake Butt, Michigan
5. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
Additions: Jones (previously No. 1 CB), Butt (previously No. 4 TE), Mixon (previously No. 5 RB)
Moved: Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado (3, moved to nickel), Desmond King, Iowa (4, moved to nickel)
Fall: Adam Shaheen, Ashland (5)

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Murph honored with Lifetime Achievement award by Medaille

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2017 – 7:26 pm

Medaille College held its annual awards ceremony where they honor some of the region’s finest in media and law enforcement. Bills play-by-play man John Murphy was one of two recipients of a Lifetime Achievement award.

Murph’s Lifetime Achievement award from Medaille was in recognition for his radio and television play-by-play work. He has been the Bills play-by-play radio broadcaster for the last 14 seasons, and served as color commentator to the late Van Miller for 17 seasons on Bills radio broadcasts. Congrats Murph!

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Hauschka has worked with Crossman before

Posted by Chris Brown on March 16, 2017 – 9:11 am

Bills new kicker Stephen Hauschka might have some work to do to get to know Buffalo a bit better, but he’s already familiar with his special teams coordinator. That’s because he and Danny Crossman have worked together before.

“I have some familiarity with some of the coaches. Leslie Frazier was in Minnesota when I first got to the Vikings in 2008. I spent the summer there as a rookie undrafted guy. I was with Danny Crossman in Detroit back in 2010. So it is good to catch up with them. Looking forward to working with Coach Crossman especially.”

In the 2010 preseason, veteran Detroit kicker Jason Hanson suffered a leg injury that required surgery. So Hauschka was claimed off waivers by the Lions after he had just been released by Atlanta where he was filling in for an injured Matt Bryant.

Hauschka lasted only two and a half weeks with Detroit, kicking in a pair of preseason games that summer. He wouldn’t land the full-time kicking job with the Seahawks until the following season.

“At the beginning of my career (I was) just filling opportunities for a guy that was injured or maybe a guy that was at the end of his career,” he said. “I definitely bounced around. I learned a lot being around some long time veterans. I got to spend a month under, with Jason Hanson, I got to spend some time with Ryan Longwell, and Matt Stover. So those were three experienced kickers and I got to learn something from each one of them. I think it was just a matter of time for me to really get on a roster and get comfortable and just go kick and enjoy it. Once I got that opportunity and got comfortable then it became a lot easier.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Factors in decision on Groy

Posted by Chris Brown on March 15, 2017 – 8:01 am

The L.A. Rams offer sheet to Ryan Groy was signed by the restricted free agent Tuesday. The reported terms are two years, $5M with a reported $3.5M guaranteed. It will be interesting to see the Bills course of action. Here are some factors that could impact the decision to match or not to match.

Buffalo recently tried to lure free agent OT Andre Smith to sign with them, but he has chosen to re-sign with the club that drafted him, Cincinnati. Do the anticipated dollars devoted to a hopeful Smith signing now get partially allocated to match the offer sheet signed by Groy?

Groy is a versatile asset for an offensive line. He can play center, guard or even tackle in a pinch. He proved himself more than capable in the final seven starts at center last season.

Perhaps even more important, Eric Wood is entering the final year of his contract and will be a free agent following the 2017 season. Wood is only 30-years old and can certainly play a few more years, but Groy is a fairly sizable investment decision that must be made by the club.

Buffalo does have a backup center in Patrick Lewis, but he’s strictly a center as most with a trained eye see him. 

We’ll know in a few days.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Rams to sign Groy to offer sheet

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2017 – 6:38 am

Bills restricted free agent Ryan Groy will reportedly sign an offer sheet with the L.A. Rams today. 

That according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan and Mike Rodak. 

Groy was tendered a qualifying offer by the Bills, but it was the low tender which in Groy’s case carries no compensation. It’s reportedly a two-year offer sheet. 

The Bills will have five days to match the offer or lose the lineman. 

Former Bills O-line coach Aaron Kramer is now with the Rams staff. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

For Ducasse Bills top run game was attractive

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2017 – 3:04 pm

There were some clear factors that convinced Bills new guard Vladimir Ducasse that Buffalo was the place to sign in free agency. One that had him most enthused was the Bills top ranked rushing attack.

“That got me excited,” Ducasse said. “A guy like me, my strength is the running game. On the offensive line in the NFL you have to pass block too, but my strength is the run game. So seeing this and the great running backs they have and a good quarterback it got me excited to come here. Those guys mean business they’re running the ball and when you can run the ball a lot of good things can happen.”

Ducasse admitted that he and his Baltimore teammates last season watched a lot of Buffalo game tape because they ran the ball so well.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills host free agents, Butler, Elliott & Smith

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2017 – 10:15 am

The Bills have hosted three free agents on visits at One Bills Drive.

Buffalo had WR Jeremy Butler, LB Jayrone Elliott and OT Andre Smith all pay visits.

Butler (6-2, 225) was an untendered restricted free agent of the Los Angeles Chargers so he became an unrestricted free agent last week. He’s appeared in 12 NFL games in his career, including four with the Chargers last season. He spent some time with the Jets last season and played in eight games for the Ravens in 2015. Butler played his college ball at the University of Tennessee-Martin.

Elliott (6-3, 255) is another player who went untendered as a restricted free agent by Green Bay and is now unrestricted. A reserve strong side linebacker for the Packers, Elliott has appeared in 38 career games for Green Bay over the past three seasons.

Smith (6-5, 325) is a former first-round pick of the Bengals (2009). He played his first seven NFL seasons in Cinncinnati and was a starter at right tackle for six consecutive years, helping the Bengals win three AFC North titles over that span and six postseason berths. Smith (6-4, 325) started the first four games of the 2016 season for the Minnesota Vikings before a torn triceps landed him on injured reserve for the rest of the year.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lorenzo on why Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2017 – 4:17 pm

Bills free agent LB Lorenzo Alexander made a point of sharing his desire to be back in Buffalo. On Saturday he agreed to terms with the Bills and explained why he wanted to return to Buffalo. 

“At this point in my career I definitely want to be settled in one spot and Buffalo being the great football city that it is, obviously the fan base and the whole community embraced me last year, I definitely wanted to come back here, said Alexander. “I really appreciated the Pegulas, Doug Whaley and Sean McDermott expressing their feelings about me as a player on and off the field. Anytime you have a relationship that you do like that, you definitely want to come back and finish it off. 

“From my understanding, I’m 34 and it’s definitely a blessing to be able to continue to play at this age, still be in the NFL, and I’m just excited to get back with my teammates. I was actually joking with Kyle Williams that, technically, he’s still the oldest player until I sign the deal. But just being around guys like that and having a good time as I finish out, I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can bring the city a playoff team and hopefully be able to play for a championship.”

Alexander was a valuable part of the leadership contingent in Buffalo’s locker room last year. Head coach Sean McDermott has made a point of retaining or bringing in leaders in his first year with the Bills. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-10

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2017 – 11:06 am

Free agency is up and running! Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think that the signing of Micah Hyde rules out a Safety in the first round of this year’s draft?

Chris Devaney
@cdevaney

CB: While that would seem logical I don’t know that you can make that conclusion knowing the draft approach of the Bills under GM Doug Whaley. They typically go with the best player on the board having seen them operate the last few years in the draft room. So I don’t think it precludes them from taking a safety in round one if the value is right.

That being said, if they have grades on two players who are really close and one is a safety and the other is a corner or receiver then they’d likely go with the greater positional need.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills with the departure of Lynn and Roman why do the #Bills still continue to throw free agent $$ at the FB position?

Ryan Coyle
@rcoyle76

CB: I’m going to let coach McDermott handle this one since he answered it directly at his press conference Thursday evening.

“Fullback is a big part of this offense, and let’s say this: it’s not limited to playing the fullback position,” said McDermott. “There’s versatility within that position, and what Mike brings to the table – as you mentioned, Mike Tolbert. I had the chance to be around Mike for a number of years in Carolina and I know what he brings to the table in terms of leadership, intangibles again, and what happens in that locker room on Monday through Saturday.

“So that’s a big part of it, and then Mike’s versatility on the field with the ability to play fullback, line up at fullback and then also transition to the halfback position and carry the football, and he’s done that extremely well. I had a front-row seat to observe what Mike’s skill set is, both on and off the field, and that was key for us. You’re talking about a guy that’s been to a Pro Bowl, and that’s really no different to [Patrick] DiMarco, in this case.”

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you see the #bills signing more big name free agents? If so, at what position?

Dale Griswold
@dale_griswold

CB: I don’t necessarily expect big household type names. Their cap situation is getting a bit tight. But I do see them trying to fill a few more positional holes on the roster. It wouldn’t surprise me if receiver or offensive tackle were on the list after incurring some losses at receiver and some uncertainty at tackle (Mills a free agent, Henderson-health).

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills How do you think the Bills are going to adress the WR position? They lost talent there the past two offseasons and it hasn’t been replaced.

Ben
@bufbillsthought

CB: As briefly mentioned above I expect the Bills to address the receiver position in some form in free agency, likely with a player they can sign to a fiscally responsible contract (one that doesn’t cripple their cap situation). And I would anticipate them trying to grab another in the draft.

The numbers situation there demands some attention with two free agent losses already (Woods, Goodwin).

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Groy a realistic option for Right Tackle? #bills

Bill Carr
@billcarr_10

CB: Donald Jones and I discussed this very topic when I was on the John Murphy Show Thursday. I think we first need to see what additions are made if any at the offensive tackle position in free agency or the draft before we can gauge just what kind of option he would be on the edge.

From a skill standpoint I think he certainly has the size (6-5, 320) and ability to play on the edge. He’s lined up there at times in a pinch. Sometimes it was as an overload tackle in run formations. We all know he can play guard or center. Whether Groy can play right tackle full time for 16 games is a question really only OL coach Juan Castillo and the offensive staff can answer knowing this offense is going to change.

I think Groy really came a long way as a player last season and he impressed me in his last seven games at center. But I think we need to let the dust settle in free agency and see what the Bills acquire before we pencil him in for edge duty.

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott: Decision on Aaron strictly football

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2017 – 9:33 pm

The release of popular safety Aaron Williams wasn’t an easy decision for the organization, but head coach Sean McDermott said it was a football decision, not one based on his health coming off a pair of neck injuries. 

“It’s a football decision, he said. “Strictly a football decision, and that’s what I talk about [when I say] the tough part of the business. That’s the toughest part of my job, is when guys leave this building. I said last week, when you look at Aaron’s career when he left Texas – it’s a great career and he’s done a lot for this organization so we wish Aaron well and we’re moving forward as an organization and as a football team.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills