Inside The Bills

Another NT off the market

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2010 – 6:47 pm

Nose tackles are always in high demand with so many 3-4 teams in the NFL. Even one widely considered on the downside of his career was signed less than a week into the free agent period.

Denver has reportedly signed San Diego free agent NT Jamal Williams to a three-year contract. That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who says it’s worth $16M with $7M guaranteed.

Williams is the second big addition for the Broncos defensive line in free agency today. Earlier in the day they signed 3-4 DE Jarvis Green, a Patriots free agent. They also signed former Bills DL Justin Bannan, who was a free agent of the Ravens a couple of days ago.

Even NT Jason Ferguson, who is facing an 8 game suspension re-signed with Miami.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-5

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2010 – 2:53 pm

On the opening day of free agency we get Fan Friday started back up again. My apologies for there being no Fan Friday last week. I was completely swamped with our Combine Coverage, which I hope you all found informative from a Bills and draft perspective. Here’s this week’s edition.

1 – Hi Chris, I recently heard and interview with Gailey and he said that the QBs here have more talent than some he worked with in the past. I hope this doesn’t mean he will stay with one of these guys as a starter. I think we have been using back-ups for years and they really need to get a starter to reach the play-offs again.

Do you think we can get Mcnabb in a trade for Lynch and Edwards? Maybe we can send Roscoe Parrish in to close the deal. I know I’m dreaming but…possible? If not, do you have any suggestions of legitimate starters they could get from another team or in free agency?

CB: First, I think trading for McNabb is going to be easier said than done. The latest reports out of Philadelphia are that Andy Reid doesn’t want to move him, but some in the Eagles front office do. Reid wields a lot of power in that organization.

Also while Donovan McNabb does not have a no trade clause in his contract, he does have language in his deal that makes moving him a bit more challenging.

I also believe that if Reid is convinced it’s time to turn the page at QB with his team, that after 11 years he and the Eagles will do their best to accommodate McNabb by sending him somewhere he’d like to play. That likely means a team that runs a version of the west coast offense. As for what a team would have to trade the Eagles, it would be a first-round pick. Philadelphia almost never takes players for players. They want draft picks. But I just don’t see a McNabb deal coming to fruition for Buffalo.

2 – Chris,
I’ve been seeing a lot of mock drafts that have the Bills taking Jimmy Clausen or an Offensive Tackle with the 9th overall pick. With all the uncertainty surrounding a 1st round QB or even an Offensive lineman, do you think the Bills might look to who I consider to be the “surest thing” in this draft, Rolando McClain? The guy’s a beast and would step in immediately and make an impact at Linebacker. What do you think?


CB: I think if he’s an option, he’s the third option. So if there’s a run on offensive tackles in the top 10, and there very well could be, and both of the top two QBs are gone, McClain becomes a more realistic possibility. Personally under such a scenario I think the Bills take the best pass rusher, but that’s just my opinion. Don’t have anything against McClain, but they’ve got starting talent at ILB in Poz and Mitchell. More important to address the holes.

3 – Do you think Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams at all have a chance of being drafted by Chan Gailey?
I understand we have Parrish, Johnson, and Hardy. I just think Mike Williams (Of Syracuse.) especially, being in an offense forced to throw the ball to him, time and time again when doubled, isn’t a bad option…also without a good stable quarterback and line. Immediately puts pressure on Johnson to step up. Makes Hardy maybe obsolete. All the wideouts we haven’t had in years past in later rounds, extra picks we have in the 6th and 7th…I think we’re in need to take at least one?

CB: I expect the Bills to go with a youth movement at WR meaning they see what the young guys on the roster have got. You drafted James Hardy in the second round. When are you actually going to give him a shot? It’s got to happen this year. Steve Johnson shows a lot of potential and with Josh Reed not coming back he can challenge Parrish for the slot role.

Mike Williams is a talent, but remember gaining separation and beating double teams in college is a much different animal in the pros. I don’t see Buffalo drafting a wide receiver until late in the draft at best.
4 – In your opinion, what teams would be interested in trading up to pick 9?
Pete Howell

CB: I don’t see any team trading into the top 10 unless one of the top DTs slips past five (won’t happen) or Bradford slips past five (won’t happen – unless his arm falls off). Knowing this is likely the last year that mega-contracts with huge bonuses are likely to be handed out to rookies, (new CBA will likely have rookie wage scale) no team wants any part of trading up into that territory this year.

There might be a move or two within the top 10, but I can’t see a team in the bottom half trying to leap up there. Believe the chances are very, very remote.
5 – Hi Chris,
I know you’re probably very busy this time of year but I was wondering what you think about the Bills acquiring Jamal Williams or Shaun Rogers, who is rumored to be on the block? I also have heard Kevin Mawae’s name linked to the Bills, which got me wondering which free agent offensive lineman you think the Bills may pursue in free agency? Thanks Chris, keep up the good work.
-Mark- Buffalo, NY

CB: First, I’m hearing that the Chargers are trying to re-sign Williams. They only released him to sign him at a cheaper price. He’s on the downside of his career, but could serve at the very least as a good stop gap for a year or so. The Shaun Rogers rumors are new to me. Don’t see Mawae coming to Buffalo. Just signed Hangartner long term last offseason, though I wouldn’t rule out the team adding interior line depth after not  tendering RFA Richie Incognito. As far as names I believe they’ll be of the second tier variety.

Most of the higher end linemen were restricted free agents that were tendered at a level that is too rich (in terms of draft picks) to pursue.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chargers make RFA talent available

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2010 – 4:38 pm

The San Diego Chargers have tendered RB Darren Sproles along with their other top talent like Merriman, Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd and Marcus McNeill. But they’ve also left some RFAs untendered that could draw interest.

Here’s the word from the Chargers PR man Scott Johnston

ChargersPRguy    Chargers release 12-year vet DT Jamal Williams & RB Michael Bennett. Team maintains rights to 43, 56, 73, 80, 83, with contract tenders.

First, and most important the Chargers cut NT Jamal Williams, who after 12 seasons is on the back side of his career, but could serve a stop gap role for a team in need of filling a hole in the middle of a 3-4 defense. Fellow nose tackles Alfonso Boone and Ian Scott, also of the Chargers are set to become unrestricted free agents.

The RFAs that were not tendered by the Chargers include QB Charlie Whitehurst, a former third-round pick out of Clemson. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s considered an option for the fourth QB on the roster by Buffalo, knowing Bills GM Buddy Nix has intimate knowledge of Whitehurst’s game and skill set.

Some other DTs like Antonio Garay, who is more of a 4-3 DT and DE Travis Johnson, the former first-round pick of the Houston Texans (2005) were not tendered as RFAs. Strong side LB Marques Harris, a former undrafted free agent is also now unrestricted. Veteran center Eric Ghiaciuc, who replaced the injured Nick Hardwick last year will also become unrestricted after not getting a qualifying offer from San Diego.  And right tackle Jeromy Clary, who finished last season on I-R is now unrestricted.

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Posted in Inside the Bills