Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 8-4

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2017 – 11:15 am

We’re less than a week away from the first preseason game. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Bruce Ellington was just released by Niners. Any chance we pick him up or kick tires in him?

Jose Torres
@Sweetcubanito

CB: I don’t think you can rule anything out when it comes to GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott’s diligence in re-shaping and upgrading this roster. If they think there is even the slightest chance that a player like Ellington can upgrade their roster they’ll bring him in for a workout. And that could lead to a signing.

Ellington is on the smallish side at 5-9 and 197 pounds. A lot of writers out in San Francisco were expecting him to have a breakout season in 2016, but he tore his hamstring in the preseason and it cost him the entire season.

If the Bills have an interest there will be an extensive physical performed with that hamstring a major focus.

I did have the opportunity to watch a lot of Ellington in college at South Carolina, and he was a clutch player for the Gamecocks. I still remember his six-catch, 140-yard and two touchdown performance in the bowl game against Wisconsin in 2012.

The game of a successful college receiver doesn’t always translate to the NFL, but it’d be interesting to see what Ellington could offer. When you’re his size you have to be an exceptional athlete and Ellington is. He runs in the mid-4.4s, has almost a 40-inch vertical and has excellent change of direction skills.

He’s just 25-years old. So I’d be in favor of working him out and seeing how he looks. If he’s better than anyone I’ve got on the roster now why not take a look?

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Heard possible rumors of Bills trading Reggie Ragland. Also he hasn’t had that great of a camp so far. What’s the scoop with RR?

Beast of the East
@Luther4212

CB: This is obviously always subject to change, but as of Thursday I have it on good authority that not one call had been placed to the Bills inquiring about Reggie Ragland.

I think people have to realize that Ragland is coming off a major injury. No one has seen him on game film in two years. Why another NFL club would have interest in a player on which there is no game film since an ACL injury and who has no NFL experience is curious to me.

NFL personnel people usually want concrete evidence that a player is fully recovered and capable before they’re willing to part with any assets of their own.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Lots of talk about Streater in WR competition. Haven’t heard much on Holmes how’s he look? #bills

Fitz
@afitz54

 

CB: Streater, as we’ve covered in our Top 3 things to know at Bills Camp reports has had a strong first week. He’s been as involved in the passing game as any other receiver on the roster. That means two things, first, he’s getting consistent separation from defenders and the quarterbacks trust him.

Unfortunately Andre Holmes has not made plays through the first week when they’ve been there for him. He had a defender beat on a deep post and Taylor put the ball right over his shoulder and he couldn’t complete the play, which would’ve gone for a touchdown. There have been a couple of other plays he didn’t finish through the course of the first week.

There’s a lot of time left between now and the start of the regular season. They haven’t even played a preseason game yet and that’s where players can really help their case, but Holmes has to start making some plays in practice and carry it into the preseason games.

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How many running backs and full backs will the Bills keep?

Greg Alongi
@galongi

CB: This is going to be a tricky one. My belief is they’ll keep five.

I think the locks right now are McCoy, J. Williams, DiMarco and Tolbert. Tolbert might be a 10-year vet, but the guy can still get to the corner when carrying the ball and should have a role as a short yardage and goal line back. He’s also better as a receiver out of the backfield than I initially thought.

So Joe Banyard, Taiwan Jones, Cedric O’Neal and Jordan Johnson will essentially be fighting for one roster spot as I see it. And special teams will have a hand in determining who it is.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who will be the nickel cornerback in your opinion, and will Rambo move up the depth chart at safety?

zak Mendoza
@Zdozer

CB: It’s only a week of practice at camp so far, but Kevon Seymour may be making a move at nickel corner. He was sprinkled in for some first team nickel reps in the slot on Thursday, and Leonard Johnson got most of those through the course of the first week.

We’ll see if they continue to alternate first team nickel reps at Friday evening’s practice and over the weekend on Sunday. Right now it’s too close a race to call and again preseason game performance will have a lot to say about who winds up landing that role.

As for Rambo, he’s been rotating in with the second team at safety the last couple of days, but that’s been mainly due to the fact that Shamiel Gary has moved up to first team with Micah Hyde held out with his sore hip.

Rambo has to be assignment sound to convince the defensive staff that he can be trusted out there knowing he’s new to the system. This defense needs a player with his experience, so if he can be sharp on the field, he’ll wind up one of the backup safeties behind Hyde and Poyer. Again preseason game performance will be key.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

TE Barnidge to work out for Jags

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2017 – 6:48 am

He’s been using his time waiting for what he feels could be an opportunity to start. Free agent TE Gary Barnidge apparently sees the Jacksonville Jaguars as a team where potentially starting is realistic. That’s why he’s working out for the Jags today. 

That according to First Coast News. Barnidge, who made a free agent visit with the Bills back in May, has been holding out for an opportunity to step into a starting role. 

That wouldn’t be the case in Buffalo with Charles Clay as the entrenched starter. But in Jacksonville after Julius Thomas was traded to Miami there is just a collection of largely unproven tight ends and an aging Marcedes Lewis on their roster. 

Barnidge won’t sign for peanuts so it will be interesting to see what the Jags are willing to commit to the veteran tight end after their busy offseason of free agent spending. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott weighs in on Maclin

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2017 – 3:49 pm

Bills head coach Sean McDermott was already onto the next item on his agenda.

Jeremy Maclin’s decision to sign with Baltimore wasn’t the move they hoped the receiver would take, but McDermott doesn’t dwell on such things.

“We went through the process, with Jeremy in this case, just like we go through the process with a lot of guys,” said McDermott. “At the end of the day, we’re going to do what’s best for this football team and so – within our parameters and what fits for us. Sometimes, that works out in the end. Sometimes it doesn’t. At the end of the day, we’ve moved forward and then, obviously, Jeremy has as well – and we wish him well. In this league, you can’t get too high or too low. You’ve got to be mentally tough and understand the big picture at all times.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-8

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2017 – 11:36 am

OTAs come to a conclusion today with mandatory minicamp to follow on Tuesday. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is the latest update on Jeremy Maclin? What percentage would you say Bills have of signing him?

Beast of the East
@Luther4212

CB: Maclin is going to take his time to make a decision in what appears to be a two-horse race between the Bills and Ravens. He wants to talk to his wife about where the best fit might be. Maclin has a wedding to go to this weekend, so I don’t get the sense that a decision is imminent.

Looking at both clubs, nationally people believe that the Ravens history of being a contender gives them an edge, but over the last three years the Ravens record is 23-25 and the Bills record is 24-24. You could certainly argue that there are more playmakers on offense in Buffalo than Baltimore.

As for percentages, I base this on gut feel, not any information I have on what Jeremy Maclin wants because only he knows what’s important to him. I just think what the Bills have to offer in terms of opportunity and team success with him as an addition is a bit better than the Ravens.

With that in mind I’d peg it at 60 percent.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How does Sammy look? Hopefully he has a healthy season.

Brandon Gallagher
@bgallagher2610

CB: Watkins is clearly not pushing himself right now. He was operating at half to three quarter speed in practice this week. At this point in time there’s no sense in really putting a lot of torque on his surgically repaired foot.

What did encourage me was whenever Sammy was lined up for a rep, Tyrod Taylor made sure to step under center to throw to him in individual position drills even if he wasn’t up in the quarterback throwing rotation. Knowing snaps are scarce with Watkins, Taylor is making a point of getting every one he can to re-establish their chemistry.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who is the sleeper UDFA that could make the team?

I Just Want To WIN@JKolba

CB: It’s still not real football here in the spring with no pads on and no thud type practice. All that being said I think punter Austin Rehkow will push Colton Schmidt for the punting job and is helped by the fact that he can also kick off and kick field goals in a pinch.

One of the tight end prospects (Jason Croom, Keith Towbridge) could have a chance just from a numbers standpoint and the lack of proven players at the position.

RB Jordan Johnson has flashed at times, but doesn’t get many snaps in practice. Brandon Reilly and Daikiel Shorts have both made plays too, but when the pads go on they’ll have to demonstrate an ability to get consistent separation when the corners can get more physical.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are the Bills taking a win now or long term approach?

Jackson Mitchell
@Jacksonmitch816

CB: As head coach Sean McDermott said himself their decisions are split 50-50 between short term and long term. It’s evident to me that McDermott wants to be competitive and win games now, but there is an organizational eye also cast toward the future.

So I think you’ll see a mix of roster decisions to serve both of those ends moving forward.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see the Bills making a play for Barnidge even if they sign Maclin? What about Decker if they miss on Maclin? #FanFriday

GJohnston
@Johnston_GB

CB: I think that could only happen if Barnidge took a veteran minimum deal, and that’s one reason why he’s still unemployed. He’s waiting on starter type money. I would anticipate Decker to do the same. His situation is a bit different because he’s coming off shoulder surgery, but still he’s going to command starter type salary and I don’t think the Bills can fit more than one of those onto their roster in a fiscally responsible way knowing Sammy Watkins is going to be a long term contract decision next offseason.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Maclin leaves Ravens visit without a deal

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2017 – 2:53 pm

Free agent WR Jeremy Maclin has finished his visit with the Baltimore Ravens and left without a contract. The news isn’t all that unexpected.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec is reporting that Maclin’s visit has wrapped up with the Ravens and there was no contract.

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As suspected Maclin is going to take his time make a decision. As the most talented receiver on the market right now there is no incentive to rush into a signing.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ravens have bigger cap challenge in bid for Maclin

Posted by Chris Brown on June 7, 2017 – 8:53 am

On the heels of free agent Jeremy Maclin’s  visit with the Bills Tuesday are reports of a scheduled Wednesday visit with the Ravens. 

The attraction for a free agent receiver with the Ravens is the prospect of being Joe Flacco’s top target. Breshad Perriman hasn’t established himself as a consistent threat early in his career and Mike Wallace is a one dimensional receiver. Maclin could be a true number one there. 

The problem for the Ravens is they wouldn’t be able to pay him like a number one unless they released a player with a big salary on their roster. 

Baltimore has just $3.6M of space under the cap per overthecap.con calculations. Buffalo has $9M more in space ($12.6M). 

That could largely impact Maclin’s decision unless he’s satisfied with taking a one-year deal in the hopes of putting up big production and cash in next year in free agency when 32 clubs can bid for his services instead of just a few. 

If he’s looking for more than a one-year commitment from a club that could also change who has the edge in landing him. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Maclin to visit Bills Tuesday

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2017 – 6:33 am

The interest in free agent WR Jeremy Maclin could gain some traction today for the Bills organization. The club will reportedly meet with the receiver on Tuesday.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

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Though the Ravens may be interested their cap situation is extremely tight with only about $2M in cap space currently available. Buffalo has almost $13M in cap space at this time.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Free agent TE Barnidge doesn’t want to settle

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2017 – 11:03 am

Free agent TE Gary Barnidge, who made a free agent visit to the Bills last month, is still waiting for the right fit. He’s received interest from Carolina, Denver and Jacksonville too, but it’s clear that none of these teams are ready to hand him a starting job. If they did he’d be under contract by now. But Barnidge doesn’t want to settle for just a roster spot.

In an interview with Patriots.com, he was adamant that he believes he can still contribute in a big way to an NFL offense in the passing game. He’s only two years removed from a 1,000-yard receiving season that included nine touchdowns and a Pro Bowl nod. Barnidge is 31-years old, but his time on the field early in his career was limited.

“My first seven years in the league, I didn’t play that much, so my legs are good to go,” he told Patriots.com. “I’ve still got good years left.”

Eric Wood, who knows Barnidge well, did his best to recruit Barnidge along with Richie Incognito, as they hung out at the Kentucky Derby shortly after his free agent visit to One Bills Drive. But in Buffalo it’s obvious that Charles Clay is the top tight end. Barnidge would likely be second on the depth chart, and with a strong workload anticipated in the passing game for Pro Bowl FB Pat DiMarco, opportunities in the Bills passing attack could be limited.

The situation might not be much better in Jacksonville (Marcedes Lewis, Mychal Rivera) or Carolina (Greg Olsen). And while Denver might present the best opportunity at his position, their quarterback situation is very unsettled knowing a competition is set to ensue. Barnidge already dealt with that last year in Cleveland.

“I’ve got to just sit and wait,” Barnidge said. “Wherever I can get an opportunity and contribute, that’s been the motto of my career. I didn’t expect to, but I’m waiting again to show what I can do.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Streater’s physical gifts are there

Posted by Chris Brown on May 24, 2017 – 10:22 am

It’s puzzling to see the lack of opportunity for Bills new WR Rod Streater through the course of his NFL career. He didn’t get much attention coming out of Temple because his production was far from eye popping. What was eyebrow raising however, were his workout figures for a player his size (6-3, 215).

At his pro day in advance of the 2012 NFL draft, Streater clocked a 4.37 40-time, a 37.5-inch vertical, and an 11-foot two-inch broad jump.

Part of the reason his production suffered in college was because at that time Temple was a heavy run team. Where it benefited Streater was in terms of blocking, an area where the receiver excelled. Knowing Buffalo’s run game relies on its receivers to block downfield, Streater’s blocking skills could be the difference in making the roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills could have competition for Barnidge

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2017 – 8:26 am

The Bills hosted free agent TE Gary Barnidge on Wednesday, but there could be competition for the veteran tight end.

NFL Network’s Mike Garofalo is reporting that two other NFL clubs have interest in Barnidge as well.

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The Panthers have a history with Barnidge, since he spent the first four years of his career in Carolina. The Jaguars are a bit tight end needy after trading Julius Thomas to Miami, though they did sign Oakland free agent Mychal Rivera.


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Patriots extend Gillislee offer sheet

Posted by Chris Brown on April 18, 2017 – 2:00 pm

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport the New England Patriots have extended Bills restricted free agent RB Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet.

Per Rapoport it’s a two-year deal worth $6.4M.

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The Bills now have five days to match the offer to keep Gillislee in Buffalo. If they choose not to match the offer the Bills would be compensated with New England’s fifth-round pick.

Buffalo tendered Gillislee with an original round tender last month. Gillislee rushed for 577 yards on 101 carries to average 5.7 yards per rush and was second on the team among non-kickers in scoring behind LeSean McCoy with nine total touchdowns.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Factors in decision on Groy

Posted by Chris Brown on March 15, 2017 – 8:01 am

The L.A. Rams offer sheet to Ryan Groy was signed by the restricted free agent Tuesday. The reported terms are two years, $5M with a reported $3.5M guaranteed. It will be interesting to see the Bills course of action. Here are some factors that could impact the decision to match or not to match.

Buffalo recently tried to lure free agent OT Andre Smith to sign with them, but he has chosen to re-sign with the club that drafted him, Cincinnati. Do the anticipated dollars devoted to a hopeful Smith signing now get partially allocated to match the offer sheet signed by Groy?

Groy is a versatile asset for an offensive line. He can play center, guard or even tackle in a pinch. He proved himself more than capable in the final seven starts at center last season.

Perhaps even more important, Eric Wood is entering the final year of his contract and will be a free agent following the 2017 season. Wood is only 30-years old and can certainly play a few more years, but Groy is a fairly sizable investment decision that must be made by the club.

Buffalo does have a backup center in Patrick Lewis, but he’s strictly a center as most with a trained eye see him. 

We’ll know in a few days.


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For Ducasse Bills top run game was attractive

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2017 – 3:04 pm

There were some clear factors that convinced Bills new guard Vladimir Ducasse that Buffalo was the place to sign in free agency. One that had him most enthused was the Bills top ranked rushing attack.

“That got me excited,” Ducasse said. “A guy like me, my strength is the running game. On the offensive line in the NFL you have to pass block too, but my strength is the run game. So seeing this and the great running backs they have and a good quarterback it got me excited to come here. Those guys mean business they’re running the ball and when you can run the ball a lot of good things can happen.”

Ducasse admitted that he and his Baltimore teammates last season watched a lot of Buffalo game tape because they ran the ball so well.


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Lorenzo on why Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2017 – 4:17 pm

Bills free agent LB Lorenzo Alexander made a point of sharing his desire to be back in Buffalo. On Saturday he agreed to terms with the Bills and explained why he wanted to return to Buffalo. 

“At this point in my career I definitely want to be settled in one spot and Buffalo being the great football city that it is, obviously the fan base and the whole community embraced me last year, I definitely wanted to come back here, said Alexander. “I really appreciated the Pegulas, Doug Whaley and Sean McDermott expressing their feelings about me as a player on and off the field. Anytime you have a relationship that you do like that, you definitely want to come back and finish it off. 

“From my understanding, I’m 34 and it’s definitely a blessing to be able to continue to play at this age, still be in the NFL, and I’m just excited to get back with my teammates. I was actually joking with Kyle Williams that, technically, he’s still the oldest player until I sign the deal. But just being around guys like that and having a good time as I finish out, I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can bring the city a playoff team and hopefully be able to play for a championship.”

Alexander was a valuable part of the leadership contingent in Buffalo’s locker room last year. Head coach Sean McDermott has made a point of retaining or bringing in leaders in his first year with the Bills. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-10

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2017 – 11:06 am

Free agency is up and running! Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think that the signing of Micah Hyde rules out a Safety in the first round of this year’s draft?

Chris Devaney
@cdevaney

CB: While that would seem logical I don’t know that you can make that conclusion knowing the draft approach of the Bills under GM Doug Whaley. They typically go with the best player on the board having seen them operate the last few years in the draft room. So I don’t think it precludes them from taking a safety in round one if the value is right.

That being said, if they have grades on two players who are really close and one is a safety and the other is a corner or receiver then they’d likely go with the greater positional need.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills with the departure of Lynn and Roman why do the #Bills still continue to throw free agent $$ at the FB position?

Ryan Coyle
@rcoyle76

CB: I’m going to let coach McDermott handle this one since he answered it directly at his press conference Thursday evening.

“Fullback is a big part of this offense, and let’s say this: it’s not limited to playing the fullback position,” said McDermott. “There’s versatility within that position, and what Mike brings to the table – as you mentioned, Mike Tolbert. I had the chance to be around Mike for a number of years in Carolina and I know what he brings to the table in terms of leadership, intangibles again, and what happens in that locker room on Monday through Saturday.

“So that’s a big part of it, and then Mike’s versatility on the field with the ability to play fullback, line up at fullback and then also transition to the halfback position and carry the football, and he’s done that extremely well. I had a front-row seat to observe what Mike’s skill set is, both on and off the field, and that was key for us. You’re talking about a guy that’s been to a Pro Bowl, and that’s really no different to [Patrick] DiMarco, in this case.”

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you see the #bills signing more big name free agents? If so, at what position?

Dale Griswold
@dale_griswold

CB: I don’t necessarily expect big household type names. Their cap situation is getting a bit tight. But I do see them trying to fill a few more positional holes on the roster. It wouldn’t surprise me if receiver or offensive tackle were on the list after incurring some losses at receiver and some uncertainty at tackle (Mills a free agent, Henderson-health).

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills How do you think the Bills are going to adress the WR position? They lost talent there the past two offseasons and it hasn’t been replaced.

Ben
@bufbillsthought

CB: As briefly mentioned above I expect the Bills to address the receiver position in some form in free agency, likely with a player they can sign to a fiscally responsible contract (one that doesn’t cripple their cap situation). And I would anticipate them trying to grab another in the draft.

The numbers situation there demands some attention with two free agent losses already (Woods, Goodwin).

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Groy a realistic option for Right Tackle? #bills

Bill Carr
@billcarr_10

CB: Donald Jones and I discussed this very topic when I was on the John Murphy Show Thursday. I think we first need to see what additions are made if any at the offensive tackle position in free agency or the draft before we can gauge just what kind of option he would be on the edge.

From a skill standpoint I think he certainly has the size (6-5, 320) and ability to play on the edge. He’s lined up there at times in a pinch. Sometimes it was as an overload tackle in run formations. We all know he can play guard or center. Whether Groy can play right tackle full time for 16 games is a question really only OL coach Juan Castillo and the offensive staff can answer knowing this offense is going to change.

I think Groy really came a long way as a player last season and he impressed me in his last seven games at center. But I think we need to let the dust settle in free agency and see what the Bills acquire before we pencil him in for edge duty.

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Long term deal w/Gillislee the goal

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2017 – 11:08 am

The representatives for Bills restricted free agent RB Mike Gillislee have reportedly opened talks with the Bills to get a long term agreement done.

That according to DraftAnalyst.com’s Tony Pauline, who reported the following.

The Buffalo Bills are meeting with representatives for running back Mike Gillislee, and both sides hope to hammer out a long-term extension. I’m told the ball carrier, who finished with 577 yards and eight touchdowns last season, is hopeful he can play in Buffalo the rest of his career.

A long term deal makes sense for both sides. It gives Gillislee more job security than a one-year restricted tender would. If structured properly a long-term deal could offer more cap friendly figures not only this year, but in future years depending on the length of the contract.

Gillislee proved himself as a capable backup to LeSean McCoy last season and earned the moniker ‘Touchdown Mike’ as he had a nose for the end zone.

To this point the Bills have not extended qualifying tender offers to any of their restricted free agents, which includes OL Ryan Groy and P Colton Schmidt. It would not be surprising if the Bills tried to reach a long term deal with Groy as well. He played admirably in Eric Wood’s absence over the final seven games last year.


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Report: Bears to take a run at Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2017 – 6:59 pm

A day after Bills head coach Sean McDermott indicated that Stephon Gilmore would reach the free agent market, there’s a report that the Chicago Bears will be loading up to try to get him under contract when the market opens March 9th.

That according to the Chicago Tribune. With more than $50 million in cap space the Bears are expected to be aggressive early players in the market. Whether they can meet Gilmore’s asking price, which is expected to be around $15M a year, remains to be seen.

The Bills said they would monitor Gilmore’s situation as he hit the market. Other clubs can begin negotiating with the agent for prospective free agents on Tuesday March 7th, but deals cannot be consummated until March 9th.

Chicago is also said to be targeting Tampa Bay free agent Mike Glennon as an answer at quarterback.


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Rams WR Britt to hit free agent market

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2017 – 2:34 pm

The L.A. Rams have free agent decisions to make on their roster just like every other NFL team. One of the key free agents on their roster is WR Kenny Britt, who posted his first career 1,000-yard season in 2016 despite being in a poor passing attack. On Thursday, Rams GM Les Snead confirmed that Britt will not be re-signed before the free agent market opens on March 9th.

“Kenny should fit in any offense, but we do expect him to test free agency,” said Snead. “And I do know that we’re 32 in offense and we do need to improve. So we’re going through that right now in, hey, what type of skill does (head coach) Sean (McVay) need to get us better than 32.”

We listed Britt as a potential free agent fit for the Bills in an early look at free agency.


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Fan Friday 2-24

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2017 – 11:32 am

The NFL Combine commences next week. We’ll have full coverage here on Buffalobills.com from Indy. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – How does the Bills present personnel stack up for going back to a 4-3 defense?  Presumably Dareus and Kyle Williams would be the tackles, but are the other defensive linemen currently on the roster suitable to play end in a 4-3, and how do the current linebackers fit such a scheme?

Duane Tananbaum

CB: It’s my contention that the personnel is better suited to a 4-3 defensive front, especially the defensive linemen. Dareus and Kyle will be given the opportunity to get up the field and penetrate. Shaq Lawson said he prefers a 4-3 scheme since that’s what he played in at Clemson. Jerry Hughes has had his most productive seasons as a Bills player in a 4-3 scheme.


2 –
Dear Chris:

With the hiring of Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator, do you think we’ll be running his defense or McDermott’s with Frazier calling the plays? I know both are DCs and don’t want “to many cooks in the kitchen” again like last year. Also do you know if Kyle Williams likes these guys enough to comeback.

John S.

CB: I think one of the main reasons that Leslie Frazier was so attractive to McDermott as a candidate is because there is a good amount of carry over between the two schemes they’ve employed over the years. It’s my belief that it will be more of McDermott’s approach that will be implemented in Buffalo.

And as far as too many cooks in the kitchen, that won’t be an issue. McDermott is extremely thorough and any and all duties and responsibilities will be clearly spelled out for everyone on the staff.

Kyle had positive comments on McDermott after he spoke with him a couple of times by phone. Hopefully it’s enough to convince to keep playing.

3 – Chris,

If Aaron Williams can’t make it back next season and decides to retire, will the Bills see any kind of cap relief from his contract?

Thanks,
Tom

CB: He’d be a cap savings of just over $1.7M if he retired. That wouldn’t be much on a projected cap of $168.1M.

 

4 – CB
Besides QB, there are few positions groups lacking depth or set to be free agents. How do you think the team will address CB, S, right tackle, OLB, and WR. Gilmore, Woods and possibly Zach Brown will command money and I’m not sure they can be retained.

It seems a large task for Whaley to fill positions with so many free agents. The Bills will have to spend money to retain players. Which positions will be filled during the draft or free agency. How aggressive will they be during free agency to find players that fit the new coaches’ scheme?

Josh P.

CB: I think as they have done in years past they’ll be fiscally prudent in signing free agents. They’ll stay away from the high-priced players that are in high demand and focus on the tier two type players that are more affordable and offer better value.

I put together a list of potential free agent fits last week.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills As much as I LOVE the top 10 talent in the draft, should we trade down to get more picks?

Love your insight, Thanks!

Charlee DeGeorge
@CharleeDegeorge

CB: Thanks for the kind words. I’d be in favor of trading back and collecting more picks. The Bills did a good job of that in 2013 when they traded back in round one and got Kiko Alonso out of the deal in round two. I think the likelihood of that happening will hinge on how the picks fall in front of Buffalo at 10, not only in terms of the prospects the Bills like who may or may not be there, but for other NFL teams with a prospect in mind looking to get up to 10.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Alexander camp sets wide contract parameters

Posted by Chris Brown on February 15, 2017 – 10:44 am

Bills free agent Lorenzo Alexander has said more than once that he’d like to be back in Buffalo next season, but understands in the NFL there are no guarantees. He also believes he’s proven over his career that he’s versatile and can fit any defensive system, knowing that Buffalo’s defensive scheme is expected to change… again. His agent also set the contract parameters in terms of annual salary.

Alexander’s agent Peter Schaffer told CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora that he’s anticipating a wide range following Alexander’s Pro Bowl season with Buffalo.

LaCanfora quoted Alexander’s agent as saying that he expects the veteran linebacker to land “between $5 million and $10 million per year” on a short-term free agent deal.

He explained that the very wide range is due to the unique circumstance that Alexander’s age (33) and production (12.5) present.

Whether the Bills have a contract offer in mind that falls somewhere within that average annual range remains to be seen.


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Posted in Inside the Bills