Inside The Bills

Why Hogan is of interest to Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2016 – 8:38 am

Reports are strongly indicating that an offer sheet by the Patriots could be presented to Bills free agent WR Chris Hogan as early as today. Hogan visited with New England on Thursday along with a host of other free agents including fellow receiver and Oakland free agent Rod Streater. So what’s the appeal of Hogan to the Patriots?

While every NFL player has to have top flight athletic ability just to reach the pro level, one of the main things Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks for in a player is football smarts.

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According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Belichick met with Hogan and Streater Thursday and put them through the paces of testing their ability to retain new information. Reiss reports that both Hogan and Streater could get offer sheets today.

The Bills would have five days to match the offer sheet or lose him without compensation.


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Stefan Charles signs with Lions

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2016 – 8:29 am

The Bills did not tender restricted free agent Stefan Charles prior to Wednesday’s deadline to retain his rights. The defensive tackle didn’t last long on the open market as the Detroit Lions signed him to a contract late Thursday.

The Lions announced the signing last night as Charles agreement is reportedly a one-year deal.

Charles was a rotational player for the Bills and primarily a run plugger.


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Report: Hogan visiting Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2016 – 10:20 am

The Bills extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent WR Chris Hogan prior to the league deadline Wednesday, but it was just the low tender giving Buffalo only the right to match any offer. On Thursday Hogan is reportedly visiting with a Bills division rival.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Hogan is visiting with the Patriots today.

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As Schefter stated, if Hogan were to sign an offer sheet with New England, the Bills would have five days to match. If they do not there would not be any compensation due Buffalo because Hogan was an undrafted rookie. Had the Bills put a second or first rounder tender on Hogan that would’ve been the compensation had he been signed away by another club.


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Report: Eagles agree to terms with Bradham

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 10:11 pm

According to multiple reports Bills free agent LB Nigel Bradham has agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

The Philadephia Inquirer was one of the first news outlets to report the agreement between Bradham and the Eagles

Bradham is the third now former Bills defender to reunite with Jim Schwartz, now Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator. 


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Eagles sign CB Ron Brooks

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 9:37 pm

The Philadelphia Eagles have dipped into the Bills free agent secondary once signing Leodis McKelvin, now they’ve added another. 

The Eagles signed free agent CB Ron Brooks to a three-year deal. Brooks served mainly as a special teamed for Buffalo. 

The former fourth-round pick he played his entire career with the Bills until now. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Charles, Powell, Rambo now free agents

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 4:03 pm

The Bills already informed restricted free agent TE MarQueis Gray that he wouldn’t be extended a qualifying offer by Buffalo. It’s likely DL Stefan Charles, LB Ty Powell and S Bacarri Rambo were extended the same courtesy by the Bills as all three have become unrestricted free agents.

Charles, Powell and Rambo were not tendered qualifying offers prior to the 4 pm deadline today (Wednesday) thereby making the three restricted free agent now unrestricted and available to sign with any of the other 31 teams in the NFL.

Even though Charles, Powell and Rambo are readily available to any team that might be interested, it’s possible that they could return to the Bills at a lesser amount than the low tender figure of $1.67M. However, if there is a contract offer made to any of them of any significance, Buffalo is not expected to compete for their services.

Buffalo also did not tender an offer to RB Cierre Wood, who was the Bills only exclusive rights free agent. He too is a free agent free to sign anywhere.


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Rex’s recruiting helped with Incognito

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 12:52 pm

He flew all the way out to Hawaii’ to spend some time with his Pro Bowl players OL Richie Incognito and Eric Wood and QB Tyrod Taylor. Knowing Incognito was an impending free agent, Ryan’s main impetus was to demonstrate to Incognito how important he felt he was to their future success.

Fortunately, Ryan’s efforts proved beneficial in getting a new deal hammered out with Incognito.

“Rex [Ryan] had a lot to do with it,” said Incognito. “Rex is one of those guys where, he has his guys’ backs, he treats us like men, he treats us likes pros, and he expects us to go out and put the results on the field. Playing for a guy like Rex and having confidence in us and having our back, it speaks volumes about Rex and it just speaks volumes about his style, about how guys just love him.

“You know I have played in this league a long time and I have played for a lot of coaches who are scared of their own shadow. Rex is definitely not that, Rex is, Rex is a man. I love playing for him and I love the environment and I love my teammates, and the guys we are surrounded with right there, and I really think we have something special growing.”

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Incognito: I’ve got a lot left in the tank

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 8:36 am

Bills LG Richie Incognito was very happy that things came together on a new contract agreement with Buffalo Tuesday. Very quickly however, the lineman’s focus shifted right back to football. Knowing he’s turning 33 before next season, Incognito has been hard at work training in Arizona all offseason. His new deal with Buffalo has only motivated him all the more to prove there’s a lot of quality football left in him.

“I feel like I got a lot of gas left in the tank,” he said. “I am in the best shape of my life, I am down in Arizona training my butt off. And I got a lot left in the tank, I take it day by day and season by season. So I am focused on 2016 and I am just going to work as hard as I can to be the best player I can be.

“I made a promise to Terry and Kim Pegula, and Rex [Ryan], and Doug Whaley when they signed me back in February of 2015 to give it my all, and give them everything I had and to make the situation right. And this is another step in that process. So I wake with that mentality every day to get better every day and give it my all, and let everything else handle itself.”

Incognito’s 18-month layoff from the pounding of the NFL game from the last half of 2013 through 2014 may prove to be a benefit now. It’s 24 fewer games of wear and tear and that probably makes his soon-to-be 33-year old body feel a bit younger than those of most 33-year old linemen in the league.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin chose familiarity in Philly

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 8:16 am

Seeing Leodis McKelvin choose the Philadelphia Eagles for the next chapter in his NFL career was anything but surprising. Knowing that former Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz would be running the defense for the Eagles in 2016 under new head coach Doug Pederson provided McKelvin with a sense of comfort in choosing to sign with Philadelphia.

When asked why he signed with the Eagles his answer was, “Familiarity with the defense.” Smart move.

For a 30-year old cornerback in a new place, knowing the defense only enhances his chances to stick. He has a defensive coordinator in Schwartz who knows what he’s capable of, so having to prove himself in every way, shape and form on the field won’t be as daunting a task had he come in with a coordinator he didn’t know at all.

It’s just a two-year deal for McKelvin, but if he can perform in camp he’s got a good shot at a starting role.


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Report: Mario signs with Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2016 – 5:27 pm

The Miami Dolphins made a full court press with free agent Mario Williams and have reportedly landed him with a two-year $16M deal. 

That according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. The Dolphins were the first team Williams visited. By signing with the Dolphins Williams ensures he’ll face his former Buffalo teammates twice this coming season. 


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Report: McKelvin visiting Eagles

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2016 – 1:46 pm

The Bills parted ways with Leodis McKelvin late last week in a cost cutting measure. Now he’s drawing interest from a couple of NFC East teams. 

McKelvin is visiting with the Eagles today per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. He indicates a deal there could materialize soon, which wouldn’t be surprising knowing that Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is familiar with him as a player and vice versa. 

The Cowboys are also reportedly expressing interest. 


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Report: Dolphins front runner to sign Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2016 – 11:38 am

Mario Williams has been a free agent for less than a week, but it appears the Miami Dolphins are making a push to get him signed sooner rather than later.

That according to Pro Football Talk, which cites Miami as the clear front runner for his services. Williams reportedly intended to visit four or five teams in short order, including the New York Giants, but if the money is right Williams will undoubtedly sign. The report indicates a deal could be consummated as soon as today.

Miami has been making moves to reduce their cap figure most recently restructuring the contract of TE Jordan Cameron. If they sign Williams it will presumably reduce their ability to sign other free agents.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn signs franchise tender

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2016 – 12:05 pm

The Bills assigned LT Cordy Glenn their franchise tender earlier in the week. It only took him a couple of days to sign it.

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With Glenn signing the tender, his $13.7M salary for 2016 is now guaranteed. The Bills still have until July 15th to work on a long term contract agreement.


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Fan Friday 3-4

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2016 – 11:35 am

Sitting on the cusp of free agency the Bills are not expected to be early big money players at all. It will be interesting to see which of their RFAs they tender by Wednesday. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills hey Chris being that were fully going back to Ryan’s style of D who is gonna be the QB of this D? AW?

miosi37

CB: Rex Ryan told us at the NFL Combine that he wants Preston Brown to step up run the defense. Brown surprisingly had some missteps in running the scheme last season to the point where Manny Lawson had to take over late in the season. But here’s what Ryan said about Brown last week in Indy.

“I think if everything stays the same and we have all our players back then Preston has to be more vocal and there has to be more ownership that way,” Ryan said. “It’s not good enough to just know your job. You’ve got to bark it out and be the quarterback back there. And he can do it. He’s a smart enough kid and his dad is a football coach. So he’s got to come out of his shell. David Harris was a quiet guy, but on the football field he ran the whole thing. He’s got to grow into it. It doesn’t happen overnight. I think when you come into a new system it’s tougher to play, but yeah I expect Preston to be able to take that step and he needs to.”
2 – @ChrisBrownBills If Incognito is lost in FA’cy, do you think they slide Miller to LG and try and fill RG with draft or veteran FA?

rockydm92

CB: I don’t know if they flip Miller to the other side. I think their preference is to let him progress at right guard. As for replacements if negotiations go nowhere with Incognito, I would expect a veteran free agent to be signed.
3- @ChrisBrownBills How likely is it Whaley would take a chance at Nkemdiche at 19? Some teams apparently think he’s undraftable

iamFlowbee

CB: I would be very surprised if they took a chance on Nkemdiche. Here’s why. Buffalo just got rid of a player who was a headache in terms of work ethic and effort on the game field in Mario Williams. You want to replace him with the same type of player? Nkemdiche has oodles of talent, but even he admitted that he took plays off and was lazy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if his lousy effort on the field hurt him more than his still – it all doesn’t add up – night at his Atlanta hotel room where he was charged with drug possession, admitted to being drunk, fell out his hotel room window and according to police reports was paranoid when police arrived on the scene.

When teams make an investment in a player in the form of a draft pick, they want to know what they’re going to get from the player on every snap, every Sunday. If there’s doubt as to what they’ll get on the field nothing will hurt a player’s draft stock more, short of a failed physical. Can’t physically play might be the only thing worse than no passion to play.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills I read that a NFL GM felt Bills cap management had been criminal. Do you see that they have mismanaged their cap? I don’t.

XKC4338

CB: It is a little disappointing to see some of the reports that were out there concerning the Bills cap situation. Yes, they were tight against the cap here in 2016, but they had some pretty straightforward ways to maneuver things and create some necessary space.

All the talk about them being in cap jail for 2017 is also off the mark too. If the cap goes up $10M as it has the last couple of years to $165M, Buffalo will be about $50M under the cap. Obviously that will be subject to change if Cordy Glen signs a long term deal, as well as Incognito, Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor. But to say right now they’re in bad shape for 2017 is just inaccurate.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills the going rate for a starting qb $16-18M per year is @TyrodTaylor really worth that & worth the risk?

cp382

CB: I think that’s why the Bills want to see him play more in 2016 before deciding if he is worth that kind of money. As we covered on Buffalobills.com Thursday an extension for Taylor is no easy call because effectively pegging his true market value after playing just 14 games is beyond difficult. There are certainly a lot of encouraging signs, but it’s simply not enough of a body of work.


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How Bradford’s deal could impact Taylor

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2016 – 8:42 am

With the Philadelphia Eagles signing QB Sam Bradford to a new two-year contract to keep him off the free agent market, has the NFC East club helped to set parameters for a potential extension for Bills QB Tyrod Taylor?

An extension for Taylor does not appear imminent with all the contract negotiations that sit on the front burner, chiefly with guard Richie Incognito. Still, agents and NFL front offices take a long look at the most recent contracts to help ascertain true market value.

Bradford agreed to a two-year $35M deal of which $22M is guaranteed. There was a reported $11M signing bonus and the contract averages $17.5M per season. Bradford’s cap hit this year however, is just $12.5M in 2016 and then balloons to $22.5M in 2017, a figure that will likely be addressed either with another extension or a release depending on how he performs in 2016.

An extension for Taylor is something GM Doug Whaley has not ruled out, but the Bills with their current cap situation likely aren’t itching to get something done anytime soon.

At age 28, Bradford has two years on Taylor, who won’t turn 27 until August. If Taylor excels in 2016 and a long term commitment is the play then the deal will presumably be longer in length than Bradford’s. But if Taylor’s play doesn’t take another step forward this fall and there is no other QB on the roster qualified or ready to take over, then Bradford’s short term deal might not be a bad blueprint.


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Report: Bills expected to franchise Glenn

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2016 – 10:03 pm

With time running out for the Bills to negotiate a long term contract extension for OT Cordy Glenn reports are now surfacing that Buffalo will utilize the franchise tag on their left tackle to keep him off the free agent market. 

NFL.com’s Jason Gold is reporting that the Bills are expected to make use of the tag on Glenn prior to the March 1st deadline this coming Tuesday. 

Glenn is set to become a free agent, but the Bills labeled the left tackle a top priority to return to the fold this offseason. 

The franchise tag amount for offensive linemen in 2015 was $12.94M. The 2016 franchise tag figures are expected to be released soon. Some estimates for offensive linemen have been projected in excess of $14 million.


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Whaley: We will add a QB to roster

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2016 – 7:22 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley isn’t ready to say how they’re going to do it, but he did confirm at the NFL Combine on Thursday that Buffalo will be adding a quarterback to their roster.

“Let’s just say this we have two quarterbacks in the last year of their contracts, we will add another quarterback,” said Whaley. “How we are going to do it, we will keep all our options open.”

The most logical option would appear to be the NFL draft. In a draft where Whaley himself has said there is strong developmental talent from rounds two through six, the Bills stand a good chance of having a crack at a good value at quarterback somewhere in that range. More importantly that prospect will be affordable and not hurt the Bills already tight cap situation, unlike a free agent signal caller.

As far as the draft prospects are concerned or free agency for that matter, Whaley again is focused on landing the best quarterback they can acquire, not one that can mimic the skills of Tyrod Taylor.

“You look for the best guy at the value that we would want to take him or sign him, if it is a free agent, or a trade possibility,” he said. “So you just look for the best guy you think can help your team get over that hump.”

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Fan Friday 2-19

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2016 – 11:37 am

Our NFL Combine coverage presented by NAPA begins on Tuesday and will continue through the week from Indianapolis both on Buffalobills.com and on the John Murphy Show. For now here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Thank you for all of your fantastic insight throughout the season.  I have a question about the Bills defensive line moving into next season.  When we line up in a 3-4, where do you suspect Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams will be located?  Also, connected to that, it seems like a lot of websites suspect we will require another 3-4 defensive end in the draft but I was wondering if you thought players such as Wynn, Carrington (if re-signed), Corbin Bryant, Worthy or Edwards could fit that bill so we could focus our draft on other needs.

-Tony
CB: I think the good thing about Dareus or Kyle is their versatility and athleticism allow you to play them as a five technique end or at nose tackle. The main reason many draftniks predict the Bills will need another defensive end is they also suspect push coming to shove with Mario Williams cost prohibitive contract.

But you do make a good point. Jarius Wynn is coming back from ACL surgery that cost him the 2015 season. I expect Corbin Bryant to be extended a qualifying offer by the Bills as a restricted free agent. Signing a difference maker at defensive end is unrealistic based on the team’s cap situation, so the draft is the most likely path for the Bills to acquire one.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

First off I thank you for answering our questions and keeping hope alive to those of us who reacted harshly after playoff elimination. (Ugh.. 16 years…)

My question is about where Buckner and Bosa likely stand on the draft board? Are there any other sizable DEs that are valued as a round one selection? In your opinion where should the Bills focus with their number one? Is there a drop off in depth enough that it becomes likely to pursue a LB instead of the D-Line? (Is that already likely given uncertainty with Bradham?) Finally do you foresee finding our true #2 WR in this draft class?

-Already hoping in OR

CB: I don’t expect Buckner or Bosa to still be on the board when the Bills pick 19th. With respect to their top pick in round one, I think the safe assumption is they address the defensive side of the ball. I think picking a position however, is unrealistic.

I think we can all agree that the deepest defensive position in the draft is probably defensive line, so that’s a good thing for the Bills, who will likely need to add there with Mario Williams uncertain future and Kyle Williams now on the back end of his career. But to say they’ll pick a defensive lineman isn’t something anyone can accurately predict now or even in mid-April.

We have to see what decisions are made with players on the roster now, who is added and where in free agency in March and what Bills free agents are re-signed. All those variables can change the draft picture considerably before we get to late April.

As for finding a true No. 2 WR in this class, I think it’s possible, but not likely based on some of the other positional needs particularly on defense that appear to be more pressing at this point. May have to stop gap that role in 2016 and address it more effectively in 2017. Can’t do everything in one offseason.

 

3 –@ChrisBrownBills

If we cut Mario, sign Glenn/Richie…what’s realistic for rest of FA? Eric Weddle or Damon Harrison possible?

iamFlowbee

CB: If those things happen the Bills are going to have to be bargain shoppers even if they make a few other cuts to the roster to save money against the cap. That means Weddle is not expected to be an option. Damon Harrison is possible provided there isn’t a heavy market interest in him.

That’s why GM Doug Whaley said they’re looking for ‘dust settle’ guys. Guys who they can sign without getting into a bidding war. For reference I would look at the kind of players they signed in the 2014 offseason. Players like Corey Graham, Brandon Spikes, Boobie Dixon. Affordable, budget-conscious free agents that can come in and fill a role and improve the depth of the club without messing up the team’s cap situation in the current season and the season or two that follows.

 

4 – Chris,

Do you think Nick O’Leary will get more looks at Tight End in the upcoming season? Also it seemed that Seantrel Henderson was getting praised for his play his rookie year, but was much maligned this past season. Has he regressed that much or is it the system change that troubled him?

Thanks,
Chris G. from Nashville
CB: I think seeing Nick O’Leary called up to the active roster late in the season was an encouraging sign for the kind of look he’ll get this offseason and in training camp. I don’t think it’s any secret that no one really seized the No. 2 TE role behind Charles Clay last season. O’Leary was stuck on the practice squad, MarQueis Gray suffered a forearm injury that required surgery and wound up on injured reserve and Chris Gragg only flashed at times with limited opportunities to make a true impact.

Seantrel Henderson regressed because he was dealing with an undisclosed medical condition that kept him out of the last five games of the season. Whether he’ll be able to get his condition under control so he can effectively continue his career is something we’ll all be waiting to see this spring.


5 –
@ChrisBrownBills

I keep hearing about Incognito and Glenn, but is Bradham a priority for the Bills? #Bills #FanFriday

Josh_McCarty28

CB: The Bills have said it’s their preference to get Nigel Bradham back in the fold for the foreseeable future. At the same time they know that with a tight cap situation and depending on the size of the contracts for Glenn and Incognito, being able to offer Bradham a contract commensurate with fair market value might be easier said than done.

If Bradham reaches the market because the Bills can’t offer quite the money he might be looking for due to their cap situation then it might prove difficult to get him re-signed.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-12

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2016 – 11:36 am

The new league year is underway and deadlines for offseason business is closing in. Let’s get to your questions this week from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

How soon do you think we’ll either re-sign @68INCOGNITO or @cordyglenn77? Hopefully both. Any word?

EJMiller707

CB: I believe the Bills will make every effort to return both of them to Buffalo’s offensive line. But as we know it takes two to get a deal consummated. Initial talks have begun, but things typically don’t get down to brass tacks until the week of the NFL Combine. That’s when Jim Overdorf and Doug Whaley can meet face to face with agents who are in Indianapolis for the week. It’s then that concrete parameters are usually set and more intense negotiations ensue.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills

If McCoy is suspended, however long it is, how well could the Bills run the ball without him with Williams and Gillislee?

sam_decoste

CB: I understand the concern about Buffalo’s run game, and if there is a real possibility that there will be time where they will be without the services of McCoy in 2016, then the team will probably have to address the void in some way, shape or form. And they’d have to do it by acquiring a versatile back.

The Bills could survive a couple of games with Williams and Gillislee, but truly contending could prove difficult if a McCoy absence lasts longer than that. That being said the Bills were 3-1 with McCoy out of the lineup last season.

 

3 – Chris,

Hypothetical of course.  Just what if, with all the defensive needs and offensive tackle needs, Laquon Treadwell and/or Connor Cook were available at pick 19?  How are we going to fill our need at receiver?  Not in free agency as per Whaley’s statement and later in the draft will not fill that need either.

Jim (Skaneateles)
CB: I think it’s too early to determine right now how filling receiver would be addressed. Doug Whaley made it clear that he believes they have sufficient talent on the roster now to fill the No. 2 WR role with a collection of players, Robert Woods chief among them. What that statement says to me is – while in an ideal world the Bills would love to have a legit No. 2 WR to line up opposite Sammy Watkins, it’s just not a top priority.

You can’t fill every hole in one offseason and right now Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito, defensive line and linebacker are all clearly ahead of No. 2 receiver on the team’s offseason priority list. With a measure of uncertainty at safety one might even put that position ahead of No. 2

So where the Bills are is if the higher priority needs can be effectively addressed between now and the draft and the right opportunity presents itself, then perhaps drafting a WR capable of filling that role could happen. I just wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.

 

4 – Chris,
With The Rams moving to LA, do you think there’s a possibility that the AFC division’s might change? If so, do you think they’ll move the Bills out of the AFC East. Maybe to the AFC North (which might make more sense)?

Thanks,

Mike Barwick

CB: I would not anticipate realignment at all. The Rams play in the NFC West, so their current division location makes even more sense geographically with Arizona, San Francisco and Seattle all in their division.

 

5 – CB,

If the team moves on from Bradham, Demario Davis is a player that has been linked to the Bills. Can the team afford Davis, who knows Rex’s scheme well and be the ‘field general’ in the front seven. He won’t be a huge player on the market but maybe more worth it to the Bills than other teams. Would he bit a fit next to Preston Brown?

Josh P.

CB: I think he would be a consideration, but as Doug Whaley has said they won’t be early spenders in free agency. They’re looking for dust settle guys. If Demario Davis is pursued by other clubs early Buffalo will not get into a bidding war, especially for a linebacker that many NFL talent evaluators see as a two-down player.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-29

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2016 – 11:23 am

Senior Bowl on Saturday and Pro Bowl on Sunday with three Bills participating. As for today let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills for this week’s edition.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Reported that DeMario Davis, ILB for the #Jets is set to hit FA. Had down yr, but excelled w/ Rex. Top FA target?

BrettsterBills

CB: Yes, I did see that. According to the reports the Jets intend to re-sign Erin Henderson instead of Davis. To me they’re not all that different. Henderson is just two years older and will likely come cheaper. Most NFL scouts see Davis as a two-down linebacker. As you mentioned he had a down year and struggled when put in coverage situations. Personally I think Nigel Bradham is a more versatile linebacker.

As Doug Whaley said, they’re looking for dust settle guys. If Davis goes untouched through the initial wave of free agency, which is certainly possible, and his price isn’t exorbitant then he could be an option.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills is there still a working group studying long-term stadium options for the Bills? What’s the latest?

lophus89

CB: To my knowledge the New Stadium Working Group still exists, but I will reiterate what Bills President Russ Brandon shared at the Prospectus Premiere event Thursday night about the prospects for a new stadium.

He essentially said at this time there are no planning meetings, no land grabs and no feasibility studies taking place. The Bills have a lease that runs until 2022 and the state and county just invested a sizable amount of money into renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium.

If you remember the New Stadium Working Group was quickly assembled in the wake of Mr. Wilson’s passing because the future of the franchise in Buffalo was uncertain. The NSWG would need to have answers in the event that a new owner sought to relocate the team during the one year opt out portion of the lease in 2020 to help convince the new owner to keep the team in Buffalo.

Once the Pegulas successfully purchased the Bills that threat went away. Terry and Kim Pegula are committed to the city and keeping the team here. So the urgency to map out a future home for the Bills just isn’t there at this time.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you think the hiring of Rob Ryan will benefit the Bills or just lead to another rebuild?

Cmoney111196

CB: Here’s why I see the addition of Rob Ryan as a benefit. Rex implicitly trusts his brother in every facet of football. With Rob as Assistant head coach/Defense, Rex will be able to focus more on the big picture responsibilities of being a head coach. Rex can hand the reins of the defense to his brother and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman during the course of the week and on Sunday Rex can still call the plays.

I also believe Rob will serve as an added motivator for Rex. Both of them are very disappointed with how their 2015 seasons went with respect to defensive performance. Putting the two of them together will only inspire them more to redeem themselves in 2016 with Buffalo’s defensive unit.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills What’s the better option? WR in free agency or the draft?

orlandoweise

CB: Here are the things you need to consider when assessing whether the Bills sign a receiver in free agency or acquire one in the draft. First, where is receiver on their positional priority list?

Sure Doug Whaley would like to add a bona fide No. 2 receiver to work opposite Sammy Watkins, but that comes at a price when dealing with free agents. I think the steps we’ve seen the Bills take already at receiver signing Greg Salas, Jarrett Boykin and Greg Little is similar to that of their approach at quarterback last year.

Create a competitive environment and hope you can strike gold with a player stepping up and filling a role at a very affordable price. All three of those players bring size to the equation, which is another element that Buffalo is looking to add to their receiving corps.

The free agent class at receiver is limited at best. Free agents, who are likely to still be available when the dust settles are players like Rishard Matthews, Brandon Gibson and Darrius Heyward-Bey. They are not going to be names that excite you. So Buffalo took the proactive approach and signed a few reserve/future free agents in Salas, Boykin and Little in the hopes that one emerges.

Now one of those guys might not be the true No. 2. Heck, I think Robert Woods is probably better than all of them. But if Woods can work primarily in the slot opposite Charles Clay and one of the three aforementioned wideouts can prove they deserve the job outside opposite Sammy Watkins you could be in business.

Is that a big ‘if’? It most certainly is, but with a tight cap situation, two starting offensive linemen to re-sign and some holes to fill on defense that might be the only realistic course to take.

I know this is a long way of saying it, but if the Bills are going to add any more talent at receiver it’s probably coming via the draft.

 

5 – Chris,

My question is about the future of Stephon Gilmore. I understand he is under contract until the end of next year, but after that do you think they’ll extend him?

He is going to want top 3-5 CB money.

If we can sign Glenn and need a huge contract for Taylor, where is this money coming from to sign a top 3 CB?

Not to mention there is no way to sign Gilmore and Darby if he continues to play at this level.

The way I see it, is the writing is on the wall with Gilmore. He plays out next year, wants top 3 money and there will be a team willing to give it to him. With his replacement on the team. I see this as his last year with Bills!! Thoughts?

Dave from Buffalo

CB: I wouldn’t throw in the towel on Gilmore being gone after 2016 just yet. By picking up the fifth-year option on Gilmore they’ve given themselves time to address his contract long term. The average salary of the top cornerback contracts is just over $11M per season.

I don’t debate that it will be a sizable investment to keep him long term. You’re right Tyrod Taylor will be the other big contract. The thing with Taylor’s contract and Gilmore’s is you can spread the money out over a six or seven-year period, which lessens the blow to the team’s cap.

Also helping is the fact that the salary cap is going up at a rate of close to $10M per season with the revenue continually pouring in. Add in the fact that the only other notable contracts that will be up in 2017 are Robert Woods and Manny Lawson, who will be 32-years old at that time, and it’s reasonable to think you can get Gilmore and Taylor done.

Darby is a player you don’t have to worry about until 2019.


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