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Inside The Bills

Cassel vs. rest of free agent QB field

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2015 – 12:51 pm

Buffalo’s acquisition of Minnesota veteran QB Matt Cassel is a move that when one looks into the numbers makes a good deal of sense. Here’s why.

The rest of the free agent quarterback field is largely made up of similar veteran players. Cassel’s career numbers, especially when it comes to TD-vs-INT and career starts (71) looks appreciably better. Add in the fact that Cassel is the only one on the below list with a Pro Bowl to his name and a division title (winning the AFC West in 2010) besides Michael Vick and it’s encouraging to see the Bills go after a veteran QB that they felt was best for their club.

Name                    G/GS     W-L-T    Comp.   Att.        Pct.        Yards     TD/INT  Rating  

Matt Cassel         91/71     33-38      1397     2369       59          15727    96/70   80.1       
Brian Hoyer        32/17     10-7         356         630         56.5        4557       19/19   76.8
Jake Locker         30/23     9-14       408         709         57.5          4967       27/22  79.0
Colt McCoy       33/25     7-18         501         831         60.3          5458       25/23  78.2
Matt Moore       49/25     11-12       452         768         58.9           5342       33/28   79.2
C. Ponder            38/36     14-21-1  632         1057       59.8          6658       38/36   75.9
Mark Sanchez    71/70     37-33      1226       2176       56.3          14510    82/80     74.1
Michael Vick     138/112 59-50-1    1767        3151       56.1        22093    131/87   80.4


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller says time with Bills is over

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2015 – 7:28 pm

Bills impending free agent RB C.J. Spiller in an appearance on NFL Network Tuesday night said he was contacted by the Bills a short time ago and thanked for his service to the team.

Spiller said he now knows he’ll be entering the free agent market next week.

“I will not be returning to Buffalo,” said Spiller.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

C.J. on what will influence free agent decision

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2015 – 1:27 pm

Bills free agent RB C.J. Spiller made an appearance on NFL Network’s NFL AM show and was asked about his approach to making a free agent decision if and when multiple suitors are involved.

Spiller was asked if it’s about the money or his legacy.

“I think it’s both of those,” he said. “I’d be foolish and lying to you if I said it didn’t have anything to do with the money because everybody wants to be comfortable. Both of you guys know, in the NFL nothing is guaranteed so you want to make sure that you’re able to live comfortable once you’re done playing this game. And then also, you want to leave your imprint on this game too. You want people to be able to talk about you, not just about the player but also about the person. Like I said, I’m looking forward to it. There are different factors that I’m going to play into the situation when I’m deciding where I want to end up at. I know I’m going to make the best decision; I always have. When it came time to these types of decisions, I’ve always made the best decision for me and my family.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Artist makes Buffalo Bills logo by pancake

Posted by Dallas Miller on March 3, 2015 – 1:26 pm

Fresh off the griddle for National Pancake Day (Yes, that’s a thing), Nathan Shields of saipancakes.com has created NFL team logos out of pancake batter. Check out the video to see how it’s done, or head over to Fansided to see the rest of these tasty NFL logos.


(h/t 120 Sports)


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller comments on free agency

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2015 – 1:21 pm

C.J. Spiller was just responding to a question, but his answer has some believing he expects to reach the free agent market on March 10th.

In an appearance on NFL Network’s NFL AM show, Spiller was asked how he feels about being a free agent, with no new contract agreement in place with the Bills. This was his answer.

“To be honest, I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Spiller. “Obviously, you want to stay at a place that you have been there your whole career. But, as both of you guys know, sometimes that doesn’t happen in this business and you have to move on. You thank the organization for what they have done for you and you continue your career somewhere else. I’m looking forward to it. Me and my agent Chad Speck, we have a great game plan set and looking forward to attacking it.”

While you certainly cannot blame Spiller and his representative from having a plan for the free agent market, it also makes it sound less and less likely that the Bills free agent will be back in red, white and blue. Spiller also did say that while he hasn’t spoken to new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, he has studied the 49ers offense and didn’t close the door on a return to Buffalo.

“Anytime an offensive coordinator loves to run the ball, as a running back that’s what you want to do,” he said. “It’ll be a great opportunity if I do happen to go back because I know that both him and Rex [Ryan] want to run the ball; they want to ground and pound. It’ll be an awesome opportunity.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bryce Paup: “Making a Splash” in Buffalo – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on March 2, 2015 – 9:42 pm

Kicking off another week here at One Bills Drive. We began the show with the news of the day from around the league, which includes the announcement of the 2015 salary cap number and the placement of the franchise tag on the handful of players. We also heard from Marshawn Lynch, who sat down on a Turkish Sports Network to talk about the Super Bowl and give his thoughts on the Seahawks final offensive play.

Cyrus KouandjioOur first guest is about to enter his second year in the league, Bills offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. Kouandjio talked about his offseason so far and his training regimen in Phoenix, Arizona. He went on to talk about the disappointment he had in his rookie season and why he has been working so hard during this offseason to make strides heading into the upcoming year.

“I want to be the best I can be. I am trying harder than I have ever had in my life. I’ve worked on every position except center. I want to be able to play any position on the offensive line. Currently, I am comfortable with every position right now. That took literally hundreds of repetitions and hours and hours of working on my craft.”

HARBAUGH PAUPThroughout the night, we asked our listeners to give their pick for the Bills best free agent signing. We received responses ranging from the most recent signing of Mario Williams, to Chris Spielman, to even Bryce Paup who came over from Green Bay back in 1995. Paup called in at the top of the second hour to discuss coming to the Bills and his immediate impact on the defense.

“I will never forget this. When I signed and I was going to the airport leaving Buffalo, this lady said something to my wife after she figured out who I was. Maybe it wasn’t my wife but she said it to somebody, “yeah for that kind of money, he better be good!” It was the first time that it ever occurred to me that that element was a part of it. I was aware of my need to make a splash.”

Finally, we reached out to CBS Sports salary cap expert Joel Corry. Corry gave a breakdown of why teams place the franchise tag on their top players and why some teams refuse to take on such a high cap number for a certain position. He also gave his opinion on the open window negotiating period that begins 3-days before free agency opens on March 10th.

To hear all of that and more from Monday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in 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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tasker: “It has to happen now” for EJ Manuel

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 27, 2015 – 11:34 pm

On location tonight from (716) Food and Sport for Friday night’s show with a large crowd in attendance. We began the show with the news of the day from One Bills Drive and around the league. We listened in on Thursday’s conference call with ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. who discussed this year’s running back and tight end class, scouting quarterbacks, and what possible mid-round QBs might be worth taking.pic

Former Bills special team’s ace and Wall of Fame member, now CBS NFL Football Analyst Steve Tasker joined us on location to talk about the team. He talked about his broadcasting career on CBS, now entering his 18th season with the network. He went on to discuss the current Bills team including the quarterback situation and the opportunity for EJ Manuel.

IMG_2005“This is a guy who is making himself ready even when Kyle Orton was the starter. This is a guy who felt like he was ready to step in if Kyle Orton got hurt but you have to prove it. It’s got to happen. Right now, he’s the only guy and if you need more motivation than that to put your best foot forward, you’re not the guy you are. We know he is. We don’t have to tell EJ this. He knows all of this.”

Tasker also talked about his former General Manager Bill Polian who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.

Bills cornerback Nickell Robey called in at the bottom of the first hour. Robey has been busy this offseason working towards earning his degree from USC and training with teammate Robert Woods. He discussed the changes to the team this offseason and the staff that remains, including his defensive back coach Donnie Henderson.

Nickell Robey“Coach Henderson is a very cool coach, especially when you get to know him as a person and you get to know his style. He’s more of a father figure in some cases. I know we’re all grown men in the NFL but he understands the life on an NFL player. He connects with us and we’re able to match wits with each other. He picks our brain and we pick his brain and it’s always business to get better and reach the ultimate goal.”

Finally, NFL Media Reporter Judy Battista called in to talk about this weekend’s NFL Competition Committee Meeting and their look into video replay and defensive pass interference. The penalty has been under heavy scrutiny, especially during the playoffs this past season. Battista weighed in on the potential changes, which include making the call a 15-yard penalty and applying video replay review. She spoke with the NFL’s VP for Football Operations Troy Vincent about that very issue.

“His point was that it’s a potentially huge play but pass interference is very much a judgment call. It’s happening very quickly and rather than make it reviewable, do you solve the problem of this is too big of a play and it’s in the officials’ hands late in the game and you really don’t want that. Do you solve the problem by, instead of having it a spot foul as it is now, you make it just a 15-yarder? That was the context where he raised that. I wouldn’t say that will be an imminent change like that.”

Battista also shared her thoughts on the Bills signing of guard Richie Incognito. To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show from 716 Food and Sport, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tonight – Join JMS from (716) Food and Sport

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 27, 2015 – 3:55 pm

JMS_(716)_remote_Social

Join The John Murphy Show at (716) Food and Sport at the HarborCenter tonight, Friday, February 27, 2015 from 7-9pm. Former Buffalo Bills Player and current NFL CBS analyst Steve Tasker is making a guest appearance. We will also hear from current Bills cornerback Nickell Robey. Stop by and bring the family for some food, football talk and giveaways. See you tonight!


Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Kiko Alonso: “It’s a great time to be a Bill”-JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 25, 2015 – 9:45 pm

We return to the airwaves for live radio on Wednesday. The free agency period kicks off 2-weeks from today, so we began the show asking the listeners their thoughts on what position group the Bills should target. There were plenty of responses to that topic from offensive line, to running back, to even quarterback.

Kiko AlonsoHe’s a player we haven’t heard from in a while. Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso checked in with us. Alonso missed all of last season with a torn ACL he suffered back in July. He has been rehabbing since and says he anticipates he will be “one-hundred percent before training camp.” Alonso talked about this past season’s defense with his absence and the linebackers that stepped up mentioning Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham’s emergence. He says he’s “stoked” to have Rex Ryan on board and is ready to get back on the field in preps for the 2015 season.

“I’m just trying to get back. It sucks to be on the sideline all year. It just gives me that much more drive to get back. At the same time, you have to be careful and not push too hard because the ACL is a long rehab. You have to find that balance.”

NFL writer at Sports Illustrated Chris Burke called in to the show. Burke recapped last week’s Combine by putting together his All-Combine Team which included Division III’s Ali Marpet from Hobart College. He went on to give his thoughts on the Bills hire of Rex Ryan, which he says puts the Bills “close to must-watch territory.”

Rex Ryan“I think Rex himself is close to that territory. He’s an energetic guy and his teams always play hard even this last year. That was not a very good roster at all in New York but up through the end of the season they were competing and going all-out. He’s a fiery guy and I think from that standpoint, they (The Bills) will be entertaining and it’s a team like we saw last year that’s not far away.”

Finally, Tony Villiotti from National Football Post joined us to discuss his recent article on What to Expect in Free Agency and why free agents are of modest importance in building a team. If they do pan out, the number of those players who have an impact is small. He also talked about the quarterback trends in the league and why the good QBs don’t normally end up in free agency and that teams should take the road of the draft to find their guy.

To hear more from Villiotti and the rest of The John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills