Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 2-16

Posted by Chris Brown on February 16, 2018 – 11:33 am

Lets’ get right to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,

Many thanks for all the updates and info this past season. With all the focus on the upcoming draft is there any chance the Bills look to keep Tyrod with a new OC whose scheme may better fit Tyrod’s skill set? Then look to fill holes with all the draft picks they have acquired and/or hope one of the non-top 5 QB’s are still there at 21/22? I realize it is early in the process as GM Beane noted and a lot could change.

Thank you.
Bryon
Plattsburgh, NY

 

CB: You’re right that a lot can change between now and the week after the NFL draft. That being said, I think there is a real possibility that Tyrod Taylor remains the starter. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the quarterback position in terms of what could be available in free agency and who is affordable in a way that doesn’t cripple a team’s cap situation.

As for new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, he certainly comes in with very recent experience working with a mobile quarterback in Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.

I’m sure there will be a lot of conversations among the offensive staff this offseason as to what, and with whom, their best approach would be to move the offense forward. The passing game was frankly substandard last season. Can Daboll help to improve it with Taylor in the lineup?

That’s the big question.

The next question is what other quarterback talent can the Bills realistically acquire in terms of price tag and/or draft capital.

There may not be defined answers on the draft capital question until a week or two before the draft. And with more demand than supply concerning free agent QBs, the price to acquire one is going up and some teams are likely going to overpay.

I get the sense that Bills GM Brandon Beane isn’t big on overpaying, even at QB.

 


2 –
Hi Chris,

Do you think the Bills will draft another wide receiver? Or do you believe that Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones, Deonte Thompson, and Brandon Tate are sufficient?

Your thoughts,
Tony Falzone
Daytona Beach, FL

CB: Perhaps the most important factor about your question is 60 percent of the players you mentioned are impending free agents. Matthews, Thompson and Tate all have expiring contracts come March.

It’s hard to know what each of those players is thinking, although I do know that Thompson enjoyed playing in Buffalo this past year having spoken with him.

Matthews needs a high-volume passing attack to maximize his value. Over the last three years the Bills are dead last in the league in pass attempts at just over 29 per game. Unless there’s a dramatic shift planned by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, or a significant change at QB, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan Matthews looks elsewhere.

Let’s not forget too that he’s coming off a pair of offseason surgeries, so he may have to sign a one-year prove it deal, and that would only increase his need to find a high-volume passing attack.

Thompson and Tate should be affordable options to bring back to the fold. Hopefully a full offseason helps Kelvin Benjamin blend into the passing game more effectively and Zay Jones takes a big step in season two of his career.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What position do you see the Bills making their biggest-dollar signing at in free agency, presuming they look to make another Micah Hyde-level signing?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I don’t get the overwhelming sense that the Bills will be big spenders in free agency. GM Brandon Beane has made it clear he is still trying to get the Bills cap in a more flexible position and sees free agency as a means to set themselves up for the draft.

To me that means filling some positional holes with value-based signings, not big splash type moves.

If there were to be a signing the level of Micah Hyde this offseason I think it would be at linebacker, defensive tackle or cornerback. And to be clear, not all three, but rather at one of those three positions. That is where they are short on numbers when it comes to starting-caliber players.

It’s reasonable to believe Beane would like to have a starting-caliber player plugged in at one of those positions prior to the draft at the very least.

 

4@ChrisBrownBills

There are numerous reports out there that the Bills have been scouting Josh Rosen extensively, do you think the Bills perceived high interest in him is smoke and mirrors, or will do what’s necessary to go get him?

Michael McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: To be truthful I’d be disappointed if the Bills didn’t scout Josh Rosen and every other top quarterback prospect extensively. Buffalo’s scouting department wouldn’t be doing their level best if they didn’t scout each QB prospect extensively. It’s par for the course.

To what lengths would the Bills go to land Rosen, or any other QB prospect that may be at the top of their board?

That’s tough to peg, only because I believe it will largely depend on how the top of the board unfolds.

I don’t see the Bills paying a king’s ransom to get to the top of the board. There are just too many other holes for the team to address. Solving the quarterback position for the long term is perhaps the most important hole to fill, but a dozen other teams are looking to do the same thing.

That drives up the cost of doing business to accomplish that.

I think GM Brandon Beane feels out the market both in free agency and the draft and then makes a judgment call on whether it’s worth paying the price to address the QB position in a way that would satisfy him and head coach Sean McDermott.

I realize that’s probably not a pinpoint answer, but it’s the best I can do at this point.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any chance the Bills draft a 1st round QB AND seek a big name free agent like a Foles, Cousins, or Bridgewater?

Jason Carroll
@jasonlikesfun

CB: I would be surprised if they did both.

The reason why is, if you’re drafting a QB in round one, you’re pretty convinced he’s your long-term answer at the position going forward. If he’s not then you shouldn’t be drafting him in round one.

The thought process is much the same with the free agent QBs you mentioned. If you’re going to land a free agent like Cousins or Bridgewater (provided he’s ruled a free agent – NFL Management Council has to determine this) you’re going to be either be paying franchise QB type money or parting with assets for Foles (who is under contract) that indicates you believe him to be franchise caliber.

If you’re willing to do that in free agency I think you’re committing to that player long term at the position. So drafting a QB in round one as well seems counterintuitive, especially when there are plenty of other positional holes to be filled on the roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-9

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2018 – 11:44 am

The 2018 offseason is in full swing now with the Super Bowl behind us. Lets’ get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
IMO their biggest hole, besides QB is at LB. Do you feel they will address this in FA or the draft? I believe we need a experienced MLB.

Tim Feathers
@tbill538

CB: Linebacker is unquestionably a hole because of who they could potentially lose to free agency. Preston Brown and Ramon Humber are both free agents. That’s two starting caliber players. Obviously, they could re-sign one or both, but it will be interesting to see if Brown wants to test the market, knowing a player’s second contract is usually the big money one.

Also the Bills would undoubtedly like to get faster at the linebacker position. I believe the team’s decision on Brown will ultimately determine their course of action at linebacker. If he’s back I see them supplementing the position primarily with the draft. If not, it’s likely to be a mix of free agency and the draft.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Bills look to replace Brian Gaine? I really liked their front office acquisitions last off-season and hope they try and maintain multiple quality personnel and GM types
BC72
@bchud1972

CB: I think that’s to be determined. With Lake Dawson also up for the Panthers GM job, Buffalo could lose two members of their scouting department. I think when GM Brandon Beane knows whether Dawson is back or not he’ll then assess the duties of those men and decide if they need to replace either by promoting from within and hiring from the outside.

You are right though, Beane assembled a heck of a staff in year one, and the pursuit of some of his hires is a strong validation of that.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With the money that Smith and Jimmy G got, so the Bills a) pickup TT option and draft a guy to sit behind him for a year similar to Smith or b) pickup his option and trade him as it would still, at $18 million, be cheaper than signing some of the higher end FA right now?

Ryan Cox
@RyanACox34

CB: Getting Tyrod to renegotiate his deal last offseason was an astute move by the Bills. Though some still see the $18M cap hit as tough to swallow, it’s a very reasonable deal. And the chance of them going another season with Tyrod at QB while drafting a QB to groom is possible.

It’s hard to predict which way it will turn, knowing there will be quarterback options in free agency, potentially by trade if the Eagles are willing to listen to offers for Nick Foles and in the draft.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Would you personally trade the #Bills’ 21, 22, and RD3 to Denver for the fifth-overall pick if Rosen and Darnold are off the board?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: I personally wouldn’t. I think those two are by far the top two QB prospects from all the scouting people I’ve talked to around the league over the last few months. Unless you feel players like Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph are right there with them and still on the board I don’t make that deal.

I think you only give that draft capital up for one of the best QBs in the draft, not QB three or four, especially since I feel there is a drop off that’s more sizable than pick 2 to pick 5.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
What are the chances they re-sign Gaines?

Zach Kozoduj
@koz9130

CB: I think there’s a legitimate chance they’ll make an effort to re-sign him. It all depends on the supply and demand in free agency. The market will have some decent talent available if players don’t re-sign with their current clubs (e.g. Malcolm Butler, Rashaan Melvin, Trumaine Johnson), but I don’t think the Bills want to pay giant money.

Gaines durability issues (he’s missed 26 games over last 3 seasons) figure to make him a more affordable option, plus he’s just 26-years old. So his affordability makes him a realistic re-sign candidate. The only thing that changes that is if they can find a more durable player without having to pay significantly more.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kirk Cousins talks opportunity, landing spots

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2018 – 3:53 pm

Washington QB Kirk Cousins believes he will be hitting the free agent market come mid-March after his team acquired QB Alex Smith from Kansas City via trade (trade won’t be official until March). Cousins was on Sirius XM NFL Radio at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis today and is intrigued by the opportunity to hit the free agent market.

“It was a surprise. I was working out in my hotel room in Minneapolis and after I finished my workout I had a ton of text messages and saw the news. It came as a surprise. I hadn’t heard anything,” said Cousins of the Alex Smith trade. “In this league and my story I’ve learned that curve balls come all the time.

“I expect to be a free agent come March 14th. We’ll see how that plays out, if it does it’s a unique opportunity I look forward to. I haven’t had a chance to choose where I play since 2007 when I chose to go to Michigan State so I’m looking forward to that opportunity.”

With respect to what he might be looking for in a new team, Cousins offered the following.

“I think it’s a pretty short checklist. At the end of the day I want to win. That’s the plan,” he said. “There are a lot of variables that decide do we think we can win, but that will ultimately what makes the decision.”

Cousins appeared to keep his options open as he referenced the sudden turnaround in Jacksonville as an example of how any team can suddenly become a winner. He seems to be indicating that he could join almost any team and help them become a winner like Jacksonville was this past season.

“In this league the winning thing comes and goes,” he said. “You look at what Jacksonville was able to do and no one expected them to do that back in July. But they put together a good team and went all the way to the AFC Championship game. So a lot can change year to year. I believe there are a lot of places you can win because it does change so much year to year.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-2

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2018 – 3:45 pm

Happy groundhog day Bills fans! The offseason begins in earnest after Super Bowl weekend. Let’s get prepared with your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will the #Bills go after Kirk Cousins?

Jon-Erik
@jonerik0619

CB: I think it’s difficult to provide a straight answer to this question. The reason why is this is a very unique situation. I can’t remember the last time a quarterback of this caliber, without an injury issue (See: P. Manning, Brees) had a strong chance of hitting the free agent market.

While I think it would be only natural for the Bills to be interested in a player who over the last three seasons ranks third in completion percentage (67%) fourth in passing yards (13,176), eighth in touchdowns (81) and is tied for first in pass plays of 25 yards or more (113), the first question is does he make it to the free agent market?

There’s a good chance that one of the many teams interested in Cousins will blink and try to orchestrate a trade with Washington for Cousins to avoid competing with the other clubs for his services in free agency.

Having not seen the Beane-McDermott duo in action for a full offseason it will be interesting to see what they value more.

If they do in fact have a strong interest in Cousins, are they more willing to give up draft capital to land the QB via trade?

Or are they more willing to compromise cap space by outbidding competitors for Cousins should he hit the free agent market and hold onto their draft assets?

Knowing the Bills have a lot of holes to fill, their draft assets would appear to be a priority, but the chance to land a QB with franchise-caliber numbers (whether you believe in Cousins or not) could trump that.

That’s what makes the Cousins sweepstakes so compelling. What are teams that need a proven producer like Cousins at QB willing to give up to get him?

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chances they trade up w/#Broncos if Denver gets Cousins? Also, opinion on Lamar Jackson’s NFL projection?

Lars Lewis
@larslewis12

CB: Again a major hypothetical. The price to move into the top 10 this year might require more than most years because of the demand to get into prime quarterback territory this year. The price is likely to be too steep to get into the top 10. I believe if a QB slips for whatever reason down to 10 or 11, then I believe a trade up is more likely,  but the Bills won’t be alone in that kind of pursuit.

As for Lamar Jackson, I’m in the Bill Polian camp on the Louisville QB. He’s a ridiculous and rare athlete with the ball in his hands. But I don’t think Jackson is a quarterback in the NFL. His accuracy still isn’t consistent enough to keep drives alive in the NFL.

I do think he can be a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

A recent mock draft had the Bills drafting back-to-back DTs in the first round and addressing QB in the 2nd round. Do you think there’s any chance of that happening?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: The draft is so far off and so many things can happen between now and then that just about anything is possible. Right now the Bills have only Adolphus Washington and Ricky Hatley under contract at DT. If Kyle Williams chooses to continue playing then I think back-to-back DTs become unlikely. But if not, there is a gaping hole in the middle of the defensive interior. So it’s not outlandish to think that could happen.

QB in the second round is also possible if they can’t get up the board to prime QB territory. There are so many variables with trades and free agency that you can’t narrow down the possibilities at this point.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see Ryan Groy taking over the starting Center position or do the Bills need to add one in the draft?

Coach
@MoneyAce1984

CB: As we addressed in our filling the void story on Buffalobills.com this week, I believe Groy is the odds on favorite to take over the starting center role. Drafting a center isn’t a common occurrence unless there’s a stud in round one or a good value on day two (See Minnesota’s: Pat Elflein).

I do expect the Bills to address the depth of their offensive line both at tackle and on the interior. A versatile player who can duplicate what Groy did as a backup center and swing guard would be a good add.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills.

What do u think will happen with Cordy Glenn? #GoBills

People Over Profit 🏽️@Jiillyy

CB: The first thing that has to happen is he has to get healthy after undergoing a procedure on his foot. All indications are he is doing well in his rehabilitation and will be ready for the start of the offseason conditioning program in April.

He has proven that he’s a solid starting left tackle in this league. If the Bills are committed to clearing more cap space, Cordy Glenn would be a logical option knowing his cap figure is the second-highest on the team for 2018 next to Tyrod Taylor.

There are always teams looking for quality pass protectors, so if that proves to be the plan moving forward it would not be difficult to find interested parties.

 


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Posted in 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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills