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Inside The Bills

Mortensen-time to focus on free agents

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 27, 2013 – 1:36 pm

Now that the NFL Scouting combine is history, the next order of business on the offseason calendar is free agency.  Tuesday, March 12th at 4pm is when the free agency period begins.  And ESPN”s Senior NFL Analyst, Chris Mortensen, says teams will have to mix their free agent evaluations into their draft evaluations.

“You’re  looking to put together a combination of free agency, your own free agents, other people’s free agents, and combine them with what you see here in the draft as you continue to evaluate these guys,” Mortensen said, as the annual Scouting Combine wrapped up in Indianapolis.  “Because what you do in free agency, no matter what they say, is still going to dictate some of what you do in the draft.”

Mortensen says despite the lack of “star power” in this year’s draft class, it is loaded with talent.  And he says NFL scouts have plenty of reasons to anticipate drafting some play makers this year.

“The scouts are excited about this draft” he says.  “what it lacks is box office stars, guys like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.”

“To me, it was exciting to see Tavon Austin of West Virginia, a guy we watched get over 500-yards of offense against Oklahoma, 300-of those yards on the ground, a guy people think has some Percy Harvin, some Darren Sproles, some DeSean Jackson in him, I just think all tree pretty electrifying players, and Austin comes out and verifies that he’s really fast.  He runs 4.34 electronicially.  To me, there are still a lot of quality players in this draft. “


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-7

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2012 – 4:16 pm

Hey Bills fans, here is the latest edition of your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills on Twitter for Fan Friday. Keep your questions coming.

1 – Chris,

I wanted to address the “Fitzpatrick Situation”. A few weeks ago, Buddy Nix acknowledged the need to upgrade the quarterback position, which was in stark contrast to his and Chan’s position on the issue 11 weeks ago. My fear is this seems to be set in motion more by public opinion than cognitive thought and, given the incoming crop of potential rookie quarterbacks, a draft pick may be sacrificed to appease the fan base rather than invested on more pressing needs in the secondary and linebacking corp.

Thanks for all you do,
Rob

CB: Buddy actually addressed that very subject in his weekly appearance on WGR Sportradio 550 this Friday. Here’s what he said.

“I know we’ve discussed the quarterback many times. The fans are so eager for us to make something happen and they’re not any more eager than I am,” said Nix. “They got the idea I think that we were automatically going to draft a quarterback in the first round. That’s not necessarily true. We’re going to always stay with the integrity of the board. We’re going to try to find a quarterback. If one is there and he’s rated at the right spot we’re going to take him wherever that is. I don’t want people to expect that no matter who is there in the first round we’re going to take a quarterback because that’s not true. We’ll still take the best player.”

 

2 - Chris,

There’s been a lot of criticism of Chan Gailey’s play calling.  A lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacking obviously.  But the one area I feel the Bills are particularly weak is 3rd/4th and very short yardage (2 yards or less).  Aside from some game changing fumbles in those situations (Patriots home game going into the half comes to mind), the heavily criticized wildcat formations, and the failure in the four minute offense on Thursday against Miami, most egregious to me is why the team doesn’t ever use a QB sneak (particularly on 1 yard to go situations).  The interior of this line would seem to be the strength. And with Eric Wood and Levitre playing at All-Pro levels, and Fitz being a fairly stout guy, it would seem that calling a QB sneak behind Wood/Levitre would be a reasonable call. Yet I can’t recall the team using it in any key situations this season (or any situation for that matter).  Tom Brady will often race to the line and use a quick snap QB sneak. But even a traditional sneak would seem a reasonable play that they rarely ever use.  Why not?  Is it even in their playbook?

Thanks,
Jeffrey Suchocki

CB: Well we did see a one-yard sneak for a touchdown by Ryan Fitzpatrick against Jacksonville, so yes it is in their playbook. I also think you’re a bit off the mark regarding short yardage. Buffalo is 15th in the league in 3rd-and-1 conversion percentage (64.3%) and 16th in the league in 3rd-and-1 and 4th-and-1 conversion percentage (64.3%). On 3rd-and-short conversions they’re 18th in the league (53.7%). It’s not great, but their success rate is respectable.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

Just looking ahead at the possibilities of the Bills filling in some holes with Free Agency and how active they might be this coming off-season. I would love for them to make upgrades at corner, wide receiver, and linebacker (quarterback too, but that would likely be addressed in the draft). How much cap space do the Bills currently have to work with in the off-season? I know that re-signing Byrd and Levitre will be top priorities for them, but once they’re taken care of, how much room will they likely have to work with, if any at all? Would love to see Dwayne Bowe in a Bills uniform!

As always, love the coverage you provide for us … please keep up the great work!

Paul

CB: Thanks for the kind words. I am not in a position to provide cap space figures, but I can tell you that Buffalo has a lot of young players coming up for contract consideration. You mentioned Byrd and Levitre. They’ve also got Kraig Urbik, Chad Rinehart to consider for their offensive line. Restricted free agents include David Nelson and Donald Jones. Leodis McKelvin is another unrestricted free agent of note. So very quickly just for the Bills to keep their own they’ll be eating into heavily into their cap space if they decide to do some long terms deals with any of the aforementioned players.

One free agent to be that hasn’t garnered much attention is Kyle Moore, who will also be unrestricted at season’s end.

That’s why the thought of Dwayne Bowe in a Bills uniform is a pipe dream. Buffalo is already heavily invested in the wide receiver position with Stevie Johnson. They likely intend to invest more with Nelson and Jones. So to try and add Bowe, who is looking for upwards of $10M a season, it’s just not going to happen.

Other veteran free agents of note include Bryan Scott, Corey McIntyre and Spencer Johnson.

 

4 – Chris,

Numbers don’t lie and it’s clear that Mario Williams’ production has spiked since his wrist procedure during the bye week.  Also, since it only took him 7-10 days to heal and be back at practice it’s obvious that this should have been corrected during Training Camp.  I’m wondering who, if any, should receive the blame for the failure to address this injury until after 7gms and a fine from the NFL related the Bills injury report?  Seems unfortunate because his current production could have really helped during the first half of the season.

Thanks,
Aaron from Brooklyn

CB: To clear up some confusion, Williams injured the wrist in the preseason finale at Detroit. Granted that was 10 days before the opener, but I think the parties involved likely made the decision to play through the injury since that’s what happened. After it failed to improve surgery was decided upon.

It’s very easy for hindsight to be 20-20 in any case like this. The bottom line is the next time there was a window of opportunity to Bills jumped on it.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

Just wanted to see what you thought of Crezdon Butler’s play against the Jaguars.  With the game blacked out I didn’t see much.  Did he fare well?  And if so, does that count for anything even if it is against the young receiving core of the Jaguars? 

Thanks,
Tommy of Pittsford

CB:
Well he got 16 snaps in the Jacksonville game, 13 of those came in coverage. He did draw a flag in the game for defensive holding that led to a first down, but the biggest pass play he gave up was an 18-yard completion to Cecil Shorts. So all in all it wasn’t a bad debut performance in limited action.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-30

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2012 – 3:32 pm

A lot of home games down the stretch for the Bills starting with Jacksonville on Sunday. Here’s the latest edition of questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills.

 

1 - Chris, 

Do you think our offense will become more in sync when T.J. Graham is regularly inserted into the fold? Also, do you think that a change at quarterback is necessary or do you think it is just a matter of a clean bill of health to the defense is needed to make it to the next level?

Thanks Chris! 
-Nick W
H’port, NY
CB: Graham was drafted to help stretch the field offensively, but you’re right his opportunities have been limited. I think if they can effectively make him a deep threat, it would help to open things up more underneath. A lot of opposing defenses have been squatting on Buffalo’s short routes and it’s hindered Buffalo’s attack.

Ryan Fitzpatrick by his own admission has stated that he has not performed up to even his own expectations. He also said this week that he knows he’s in a performance-based business and believes his status as the team’s starter could be affected if he does not improve his play down the stretch.

Chan Gailey re-committed himself to Fitzpatrick this week.

 

2 - Hey Chris ,
I have been wondering your take on a few questions that are all under the basic same heading. It has seemed to me that Coach Gailey has gone from the a coach dictating to our opponents what we want to do to letting our opponents push us into what they want us to do. It seems like we’ve added new talent to the roster this year(Graham, Dickerson, Easley), but we haven’t used it. On defense we don’t have any blitz packages. Please let me know what is the problem?

Thank you for your time !!

Mr.T from Nashville via Ft. Myers

CB:  I’ve asked Coach Gailey about dictating play to the opponent, whether it’s imposing their will with play calling or putting them on their heels with tempo changes. My most recent question concerned tempo change and jumping into no huddle when the offense is sputtering. Here was his response this week.

“We’ve done that some but it’s been more revolving around the pass game and we’re trying to make sure we get the running game going,” Gailey said. “When you do no-huddle, sometimes it revolves too much around the pass game and we don’t want to get into that. We want to keep our balance between our run and pass.”

 You’re not the first fan that has expressed an opinion that the team was more aggressive in dictating play the first two years in comparison to this year. I think that opinion only became more popular because of the Houston game where Buffalo saw Houston using regular defense against their three-wide package and chose to throw.

To me it’s a hard case to argue either way, but you cannot debate that New England has effectively dictated tempo and personnel changes against the Bills and it’s been effective for them. Not just against Buffalo, but just about anybody.

 

3 - Hey Chris,

I cannot recall if Buddy Nix is waiting till the off season to negotiate contracts with our impending free agents. Do you know if the brass is negotiating anything at the moment, and do you know the players disposition to resigning with the team? How much money do we have in the bank left to spend on signing our players? It would be a devastating lost to lose Byrd and Levitre to FA.

Best,
Stephen A. Naetzker

CB: Well the report did come out this week that negotiations are underway with Jairus Byrd, who is arguably the most important free agent to re-sign this offseason. Levitre is pretty important as well. It sounds like the wheels are in motion. I would also argue that the team should try to re-sign Leodis McKelvin knowing the relative lack of veteran presence at cornerback.

There are also a couple of important restricted free agents in David Nelson and Donald Jones. Kraig Urbik and Chad Rinehart are other unrestricted considerations. It could be a busy offseason just to keep some starters in the fold.

 

4 - Chris;

What do you think about Buddy’s statement about this being the year to try and find the future Franchise QB? Would Buddy be willing to Draft Two QB’s in the first Three rounds? With the rookie wage scale, it makes economic sense and also doubles our chances of hitting a Franchise guy. Bills nation doesn’t want to see more Linemen, LB’s or DB’s until the QB is addressed! This gives us three years to develop him, before we have to spend Big $$ to resign him. QB controversy won’t be a problem if he’s truly a Franchise guy, it wasn’t a problem with Jim Kelly and won’t be again, it’s only a problem with teams who don’t have the Franchise guy. Please tell Buddy not to bring in Vick, Cassel, or any of the other Journeymen who may be available.

Besides the Bills, what other teams do you feel will Draft QB’s?

I can see the Jets, Chiefs, Raiders, Browns, Cowboys, Eagles, Seahawks?

CB: I think Buddy was clear that he wants to add a franchise quarterback for the future. Here’s what he told us a few weeks ago.

“We want to bring in a guy that can be a franchise quarterback, I mean for the next 10 years,” Nix told Buffalobills.com. “Starting maybe two years from now or whenever he’s ready. I’d like to have a guy in place. I’ve got to look past this Sunday and past the rest of this year and decisions have to be long term.”

As Nix and Gailey see it, a franchise quarterback is someone that they would acquire in the draft this coming spring and they’re likely to take one early (1st 3 rounds). Nix also made it clear that they’re willing to sacrifice other draft choices to position themselves to land such a quarterback.

What Nix did make clear was that even if they do draft a franchise type QB that Ryan Fitzpatrick is still going to be in the fold next season as the starter, barring some unforeseen lights out training camp performance by whomever they might draft for that position.

I’m not convinced they’ll draft two quarterbacks. Having two rookies can create more problems than solutions I think. But that decision isn’t up to me.

As for who you think might also be interested in a QB of the teams you’ve got listed the only ones I’d cross off your list are the Raiders (Palmer may have earned himself another season with his production) and the Seahawks (in light of how current rookie Russell Wilson is playing). I also don’t see the Eagles taking one early. They’ve got a lot of other problems.

 

5 – Chris,

With respect to the Reggie Wayne fumble at the end of the first half in the Colts game the photo is conclusive. Can the Bills send this and the luck spike to league office? Obviously won’t make difference now but seems as small market team without star player (aka tv ratings driver) they are on the short end of stick a lot. How can that play not be reviewed? Isn’t that the entire point of having things controlled upstairs in under 2 min scenario? Or is it just so nfl has control and can make sure questionable calls favor the teams they ideally would want to see do well?

CB: All I can tell you is the following. First, I agree it was a fumble. The only way it would not be is if a whistle blew for forward progress. That didn’t happen according to my videographer who was standing in that end zone. Just like it didn’t happen in overtime in Baltimore in 2010 when Shawn Nelson was stripped of the ball after his forward progress was stopped.

Ed Hochuli said there wasn’t a fumble, but never addressed forward progress. It’s the responsibility of the replay booth to review that play, but they did not. And the spike with no time left only made it worse, although the back judge, who keeps time on the field did immediately run to Hochuli signaling one second.

Buffalo routinely sends calls like this to the league, but beyond an ‘I’m sorry we screwed up’ there is not much that can be done to reverse it.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-11

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2011 – 1:32 pm

First, a salute to all our veterans on this Fan Friday. Thanks for your service. It does not go unappreciated. Now on to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Why are the Bills not throwing the ball down field? They would open up the run game with some long pass plays. Even when they have a 3rd and 5+ they are throwing 2 or 3 yard passes. Teams will be looking at this and reacting if the Bills don’t strech the field.

B. Gately

CB: While I don’t deny that the Bills do have a lot of faith in their receivers to get yards after the catch, you also have to remember what this offense is designed to do. It’s an anticipation offense built on timing to neutralize an opponent’s pass rush. I’ll let Chan Gailey explain in his own words.

“Really that’s our offense, getting the ball out. It doesn’t matter who we play we’re trying to get the ball out. If the team had three sacks on the season we still are going to run our offense. We understand problems and issues, but we’re trying to get the ball in somebody’s hands to make the play.”

Now that doesn’t mean the Bills won’t go deep. Heck they went deep on Darrelle Revis for the longest pass play of the season against the Jets Pro Bowl corner to Stevie (52 yards). But if you’re expecting the Bills to air it out 10 times a game it’s not happening. A half dozen maybe, but not more than that.

2 – Hey Chris,

Through all of the early success for the Bills this season, one of the factors that seems to be flying under the radar is the lack of penalties. I’ve followed their games closely and, compared to recent years, this team seems to attract less penalties. If so, I’m sure it’s attributed mostly to coaching – but is there some other factor that goes into it? Perhaps a mental focus that wasn’t there in previous years amongst the players or maybe they’re just becoming more solid in their fundamentals? Just curious. Go Bills!

Thanks,
Mark V.
Lancaster, OH

CB: Buffalo has 44 penalties at the midseason mark so they’re averaging about 5.5 penalties a game, which is good. Chan Gailey detests unforced errors, so it is a big focus in the practice setting with the players. I think with most of the players being in the second year of the offensive and defensive schemes helps as well. They’re less worried about their execution so they’re more focused on snap counts and such.

3 – Hi Chris,

Thanks so much for your excellent coverage on the Bills.  I really appreciate it no longer living in the Buffalo area (now living in Brooklyn, NY) and it’s my primary source for all things Buffalo Bills.  
In lieu of what the Jets did to us and a few other teams these past two seasons, why don’t the Buffalo Bills try moving back to a 4-3 as their primary base defense?  I think the combination of Kyle Wiliams and Marcell Dareus on the inside (with troup and heard as rotational players) and Chris Kelsay and Alex Carrington (with Dwayne Edwards and Spencer Johnson as rotational players) at defensive end would help us stop the run.  We woud then be able to play Barnett at ILB, with Sheppard and Moats/Batten at OLB.  
Do you foresee us making this change anytime in the future?  Have the coaches entertained this idea in an attempt to stiffen up our front 7?
Thanks,
Jae
Brooklyn, NY
 
CB: I’d be surprised if it happens in light of the time and investment into the current system. Chan did say the Jets were the more physical team and it would be hard to disagree, but that doesn’t mean the Bills aren’t capable of playing that way. I think the pieces that are needed have less to do with the three down linemen. They have enough size, girth and talent up there, though losing Kyle Williams hurts. Losing Merriman for the year and Kelsay for stretches also has compromised the scheme.
The run ‘D’ is improved from last year, but it needs to take another step. With improved depth and another draft class, I think they can make the 3-4 work.
 
4 – Hi Chris,
Do you know if the team has even considered giving Mike Jasper a shot on the D-line, especially with Kyle going down?
JerryCB: Jasper has been switched to the offensive line since he was added to the practice squad and there’s no need to switch him to defensive line. Buffalo has some depth at nose tackle with Torell Troup and Kellen Heard both capable players in addition to having Marcell Dareus, who can also play the nose. Add in the fact that the Bills have a pair of defensive tackles on their practice squad in Jay Ross and Lionel Dotson and they have options should they get shorthanded due to injury.

5 - Hey Chris,

With the signing of FITZ where exactly are the Bills in terms of the salary cap?  Also, after the Bills re-sign and extend Stevie and Freddy how many of the other Bills free agents do you see us also keeping?  Bell, Pears, Chandler, Parrish, Lindell, and Urbik (restricted) are among the biggest names.  Do Bell’s and Parrish’s injury problems make them expendable? 

Bryan
Grosse Ile, Mi

CB: If you wanted me to guess which players would be re-signed first I would lean toward Erik Pears and Rian Lindell. I’m not sure if Lindell’s injury complicates things, but those contracts would presumably be easier to complete than those of Jackson and Johnson. I don’t see Jackson getting done until the offseason knowing he still has another year left on his current deal. Johnson is probably going to have to wait until the offseason as well. I heard they spoke at the beginning of the year, but were far apart and haven’t spoken since. So regrouping at the end of the year seems more likely. Bell is a tough call. I think the staff and organization really likes Hairston and wouldn’t be surprised if they choose to tab him as the new left tackle as early as next season, which could leave Bell looking for other options, but that’s just a guess on my part at this point.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-14

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2011 – 12:10 pm

We’re about 10 days away from our Senior Bowl coverage here on Buffalobills.com, with the Bills staff coaching the South Team. Really looking forward to bringing you some great access from Mobile. For now let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Hi Chris,
Are the Bills a chance of getting compensatory picks for Owens, Incognito and perhaps Jonathan Scott.
I realize the science involved in awarding Compensatory picks is somewhat complicated, we really didn’t get much help from our 2010 UFA class and these players have performed
and started a number of games for their new teams.
 
Regards
Matt

CB: I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the league’s formula for the awarding of compensatory picks by the NFL, but I do know that it starts and ends with a net loss of free agents. Contract size and performance of free agents lost comes into play after that. Unfortunately of the free agents that qualify, I don’t see the Bills with a net loss. I see them even.

Buffalo lost Owens, Incognito and Scott as you mentioned, but they also signed Cornell Green, Andra Davis and Dwan Edwards. Even though all three of Buffalo’s signings wound up on injured reserve they make the Bills even in the free agency plus-minus equation.
Furthermore they collectively were signed for more money than the free agents that were lost, and I’m not even sure that Owens would qualify in the league’s pre-determined free agent signing window, since he did not sign with Cincinnati until the first day of training camp. Sorry, but I don’t see the Bills getting anything in the way of compensatories.

2 – Chris,
Our front 7 is our weak spot – where do you see them trying to upgrade?  My opinion on keepers:  Dwan Edwards, Alex Carrington, Troup, Kyle Williams, Poz, Andre Davis, Moats.  Kelsay has turned it up a couple of notches recently – but as a rush 4-3 DE.  So not sure where he plays in the 3-4.  Maybin is too green to count on.  Stroud – not sure if he is in their plans next year.  McCargo – likely gone.  Spencer Johnson – possible rotation guy.  Akin & Torbor – perhaps as depth.  I think they need another impact DE and OLB.  If they can get an upgrade at ILB – great.  
Tim in Albuquerque (and formerly of Syracuse)

CB: I think your assessment is pretty spot on. With the defense expected to take on more of a multiple front look where 3-4 or 4-3 could be implemented based on their opponent week to week, I think adding another DE that is stout enough to play in a 3-4 and athletic enough to play in a 4-3 is essential. I’ve been on the Nick Fairley train since November. After watching him in the LSU game I was sold.
Unfortunately with Andrew Luck not in the draft pool, I’m not sure he’ll be there at 3. Alabama’s Marcel Dareus is another viable option, though third overall might be deemed a bit high.

The linebacker class this year is not strong, particularly at ILB. Illinois junior Martez Wilson just declared for the draft and is considered the best ILB, but is a late first early second rounder at best and is projected as a weak inside LB (play next to the Mike). Other than him the only other ILBs deemed worthy of going in the first three rounds is Michigan State’s Greg Jones and North Carolina’s Quan Sturdivant. LSU’s Kelvin Sheppard, who will be on the South Team at the Senior Bowl is projected as a fourth rounder.

2 – Do you think the Bills will get two tight ends, like the Patriots did in the draft? I’d like at least two more added. Nelson’s third year is like his first two…I don’t want to be without the two tightends we can have by way of draft.
KingedUndone

CB: I don’t see tight end as a high priority. While Chan Gailey himself has stated that he’d love to have a game breaking tight end for the passing game, I believe Buffalo has enough weapons at receiver to lessen the need for a pass catching tight end that’s a mismatch. They have Roscoe Parrish and David Nelson to work the middle of the field.

DE, OLB, ILB and CB and S based on the free agents Buffalo has are the priority positions with QB and OT ahead of TE on offense.

3 – If conventional wisdom calls for a space eater at nose tackle in the 3-4 system and Kyle Williams is the only Bills lineman who can consistenly shed blocks and get penetration, why wouldn’t the Bills move Williams to DE and put a big body in at NT?  A related question is what is each D-lineman’s primary responsibility in the 3-4 system employed by the Bills?

John, Illinois

CB: Well the Bills did not play a conventional two-gap 3-4 system for most of the season with Williams at NT for exactly the reason you point out. Williams himself admitted that he played more of a three-technique (lined up on outside shoulder of the guard) this season and a one-technique (off shoulder of center) instead of head up on the center.

I believe the Bills staff shares your opinion so that’s why they’re going to a multiple look front in 2011, where they can choose to play more 3-4 or 4-3 depending on the opponent.

4 -  Chris, 
I noticed that Jason Watkins has been on the Practice squad most of the last two seasons.  Can you tell us anything about his progress?
He seems to have outstanding size for a left tackle prospect. 
 
Thank you
Bryan Cole

CB: While Watkins played tackle in college at Florida, since the new staff has come in he’s played significantly more at guard. Unfortunately for him this team added a lot of talent at the guard position that they obviously feel is superior to that of Watkins. Kraig Urbik, Cordaro Howard and Chad Rinehart are the examples.

I expect him to be in the fold again at next year’s training camp, but he’s really going to need to step up his game if he intends to leapfrog the aforementioned linemen and make the active roster.
5 – Chris,

Do you have a list of all the Bills who are due to become UFA, RFA and ERFA this offseason?  Different websites are giving me conflicting information and I’m not sure what is correct.

Thanks,
Jon

CB: Here’s the official list, but remember we don’t know for sure which players will be unrestricted for sure with no new CBA between the players and league. We’ll assume for argument’s sake that fourth-year players will be unrestricted, third-year players restricted and anything less exclusive rights.

Unrestricted
LB Akin Ayodele, CB Drayton Florence, LB Keith Ellison, DL John McCargo, LB Paul Posluszny, S Donte Whitner, S George Wilson, OL Mansfield Wrotto, CB Ashton Youboty.

Restricted
QB Brian Brohm, TE Scott Chandler, S Jon Corto, RB Quinton Ganther

Exclusive rights
WR Felton Huggins, LS Garrison Sanborn, TE Jonathan Stupar


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-9

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2009 – 4:19 pm

As always you can send your questions to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and I’ll get back to you either personally or here on Fan Friday. Here we go.

1. Hey Chris,
 
I started to see draft talk on some sites this week. I know this is a bit premature, but how do you see the Bills going this year? Could this be a year were trading for a player may make more sense than making a first round pick?
 
Randy
NL, CAN

CB: I doubt that the Bills are going to cough up their first round pick in a trade this year. I’m hoping the Bills take a defensive end with their top pick, provided the depth of talent is still there. I wanted to Buffalo to take a defensive tackle in 2003, but by the time the Bills were on the clock they were all gone and they took McGahee. But that would be my preference this spring.

 

2. Chris-
Is it too early to call James Hardy a bust and do you think the front office will add another receiver this off-season in case he is not able to contribute immediately next season?

CB: I think that is a possibility, but more so because James Hardy has a torn ACL to rehab from. He’s not a bust. Eric Moulds didn’t have a breakout season until his third year. The ACL is the issue. It’s usually 7-9 months before a player can come back. He tore it on Dec. 14, so he may not be full go for training camp. Missing all those spring practices and OTAs will hurt his development so I think they do need to add another receiver even if it’s just for a one or two-year deal.

 

3. Dear Chris,
Who do you think the Bills might pick up in this year’s free agency market?  There are some very high profile defensive ends (Suggs, Peppers), and some solid centers (Birk, Brown, Saturday, Meester) up for grabs.   The Bills have attempted to solve their biggest problems in the free agency market over the past two seasons.    Do you think they will try to make a splash at either of these positions?
Jack

CB: I think Birk and Brown are realistic. Saturday and Meester are more at the end of the line. As for DE Suggs and Peppers they will cost too much and Peppers has already been negotiating with Carolina to re-sign.

I believe the Bills get their pass rusher at the top of the draft this spring.

 

4. Hey Chris,
Were any Bills named pro bowl alternates?
-Sean

CB: Yes, I blogged this a while back. Marshawn Lynch and Marcus Stroud were Pro Bowl alternates. We’ll see if someone pulls out of the game with an injury.

 

5. Chris,
What is the contract status with regards to free agents, both restricted and un- restricted.
Thank you for your help,

Mike Czerwonka

CB: Unrestricted – Kirk Chambers, Angelo Crowell, Melvin Fowler, Jabari Greer, Teddy Lehman, J.P. Losman, Corey McIntyre, Duke Preston, Jason Whittle.

Restricted – John DiGiorgio, Keith Ellison, Dustin Fox, Gibran Hamdan, Justin Jenkins, George Wilson.


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Posted in Inside the Bills