In a bumper crop of free agent wide receivers the Philadelphia Eagles applied the first franchise tag.
Philly tagged free agent WR DeSean Jackson on Thursday.
“We want DeSean to be an Eagle for the long haul and this is a step in the right direction to accomplish that,” said Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman said. “DeSean is a talented player and a proven playmaker in this league and we look forward to him continuing his career in Philadelphia. It’s our understanding that he has the same desire. We will continue our efforts on getting a long-term deal done with him.”
Reports are indicating that Oakland safety Tyvon Branch could be next in line to be tagged with the franchise label. Ravens RB Ray Rice is also expected to be tagged Friday. The deadline for teams to apply the tag is Monday March 5th.
Tags: DeSean Jackson, franchise tag, NFL free agency, Ray Rice, Tyvon Branch
Posted in Inside the Bills
Here’s the special NFL Combine edition of Fan Friday with your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Sorry it took so long, but we’ve been a little busy out here at Lucas Oil Stadium. Let’s get going.
1 - Hi Chris,
If Riley Reiff drops in the draft or Jonathan Martin was available when the Bills pick at 10, Could you see the team addressing the left tackle spot instead of more pressing needs on defense?
I think the Bills would potentially have one of the best young O lines in the league when healthy if that was the case, and the infrastructure in place to build a strong offense. A common theme with this lost decade + of losing is the weak play of the offensive line.
Love your Work
CB: Thanks for the kind words. I think there is a distinct possibility that the Bills go offensive line in round one at offensive tackle. There could be a couple of options for them there at 10 and you’re on the money with Reiff and Martin.
I was particularly impressed with Martin after hearing him address the media Thursday here in Indy. He worked under a blue collar coaching staff (Harbaugh) that ran a pro-style offense at Stanford. He’s just so broad shouldered it looks like he’s wearing shoulder pads when he doesn’t have any on. He’s a solid pass protector and I like his finish.
The Bills are talking to Demetrius Bell, who I think they believe can handle the left tackle position, but his injury history is likely a concern. So I think tackle at 10 is realistic. Also I get the sense that the elite pass rusher the Bills would covet is not on their board at 10, meaning there isn’t someone of top 10 value at that need position in their opinion. That would only reinforce the possibility of an OT being taken there.
2 - Hi Chris
Big Bills fan from Dorset, England, love all the updates and news you provide us
People have been saying we need a speedster in the WR ranks, Im unsold on Clowney, if he hit FA would the Bills look to Desean Jackson at all?
Also what do you think of and where would you put Vinny Curry of Marshall, i think he could be a good pick for the Bills and maybe he could fall to the second round, if we got Couples at 10 and Curry in the 2nd round that would be solid wouldnt it?
CB: All indications from the Eagles are that DeSean Jackson would be franchised if a long term agreement can’t be reached. At age 25 they don’t want to lose him for nothing knowing he has value on the open market.
Either way I don’t see him as the type of receiver the Bills are targeting. Yes, they want a deep speed threat, but they also want that receiver to have some measure of physicality to him (a bit bigger than Jackson).
I think a sleeper free agent for that kind of role might be Robert Meacham the New Orleans free agent.
3 – Chris,
I know Stevie wants to stay in Buffalo and I know Nix wants him back, but what is the status of renewing his contract? Also, are the Bills aiming for Vincent Jackson? With him and Stevie, we could actually be a contender. How are Fred and C.J. going to share time? Is it going to be like the Saints’ backfield with a lot of good ‘backs who just switch every down? And finally my biggest concern- this season, the league was predominately run by QB’s and defense. The bills have a QB but no healthy defense. That being said, can the bills make a smart #10 first pick and take Upshaw or Coples and not take an OT. -andrew marshall.
CB: Rapid fire answers. There was progress on a new contract for Stevie made here in Indy on Friday. How close is it is tough to gauge right now. Wanting Vincent Jackson as well might be a lot to ask, but the latest is the Chargers aren’t going to franchise him. His the size, speed addition that could work, whether the dollars do is another story.
As for Fred and C.J., Chan Gailey said there will be instances where they’re on the field at the same time and C.J. and Fred will also split out wide in certain down and distance situations. The way Chan put it is he wants to keep them both fresh while also making full use of their talents.
With their #10 pick, I’m not convinced they’re going pass rusher there, you can read more about that on the home page Saturday, which could mean pursuing a free agent pass rusher.
4 – Chris,
The Bills need a SAM right now badly. As well as a rush DE. We didn’t see much of Morrison and all his 4-3 experience has been at MLB, do you think the Bills would consider he or even a FA like Stephen Tulloch at SAM. I was shocked Tulloch only got a 1 year deal but adding him to Shep and Barnett would be nice if he can transition to outside because it seems the coaches don’t think Sheppard can be anywhere but in the middle.
CB: The Bills have been in contact with Kirk Morrison about being an answer at SAM backer. It makes sense from the Bills perspective because he could also back up Shep in the middle. My guess is Morrison wants to consider other options on the open market, so I’m not certain he’ll just blindly return to the Bills after finding it hard to get on the field last season.
Tulloch is more of an ILB so I don’t know that playing SLB is necessarily a fit for him. He’s a little on the short side to play out there (5’11”).
5 - Chris,
As you know Marcus Easley has been dealt a rough hand since being drafted by the Bills. Has he fully recovered from his illness and will he have a shot at making the Bills No. 2 receiver? Or will he compete at all? At face value, he has at least the proto type body (6’4) of a big receiver that the Bills need in the red zone. Not only could he contribute to a much need depleted receiver core, if he secures one of the WR positions, they the Bills could devote their draft to other areas of need. So I am hoping Bills fans can see what potential Easley has a big receiver and we will have one less area to address with our draft picks.
William Aiken, Schenectady, NY
CB: Easley has been medically cleared to resume his football career. He’ll be back on the field this spring with no limitations as far as I understand it. Now the Bills aren’t counting on him despite the fact that they’re eager to see what he can bring to the offense. He is the prototype size, speed combo that they want opposite Stevie Johnson, but since the first two seasons of his career have been washouts it’s hard to count on him. That’s why they’ll seek other options to add to the competition pool.
Tags: 2012 NFL draft, Buddy Nix, C.J. Spiller, Chan Gailey, David Clowney, Demetrius Bell, DeSean Jackson, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, Jonathan Martin, Kirk Morrison, Marcus Easley, Riley Reiff, Robert Meacham, Stephen Tulloch
Posted in Inside the Bills
Boise St. WR Titus Young models his game after DeSean Jackson for a reason. They’re built the same, have similar skill sets and top end speed. But Young is predicting he’ll run significantly faster than Jackson at this week’s NFL combine.
With his bold claim that he’ll run a 4.2, Young has a lot to live up to. He says his best time is 4.35, which is exactly what Jackson ran at the combine back in 2008. He also had an explosive 10 foot broad jump. He later had a 34 1/2 inch vertical and 6.82 second three cone drill at his Cal pro day.
Whether Young can eclipse those numbers remains to be seen. If he can perhaps Jackson’s success in the league can convince NFL clubs to take Young as early as the bottom of the first round in a receiver class that’s short on elite talent. Otherwise he’ll likely wind up coming off the board around where Jackson did, which was pick 49 overall in the middle of round 2.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, DeSean Jackson, NFL Combine, Titus Young
Posted in Inside the Bills