Inside The Bills

Evans looking forward to facing Greer

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2009 – 10:13 pm

Lee Evans faced Jabari Greer in practice every day for five seasons. Now facing him as an opponent in a regular season game has him very focused on Sunday’s game against Greer’s new team the Saints.

“I don’t know if we’ll match up (for the whole game),” said Evans of Greer. “So far this season they haven’t really been matching up so we’ll just see how they want to play it. Obviously playing against him here we know what type of corner he is. He’s a very smart corner, fast, quick, can change direction and we know him so it’ll be a lot of fun to play against him.”

When asked if Greer knows his tendencies and the ins and outs of Buffalo’s offense better than most corners they’ll face, Evans doesn’t believe Greer will know everything they plan to throw at the Saints.

“It’s a different offense than from when he was here, but he does a good job of reading splits and jumping certain routes,” said Evans. “He’s a smart player and he knows what he’s looking at. He’s learned from a lot of good guys around the league, especially when he was here. He’s a smart player so you can’t just line up and do certain things. You really have to think about what you’re doing.”

Saints head coach Sean Payton did admit that he sat down with Greer earlier this week for some additional insight on Buffalo, it’s personnel and their defensive scheme.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moorman not alone on FOXSports all undrafted team

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2009 – 4:38 pm

Brian Moorman was named to the FOXSports.com all-time undrafted team. Though a handful of other players are no longer with the Bills, they can  trace their undrafted roots back to Buffalo.

Also on that roster were former Bills undrafteds, Jason Peters, Jabari Greer and Pat Williams.

London Fletcher also made the team, though he wasn’t an undrafted signing by Buffalo. He signed with the Bills as a free agent in 2002.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

No love for Jabari

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2009 – 2:30 pm

In an ESPN writeup on the new emerging cornerbacks in the NFC South, former Bill Jabari Greer, now with the Saints, is prominently mentioned. The only problem is the photo at the top of the story of Greer in a Bills uniform is actually a photo of Bills safety George Wilson.

The oversight would have been understandable if Greer recently changed from 37 to 33. Greer did once wear number 37, but that was five years ago as a rookie in 2004. He’s worn 33 the last four seasons.

Greer also was not a team captain last season and Wilson’s captain patch is clearly visible in the photo.

By no means are we perfect either at Buffalobills.com, but somebody in the ESPN art department needs to show Greer some love.


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Fan Friday 3-13

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2009 – 3:52 pm

Here’s this week’s installment and to give you all a break I spared you Terrell Owens content. Believe it or not most Bills fans want to know about some of the unresolved issues facing the team like the offensive line situation involving the vacant left guard spot, Jason Peters and the draft. Let’s get started.

1. Hi Chris:
 
Two questions.  One, did you see the team having to make a choice between Greer and McGee this off-season, in that if we signed Greer we’d have had to let McGee go next year?  Second, what in your opinion will the Bills do to help their DE position?  With Schobel still a potential injury problem, Kelsey not providing a rush threat, and Ellis and Bryan not showing much yet doesn’t this position have to be addressed in free agency?  Thanks.

CB: I believe that Greer and McGee were part of one decision looking toward the future. I believe if the Bills re-signed Greer at $6M per season or more, it would’ve meant that McGee would have to find employment elsewhere after the 2009 season. Buffalo can’t invest heavily in three corners because it would pull investment money away from other positions.

I think knowing the Bills obviously didn’t offer Greer that kind of money, seeing that he signed in New Orleans for $4.6M per season, is an indication that they probably valued McGee more as a cornerback all along, and as much as I liked Greer, I tend to agree with that assessment.

I’d expect McGee to get an extension either right before the 2009 season starts or right after the season ends.

As for addressing the pass rush in free agency, the market was really thin at the position with respect to pure pass rushers. That’s why Houston overpaid for Antonio Smith. He’s not a premier pass rusher, but came close to getting paid like one.

I think the Bills and a lot of other teams see the draft as their best option for addressing the pass rush.

 

2. Hey Chris,
 
I know there is a lot of talk about the needs of tight end and defensive end to be taken care of in FA or the draft but I was wondering about the Bills options for center.
 
What about getting someone like Eric Ghiaciuc of the Bengals.  Could he be retained for say a two – four year deal? That would be an option in FA.
 
As for the draft I think with where the picks stand and the other pressing needs we have at other positions, we probably won’t get Alex Mack or Max Unger. But would the Bills go for someone like Antoine Caldwell from Alabama or Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas in the third?
 
I’d like to get your take on these options.  Thanks
Matt from Michigan

CB: With Geoff Hangartner on board, he’s the odds on favorite to start at center, but I think the Bills will draft some line depth. I like Alabama’s Antoine Caldwell too. Guy plays nasty and tries to bury people. Gotta love that. Luigs is more of a technician.

Think they’ll need a guard/center combo guy or maybe just a guard. I like LSU’s Herman “House” Johnson. Met him at the combine, has had some weight issues, but dropped 20 before the combine and is now at 364. Dude is huge. Probably a second or third rounder.

Wouldn’t mind adding a veteran guard in free agency.

 

3. Hi Chris,
Assuming Trent has a good/great year this year, when would he be offered a new contract?  He is in his last year of a three year contract, correct?  What would be the salary range be?
Thanks,
Whitney from Los Gatos

CB: Trent’s rookie contract doesn’t expire until after the 2010 season. I would think if Trent has a productive season and makes further progress in his game that they’ll look into signing him to an extension next offseason or perhaps sooner. The salary range will be dependent upon his statistics and how far the team goes in 2009. We’ll see.

 

4. Chris,

The Bills are obviously in need of a starting guard because we could not consistently run the football or protect the quarterback with Dockery.

I know the Bills have a few players that could fill in but I’m not excited about making any of them a starter.  There is just a handful of decent FA’s available and I don’t think one of them have visited Buffalo.

I heard a rumor we were interested in disgruntled guard Brian Waters from the Chiefs but he is older and would probably require a trade involving a draft pick.  Do you think there is any chance we would take Orlando Pace and make him a guard?  How do you think the Bills will fill this position?

Greg – Albany, NY

CB: I’ll actually have a story on the guard situation next week on Buffalobills.com, so stay tuned for that. But I believe both Kirk Chambers and Demetrius Bell will be given an opportunity to work at the left guard position through the spring OTAs.

I’m not saying they’re going to be the answer, but they’re both strong considerations in the minds of the offensive staff.

You’re right about Brian Waters. He’s a Pro Bowl guard, so he would come at a significant price in terms of a new contract and in terms of compensation (3rd round pick?). Orlando Pace is too tall to be a guard in my opinion.

The Bills just got rid of a player that was making too much money at guard. They need to invest in their left tackle, but if their LT, as reports have indicated, is asking for too much, then perhaps trying to acquire Waters becomes more realistic.

I also expect them to draft at least one interior lineman for depth, maybe two. Chicago just released Terrence Metcalf, who has been a career backup, so a vet might be signed for depth as well.

5. Chris,
What is the level, if any, of the progress being made between Peters and the FO for a new contract?  Do you believe it will be done by summer?

I’ve also heard rumors of a possible deal involving Peters to Philly, what’s the possibility and what is his value in such a deal?  I’m having a hard time believing there is a fair compensation for losing Peters, one of a handful of lockdown left tackles in this league currently.

I’ve seen failure after failure to draft such a talent in the first round and we have the cap room to pay the man what he is due at this point, I feel we should get the deal done, pick up one of the free agent linebackers and attack the draft at TE and DL/OL, what’s your take in the remainder of the offseason?

CB: Well according to reports the two sides still have some middle ground to cover. I’m hopeful it gets done prior to the draft. If not, the club MAY elect to move Peters. I don’t know that, but in all likelihood, the Bills would stand to get the most value for Peters at that time when teams are looking to fill positional needs.

Philadelphia is an obvious potential landing spot IF the Bills believe getting a new contract for Peters is a lost cause. The Eagles have a pair of first round picks and three fifth round picks. I don’t see why a 1st (21 overall) and a 5th (5th pick in 5th round) can’t be acquired for a two-time Pro Bowl left tackle. That seems reasonable. Heck maybe they can get more (1st and 4th).

Of course that would increase the likelihood of having to take an OT 11th overall to fill a huge need. In a perfect world I’d prefer to re-sign Peters to a long term deal and I have to believe the Bills would prefer that too. Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and you know how good Peters can be. As promising as some of the premier OTs in the draft are, they are unknown commodities at the NFL level.

As for the rest of the offseason, I’d like to see a veteran linebacker added for the strong side and a veteran guard (even if it’s a backup) for depth. I think most of the remaining holes can be addressed in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Royal signs for Gaines money

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2009 – 2:54 pm

Former Bills TE Robert Royal will be yet another player that Buffalo will face in the 2009 season as the Bills will play against the Browns this fall.

Royal signed for four years and $10M according to Scout.com’s Adam Caplan. That’s the exact same money that former Bills TE Michael Gaines signed for last year when he agreed to a free agent deal with Detroit last offseason. Cleveland had a TE need after trading away Kellen Winslow to Tampa.

Buffalo will also face Jabari Greer in 2009 after he signed with New Orleans.


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Greer signs with Saints

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2009 – 11:06 pm

The Bills will be playing against their now former cornerback this fall as Jabari Greer has signed with the Saints.

Buffalo plays the Saints as they’ll face the entire NFC South in 2009.

Greer should be a good fit in Gregg Williams defensive scheme, which requires a good amount of man coverage. That’s a strength of Greer’s game.

It’s a shame that a player that developed into a solid starter couldn’t continue his career in Buffalo, but that’s the business.


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McGee’s chances to be re-signed in 2010 better now

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2009 – 4:11 pm

With the signing of Drayton Florence to terms that are not breaking the bank, Buffalo should be in position to re-sign Terrence McGee next offseason when he’s to become a free agent or sooner.

Had Jabari Greer re-signed with Buffalo for upwards of $6M or more per season, it would have dramatically reduced the chances of McGee re-signing with the Bills after the 2009 season.

The reason why is Buffalo is already heavily invested in Leodis McKelvin. Had they signed Greer to big money, investing heavily again in McGee would be unrealistic because you can’t have too many fat contracts at one position. It becomes cost prohibitive in terms of addressing other positional needs on your team.

I don’t know this, but I always got the sense that the organization valued McGee as a player just a little bit more than Greer. I could be wrong, but perhaps that’s why Greer didn’t find Buffalo’s offer satisfactory.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Florence will bolster Bills nickel package

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2009 – 3:01 am

With free agent CB Drayton Florence officially agreeing to terms with the Bills, he’s an addition that fits the hierarchy of Buffalo’s cornerback depth chart.

McGee and McKelvin are the starters now, while Florence and Youboty are the primary competitors for the nickel role with Reggie Corner likely to make a run at it as well.

This obviously also signals that Jabari Greer will not be back. Florence likely didn’t get the contract offer that Greer received from the Bills, but with five full time corners on the roster, another one or two might be added to the offseason roster, but not a high-priced player like Greer.


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Greer heading to Cleveland for visit

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2009 – 4:34 pm

Air Force One hasn’t seen this many air miles in a five-day span as Jabari Greer continues to criss cross the eastern half of the country, with a visit today with the Cleveland Browns. That according to former Bills safety Matt Bowen, now a contributor at the National Football Post.

That’s going to be followed by a trip back down south tonight to visit the Saints. New Orleans new defensive coordinator is former Bills coach Gregg Williams. Williams didn’t coach Greer in Buffalo, but his aggressive scheme requires corners that can play man coverage. Greer fits that bill.

Greer has already visited with Detroit and Tampa Bay. Now that he’s visiting a third team, I can only assume that neither of the two teams have come close enough to his asking price to convince him to sign.

Greer is said to be looking for between $7-$9M per season. Titans free agent CB Chris Carr is also reportedly visiting the Browns today.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Greer still a possibility?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2009 – 4:21 pm

Jabari Greer, who is visiting with Tampa Bay, left Detroit without signing an offer over the weekend. The Bills are also still in the hunt, according to Scout.com’s Adam Caplan.

With a handful of teams still trying to solidify their defensive backfields, Greer does not need to rush his decision. It is encouraging though that the Bills are still part of the mix for his services.


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Greer to visit Detroit

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2009 – 11:43 pm

Bills free agent CB Jabari Greer is headed to Detroit this weekend for a a visit. That according to Scout.com’s Adam Caplan.

The Pewter Report is also reporting that Tampa Bay is expressing interest in the Buffalo free agent.


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Fan Friday 2-27

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2009 – 7:35 pm

With free agency in full swing it’s time to fire up another Fan Friday. You can send your questions to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Here we go.

1. Hey Chris,
I was just wondering, how are the contract talks going with Peters? Although it took him a couple of games to get into game shape, he is the Bills best lineman, shouldn’t they have locked him up already?
 
Thanks, Ryan

CB: As I understand the Bills told him they would address his contract after the season was over. With the salaries of Derrick Dockery and Robert Royal now off the books (minus the $5.3M acceleration on Dockery) they have more money to re-invest in Peters, which I anticipate will happen eventually.

However, I don’t see a deal being consummated quickly. This is one that will take some time I believe. But it’s a good sign and hopefully Peters is more motivated to play his best and participate in all offseason activities moving forward.

 

2. Chris- Just curious on the draft status of Pittsburgh Panther Derek Kinder number 81.  Is he draft elgible and what round would he go in?  He’s a local product out of Albion NY, he’s the guy who blocked two guys on a special teams play that sprung Derelle Revis for a touchdown.
                                                                             Thanks Travis

CB: I thought Kinder did a nice job coming back from a torn ACL, which forced him to miss his entire junior season. I think his size and speed (4.54) is good enough to get him into a training camp, but I fear he will go undrafted, unless he has a monster pro day at Pitt on March 17. I’ll keep my eye out to see how he fares.

 

3. Hey Chris,
 
Just wondering your thoughts on this. Do you think it could come to a situation on Draft day that sees the Eagles want to move up so badly that they would give away the 2 first rounders they have, to get into the Bills spot, which is ahead of their division rival in Washington?
Could the Bills get away with a great DE and a TE and spot 21 and 28?
Do you think C Mack is still available at #42?
Thanks for your time and insight.
Randy
NL, CAN

CB: I think the only way the Eagles do that is if there’s an early run on the OTs and they want one of the top four (J. Smith, Monroe, Oher, A. Smith). If not I see them sitting where they’re at and hoping one of the top 2 backs falls to them (Moreno, Wells) and then scoop up a value player at 28. That’s usually the way they operate. They covet quantity of picks and trading up to 11 would cost them.

 

4. Chris,
 
I do understand the Bills need for a top pass rusher, but watching TE Brandon Pettigrew from OSU, I don’t see how anyone could pass him up if he’s still there at # 11. He’s a beast. Not only can he catch anything thrown at him, but he’s a great blocking TE. I’m no expert but the guy looks like he can come right in and start as a rookie. And the Bills defense showed they are good enough to win. It was the offense that needed help. Have you followed Pettigrew? What do think?
 
Jerry (Bills fan in FL)

CB: With the release of Royal (not that he was a long term answer anyway), the thin free agent crop and the desperate need to add a playmaker to the offense, Pettigrew is the only option in the draft where you could start him next to Langston Walker and feel somewhat comfortable. Due to that fact I think he’s a possibility at 11.

I’d still prefer a pass rusher, believing you have to get your big people early, but Pettigrew who I saw and spoke to at the combine is very impressive. Comes across well and is athletic enough to make a difference. I just maintain that unless you know he’s going to be a Tony Gonzalez type player you don’t take a tight end that high.

 

5. Chris,
I understand that there has been a lot of talk on whether or not we should try to re-sign Greer or not. First I was wondering who you think is the better cover corner Greer or McGee? In some of the games I saw this year, although they were limited since I live in Cincinnati, Greer seemed to be the better cover corner. I know Greer is one year younger than McGee and he doesn’t get the recognition that McGee does because McGee is such a good return man. Given all that do you think it would be smarter to re-sign Greer, give Corner and McKelvin one more year to develop and then let Parrish, McKelvin and Jackson handle the return game? I think that Greer will be cheaper this year than McGee will be next. Let me know what you think.
Thanks,
Brendan

CB: Your question is a very good one. For the Bills I truly believe that it is an either-or proposition. They either still try to get Greer signed and let McGee go after next season, or let Greer go now and get McGee extended before next season is over.

I think based on how things played out leading up to free agency this week, they’ve chosen the latter. Still your point that the market will likely be higher when they get around to doing McGee is a valid one. Salaries usually go nowhere but up.

I like both of them, but I think McGee is a bit better than Greer. I think he’s a stronger tackler, has comparable footwork and plays hurt. It’s my belief that the team values McGee a bit more, and not because of the return ability, but his ability as a corner, which has gone overlooked for a while in this league.

Greer is looking for between $7-9M. It’s likely that McGee will be looking for the same in less than a year. We’ll have to just see where the market goes to see if one was the better play financially than the other.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Foxworth’s deal sets parameters for Greer

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2009 – 6:54 pm

With Atlanta FA CB Domonique Foxworth reportedly signing with Baltimore for $6.8M per season, there’s a good chance that Jabari Greer will be able to land a bit more than that.

FoxSports.com is saying Foxworth also got $16.5M guaranteed. Not knowing the length of the deal makes it tough to gauge about how much of the total package teams are willing to guarantee, but Greer who is looking for between $7-9M per season will probably be closer to the low end of that range than the high end.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nix likely had influence on interest in CB Florence

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2009 – 11:31 pm

Seeing Drayton Florence come through One Bills Drive for a free agent visit Thursday, you have to believe that Bills National Scout Buddy Nix had a lot of influence concerning the visit.

Being the former Director of Player Personnel for the Chargers, Florence was a former second-round pick under Nix’s watch in 2003. Being around him every day for four seasons gives Nix intimate knowledge about Florence and his abilities. That first hand knowledge is obviously a big advantage.

The interest in Florence is also an indication that the Bills are prepared for the possible departure of Jabari Greer via free agency. Adding a veteran corner with playoff experience would be valuable if Florence is determined to be the answer for Buffalo’s cornerback vacancy.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-20

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2009 – 3:24 am

It’s been a busy couple of days so I apologize for getting this up so late. You can send questions to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. I answered more questions this week figuring there would be more draft related questions, but nothing on the combine. Catch up with you next week.

1. Chris,

I know you think a pass rush DE is our likely 1st round pick, and other Mock Drafts have us picking a TE with that first pick (which I think is a huge reach at 11) but what about Aaron Curry, OLB from Wake? Assuming Crowell doesn’t re-sign after his issues with the front office this past season, we will be looking at hypothetically losing not only depth if Ellison doesn’t re-sign, but also potentially our starting OLB.

Todd McShay has the Seahawks picking him at #4, but I don’t see it– especially with glaring needs like WR, and people like Michael Crabtree likely being available when they pick. Curry is big, physical, and has the high motor that the Bills love (ie Kyle Williams)– so why not Curry at 11?

Thanks Chris,

Matt, Beverly MA

CB: I wouldn’t rule Curry out as a possibility, but I’d be surprised if he’s there at 11. I suppose it’s possible, but this guy is super on the field and super off. Squeaky clean and a playmaker. Jerod Mayo went 7 last year to the Patriots. I can’t see him dropping to the Bills at 11, but if he does I wouldn’t mind the Bills taking him at all. He’s one of the safest picks in the draft.

2. Chris with Mr. Wilson stating that our beloved Bills lack talent what do you see as a realistic off season as far as resigning our own or free agents go? Very interested in your response.
Scott Eustace

 

CB: I think some of the restricted players could be retained in addition to Jenkins and DiGiorgio like Keith Ellison and Gibran Hamdan, but I think Angelo Crowell will be allowed to test the market. If it’s lukewarm and he has trouble getting offers I think the chance of him returning increases. As for Greer, I fear that his asking price will be too high. Buffalo is heavily invested in Leodis McKelvin and could probably re-sign Terrence McGee to an extension as an alternative. I think Kirk Chambers and Duke Preston stand a good chance of being re-signed, but I think both would be reserve players if the Bills acquire what they want to in free agency and the draft.

3. Hey Chris,
I don’t agree that it is imperative to find an experienced backup QB. I think Trent will be fine. Of course the game is still a bit fast for him, he has only played a little more than one season. The second time he saw the 3-4 defenses and 8 in coverage he handled it. (The running game wasn’t exactly helping the first time through those teams either!). No one works harder wants to learn more, and don’t you think we may already have a decent backup??
Thanks, Ray Perez
Rochester

CB: While I agree with some of what you’ve said, I think an experienced backup would be a welcome sight for the Bills quarterback position. Talking to Turk Schonert at the combine today he too would like an experienced backup.

The reason why is he believes a veteran, that knows his role, can really help Edwards with some of the nuances of the game that he may not have experienced extensively as of yet. The problem is the free agent pool at quarterback is so thin that I don’t know that they’ll find a good fit for the Bills.

Finding an experienced backup, that knows his role, is actually a way to help Trent (and the team) not to threaten him with competition.

 

4. In your opinion, what needs to be upgraded more, offense or defense? I am of the opinion that offensive success is more due to strategy (ie: playcalling), and defensive success is more due to talent. I’d like to see the Bills draft defensively. Also, do you think Schonert will finally implement the no-huddle? It’s something the OC’s have talked about for a couple years now, but we’ve yet to see. What are your thoughts?
-John, Rochester NY.

CB: I think both offense and defense need to add playmakers. When opponents can double Lee Evans and shut down the passing game, that screams for more talent, despite the fact that I think Josh Reed and Roscoe Parrish are good complementary receivers. The added talent has to come at tight end to help Reed in the middle of the field. On defense you’re right another pass rusher, and outside linebacker that can start are two big pieces that need to be added.

As for the no huddle Turk Schonert addressed why they didn’t use it as much at the Combine today. I’ll let him explain.

“We didn’t use it a lot, not like we wanted to for various reasons,” said Schonert. “We’d use it for a series and we actually used it in the fourth quarter of the Oakland game and it helped us win the game and wore them out. We started a couple of games in no huddle, but we didn’t execute and weren’t very good so I got out of it in the first quarter.

“Last year we had to back off a little bit at the start of the season because of Jason’s (Peters) holdout. All of a sudden he’s coming into a terminology change so we had back off at the beginning of the season due to that. Then Josh (Reed) gets hurt, he’s out three games and we had a rookie flanker in there. Then Trent (Edwards) got hurt. We kind of hit these roadblocks that kept us from using it as much as we wanted to.”

As for 2009, Schonert said that they plan to use it more.

“We’re going to continue to work on it, we like it, we want to use it,” Schonert said. “But we’re going to use it, try to improve it and plan on having it in our arsenal.”

 

5. Hey Chris;
Is there any chance the Bills keep Greer? It would be tough to watch another player that has developed into a dependable starter at a vital position walk (Winfield, Clements). It would seem they want McKelvin to take that starting role with Youboty as the nickel, and Corner as the dime. It would be great to see McKelvin battle Greer for the starting role, with the player finishing second be the nickel. Greer seems to always come to camp prepared to compete, and would push McKelvin to do the same, or become the nickel, which would still give them 3 top corners, and solid depth.
 
The need for a solid starter at weak side linebacker needs to be addressed. How do you see the Bills taking care of that need? Crowell?
 
Thanks;   Dan from Williamsville

CB: As Russ Brandon told me today at the Combine they’ve maintained an open dialogue with Greer’s representatives, and have made it clear that they would like to bring Greer back. The problem is the money. My guess is that Greer’s agent is looking for $7-$9M a year in light of some of the recent contracts signed by comparable corners (Kelvin Hayden, Corey Webster). I can’t see the Bills committing that kind of money to Greer as much as they’d like to retain him. I think he hits the market.

As for the strong side linebacker position (Mitchell plays the weak side), there are options in free agency like Tyjuan Hagler, who could come in familiar with the system having played in Indianapolis in similar scheme. I think Morlon Greenwood would be an affordable option too.

 

6. Hey Chris,
 
I heard the Lions are leaning toward giving Culpepper the #1 spot and releasing Kitna.
How would Kitna fit in as a back up to Trent? How much do you think he would cost? Would any team look at picking up Kitna as a #1?
 
Randy
NL, CAN

CB: I think Kitna would be an interesting option. I think the first thing that has to be clear is that Kitna is willing to accept a backup role and realize in Buffalo he would not be able to compete for the starting job. As long as he can do that, I think he could be a capable backup. Kitna has always been prone to at least one big mistake in games, but as a backup that’s less likely to happen. He has seen a lot in this game and could probably assist Edwards in the quarterback room.

 

7. Hey Chris,
 
I really like Eric Wood (out of Louisville) at center.  I am a U of L fan so I have been able to watch this guy for a while.  Where do you see him going in the draft itself and could the Bills use him?
 
Thanks
Mike Lundert

CB: There’s no debating that the Bills need help at the center position. Jason Whittle, Duke Preston and Melvin Fowler are all free agents. I think Preston is the most likely to be re-signed before free agency opens, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they seek another veteran player, and add another interior linemen in the draft. It could be a player like Wood, who figures to go late 2nd to top half of the third round.

I like the way Wood finishes plays, but according to the experts drive blocking is where he needs to get better. I liked some of the tape that I saw on him and he seems to get to the second level pretty well. I think he’d be a good player to groom behind a veteran center to eventually take over the job in a couple of years.

8. Chris,
 
I know this may sound crazy but consider this. I  don’t think the Bills want to spend the money that Peters would be looking for thus making him an unhappy Bill. Trade for a top 5 pick and another solid pick. Bills won’t want to pay for a top 5 pick so trade down to near 10. Use the pick to get another tackle. Trade into top 10 with the other pick from Peters trade to get one of the top DE’s. Then use second round pick for TE?
 
After seeing what you wrote about the other OT getting big money I think there is trouble ahead with Peters.
Thanks,
Dave

CB: Sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. If it were up to me a bird in the hand (or in this case a franchise left tackle) is worth more than two in the bush. You have a bona fide Pro Bowl caliber left tackle on your team that is unhappy because he feels he’s underpaid, and he played like it last season.

I believe the Bills will find a way to rectify that situation in the form of a new contract for Peters. They’ll have to make some roster decisions to do so, but left tackle is the second most important offensive position after quarterback and you’ve got a guy that can play eight to 10 more years. I’m confident that if Peters gets a contract he is happy with he will be back to Pro Bowl form on the field.

 

9. Chris,
 
My question is what likelihood do you think there is that the Bills draft Pettigrew. He has character issues and I have to believe we will be very gun shy. A lot of the pundits have us drafting him with the first pick. I say “no way.” Have a good one.
 
Mark Tate

CB: I think Pettigrew is a very impressive player. He’s the only major all-around tight end and will be a first-round pick. His off the field blemish stemmed from a house party and he was charged with assaulting a police officer when he “elbowed” one in the chest as he was dispersing. Rest assured the Bills just like every other team will investigate it fully.

I felt Pettigrew came across well in his interview with the media. He seems very focused on his career and excelling at the next level.

I’m still a bit apprehensive about making him the 11th pick in the draft. There aren’t many picks of tight ends between 8 and 15 in the last 15 years that have proven worthy of a selection that high. Tony Gonzalez is one of the few exceptions.

And I think if you’re taking a tight end that high he has to be Tony Gonzalez good.

 

10. Chris,
 
What do you think about Torry Holt being traded to the Bills in a Stroud-esq. trade? He makes perfect sense considering he has two years on his contract, and we will have a solid receiver alongside Evans while Johnson and Hardy are learning the system and will prove to be the real deal or not. He’s played well on a terrible team and before this year had 83 receptions on a team that drafts top 5. He had a slight dip with comparable numbers to Lee Evans. With Holt, Edwards will have another great target and a better learning curve.
My concern is his transition from 6 games in a dome to 6 games in swirling winds and cold weather. He respects the Bills as he’s said prior to playing us and wants to be traded.
What do you think the likelihood is of us bringing him in and what would it take?
 
Thanks
Jonathan – Westchester, NY.

CB: I think it would take probably a third or fourth-round pick, but I’m just guessing. Holt is on the decline, but I like your thinking in terms of another weapon to work opposite Lee Evans. Holt is still respected by opposing defenses so it’s not a bad idea. A veteran receiver is what is needed not more youth.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Colts Hayden signing means big $$ for Greer

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2009 – 2:58 pm

With the Colts re-signing impending free agent CB Kelvin Hayden to a deal that averages more than $8M per season, things are looking awfully good for Bills free agent to be Jabari Greer.

NFL Network’s Adam Schefter is reporting it to be a 5-year deal worth $43.5M with a huge $22.5M guaranteed. Prior to the offseason the Giants signed CB Corey Webster to a similar deal (5-$43.5M-$20M guaranteed).

Just looking at the career stats of all three players they’re comparable. Hayden (27 starts, 6 INTs), Greer (26 starts, 4 INTs), Webster (31 starts, 5 INTs).

Much like I indicated after the Webster signing in December, Greer could very well be looking at close to $8M per season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Release of Bly deepens FA CB pool

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2009 – 2:29 pm

In a cornerback free agent pool that appears a bit thin this offseason, Jabari Greer looks to be in position to command some pretty good offers on the open market provided Buffalo doesn’t re-sign him before then. However, Denver’s release of veteran Dre Bly strengthens the list.

Bly is probably past his prime, but he’s still a capable corner and could be more attractive now based on his track record and affordability. Baltimore’s Chris McAlister is also out there now after his release and rumors are already out there that the Jets might be interested with the Rex Ryan ties to the Ravens.

I’d still take Greer over Bly at this stage in their careers, but Bly is a more recognizable name and that could have an impact in the free agent market.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Greer says no offer yet

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2009 – 2:45 pm

Bills free agent to be Jabari Greer was quoted by ESPN’s Tim Graham in an interview as saying he has not yet been presented with a contract offer by the Bills.

“I’m just waiting for Buffalo to approach me with an offer, and once they do I’ll consider it and go from there,” Greer told Graham. “I want to see what they’re looking for for their future of the franchise.”

Presumably the front office is already putting the final touches on their plans for free agency, which obviously includes their own free agents. It will be an interesting decision that Buffalo is faced with. Greer’s contract is up in a month and Terrence McGee’s deal will be up a year from now.

With the current market price for quality cornerbacks high, and heavily invested in Leodis McKelvin, it’s uncertain that the Bills could afford to sign both Greer and McGee to long term extensions. Of course if in fact no new labor deal is reached and the salary cap disappears that could change everything. But Buffalo’s front office is always fiscally responsible, so in all likelihood they’ll hitch their wagon to one or the other making for a very interesting debate.

Who do you think is more valuable to the team?


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-23

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2009 – 6:31 pm

Fan Friday 1-23

Here’s our latest installment of Fan Friday. Feel free to email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net if you have a question. I try to answer every email I get either personally or right here. With the Senior Bowl in full swing this week, naturally there were a lot of draft questions in my inbox this week as well as free agency and the 2009 schedule. Here are a few answers to some of the more popular questions I received.

1. Hey Chris, quick question regarding the schedule for next season.  Why do the Bills play the Browns at home and Jacksonville/Kansas City on the road again?
 
Gustavo Cambeiro

CB: It’s purely a rotational schedule set up by the league. In 2009 the Bills were going to face the AFC South and NFC South in their entirety in addition to their six division games.

The league then picked which of those eight teams would be home opponents (Houston, Indy, N.O., Tampa Bay) and which would be away (Jax., Tenn., Atl, Carolina).

Then the Bills always play the teams from the remaining two divisions in their conference that finished in the same place as Buffalo in 2008 in their respective divisions. So the last place finisher in the AFC North (Cleveland) was the team they would play at home and the last place finisher in the AFC West (KC) was the team they would play on the road. It was predetermined for the most part. Only Cleveland and KC were up in the air until the end of the 2008 season.

2. Hey Chris,
I was just wondering what do you think is the possibility of the Bills using the franchise tag on Greer in the offseason and around what his contract would be if they chose to go that way. Also how many years does Jason Peters have on his contract and any anticipation of him trying to hold out again next year if his contract is renegotiated,
Thanks,
Paul in Richmond, CA

CB: I doubt the Bills go the way of the franchise tag with Jabari Greer. The tag for cornerbacks has skyrocketed relative to the rapid increase of the salary cap. Last year the franchise tag for cornerbacks was $9.5 million, up 19% from the previous year.

It’s based on the average of the top five player salaries at the position. In light of some of the contracts signed in the last year (DeAngelo Hall 7-$70M with Oakland, then 6-$48M with Washington, Terence Newman 6-$50.2M, Asante Samuel 6-$57M, Corey Webster 5-$43.5M) I don’t see it going down if at all.

There’s no way Buffalo forks that kind of money over even for a year for Greer.

As for Jason Peters, I think a new deal has to be reached or I fear we may see some of the same shenanigans we saw this past offseason.

3. I’d hate to see Jabari go but that just may happen due to circumstances… Can we use the transition tag on him? I am not really sure how that works though. I know the Steelers used the transition tag on Ike Taylor a year ago. How does that work?

CB: The transition tag is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position. For cornerbacks in 2008 that was $7.7M, still a price that I believe is too steep for the Bills to stomach for Greer despite it being more palatable than the franchise tag.

Under the transition tag a player can still sign an offer sheet with another club and the Bills would have seven days to match. But if the Bills elect not to match they would lose Greer with no compensation. That’s why most teams do not make use of it.

4. I was just wondering if you could shed some light on the draft order, I see that San Francisco and Buffalo both finished with 7-9 records and since the 49ers beat the Bills it should appear that the Bills would pick ahead of them. However, that’s not the case. Why? 
 
Thanks for your time
Eric Briel

CB: The reason why Buffalo is picking 11th and San Francisco 10th is because this past season the 49ers had a weaker strength of schedule (based on how their opponents did this season – 114-141-1) and still managed just seven wins. Buffalo’s opponents were 116-140 this season. Since the 49ers had an easier schedule and still couldn’t get more wins, they’re viewed as the weaker team even though they beat Buffalo last season and pick 10th with the Bills picking 11th.

5. Chris,
I just wanted to ask if you’ve been able to research what rounds we have draft picks in?  I can’t seem to find any information on it, other than we have the 11th overall pick.

CB: The Bills have a pick in every round for a total of seven not counting compensatory picks which will be awarded in March, though I haven’t researched at this time what the Bills might be in line for if anything. All of those picks are Buffalo’s original selections.


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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