Inside The Bills

Report: Bills sign Keith Rivers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 6:44 pm

According to an ESPN report, the Bills are keeping busy in day two of NFL free agency.

ESPN AFC East reporter James Walker is reporting the Bills have signed veteran LB Keith Rivers to a multi-year contract.

Rivers, a six-year NFL vet, has spent the last two seasons with the New York Giants as primarily an outside linebacker.


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Multiple reports: CB Graham signs with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 5:46 pm

There are multiple reports that the Bills have signed free agent CB Corey Graham, a Buffalo native.

ESPN’s Adam Caplan was the first to report that the Baltimore Ravens free agent cornerback.


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3 game look at Williams encouraging

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 4:23 pm

By no means am I going to pretend to be a scout, but after looking at three of Chris Williams games at left guard last season for St. Louis there it’s pretty clear why the Bills saw him as an upgrade.

Against all three NFC West opponents in Weeks 1, 4 and 8, Williams more than held his own. He had a lot of one-on-one assignments. In Week 1 he squared off against Arizona’s Calais Campbell. In Week 4 he drew veteran DE Justin Smith as an assignment against San Francisco, and in Week 8 faced a host of Seattle defensive linemen and linebackers in the Seahawks multiple look defense.

Williams proved consistent at holding his ground in pass protection and sealing off penetrators on run plays. Although the Rams don’t run much of a screen game at all he did show an ability to get out in front of a back on one screen play that the Rams did call. St. Louis doesn’t pull their guards a whole lot either, but in the instances in which he was called upon to do so he showed the feet and agility needed to execute.

Perhaps most encouraging is over those three games, and granted it’s just three games, there were no visible busts on his part against three quality defensive units. If there were any blemishes in his performances it might be sustaining his blocks. He fell off a few of them a bit early.


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Whaley pleased to plug Williams in on Bills OL

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 1:12 pm

His free agent visit to the Bills on the first full day of free agency was a sign that Chris Williams was an early target for Buffalo to fortify their offensive line. Now that he’s in the fold, GM Doug Whaley couldn’t be more pleased.

“We’re excited about this start to free agency and our plans moving forward,” said Whaley. “With the signing of Chris Williams, I am particularly excited about the direction our offensive line is moving in because we wanted to address this position and we feel like we filled the need with a very good player.”

Williams also brings guard-tackle versatility to the offensive line as one of the only guards on the current roster that can also kick out and effectively play tackle in a pinch. Here’s a shot of the GM with his newest guard right after Williams signed.

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Marrone key in Williams decision to sign

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 12:33 pm

There are a host of reasons why free agent OL Chris Williams chose to sign with the Bills, but it was clear that the prospect of having a former offensive lineman as a head coach played a pivotal role.

“Just talking with him, being able to talk to an O-line coach who was an O-lineman there were things that he can address with me right away that will help me elevate my game and we talked about it,” said Williams of his conversation with Marrone on his free agent visit, that turned into a signing. “I’ve never played for a head coach who was an offensive lineman and that was super exciting for me. I’m just excited to have to end up with two offensive line coaches on staff and both of them will help me with my game. You’ve got to love that.”

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Still, just 28-years old, the former first-round pick believes he can still improve as a player with offensive line coach Pat Morris and Marrone on the staff.

“Coming in here with coach Marrone and coach Morris I’m really excited about it,” he said. “I’m going to continue to develop my game because I’m always trying to work to get better and I think it’s a great opportunity here to do that.”


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Report: OL Williams to sign with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 10:57 am

Free agent OL Chris Williams, who is visiting at One Bills Drive today (Wednesday) will apparently soon put pen to paper on a multi-year contract.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Bills have not confirmed the signing to this point.


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Byrd’s new contract figures

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 10:04 pm

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter it looks as though Jairus Byrd in signing with the Saints, got a contract that will average $9M a season.

Schefter is reporting the deal to be a six-year pact worth $54 million with more than half of it guaranteed.

Byrd capped a wild day one of free agency for free agent safeties as a half dozen signed with new clubs on Monday (Louis Delmas) and Tuesday.


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Saints announce six-year deal with Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 9:32 pm

The New Orleans Saints have announced they’ve reached a six-year deal with Jairus Byrd.

The NFC South club announced it on their Twitter account.

The photo here depicts Saints GM Mickey Loomis with Byrd in Loomis’ office.


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Winter storm may impact Bills FA plan

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 4:49 pm

The Bills have a free agent plan in place, which is expected to include visits by free agent players, perhaps as early as Wednesday. Mother nature however, may have something to say about those potential plans.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Western New York beginning 2 am Wednesday and lasting through 2 am Thursday. The storm is forecast to dump anywhere from 7-12 inches of snow on Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs. That could complicate arrivals at the Buffalo-Niagara International aiport, something GM Doug Whaley is well aware of.

“With looking at the weather you try to get him in here as soon as possible,” he said in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. “And knowing guys have a lot of dance cards we don’t want to get them skipped over if we can’t get them in. So it’s a tricky situation and we’re going to try to do the best we can.

“We’ve got faith in the Buffalo airport that they’ll stay open at least for a little while, or don’t cancel flights the whole day. So we’ll work as diligently as possible to get these guys in.”

Of course if the Bills can get a free agent visitor in before the storm hits, it could make getting out of Buffalo for the free agent player more difficult. That could help provide the added time needed to consummate a deal.


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Report: FA CB Carroll to visit Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 4:23 pm

The Bills free agent visits are going to begin soon and there’s a report as to who one of the first visitors will be.

According to CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora, Miami CB Nolan Carroll will be making a free agent visit to One Bills Drive.

LaCanfora also mentioned that Carroll has other visits on his agenda. Carroll would represent a valuable depth corner who could step in for Stephon Gilmore or Leodis McKelvin in the event of injury.

Carroll had a career-high three interceptions last season.


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Report: Byrd return to Bills still possible

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 1:44 pm

While there have been multiple reports that there will be interest in Bills free agent safety Jairus Byrd, the latest report is that in no way have the Bills been ruled out of the running for the Pro Bowl safety’s services.

That according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport.

Neither Byrd nor the Bills have closed the door on potentially reuniting.


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Report: Moats reps talking with Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 12:00 pm

NFL Network is reporting that Bills FA LB Arthur Moats has had talks with the Cleveland Browns.

The news isn’t surprising knowing Browns head coach Mike Pettine is looking for as many players as possible that know his defensive system walking in the door. The report indicated that they’ve made significant progress on a potential deal.

Cleveland is also reportedly negotiating with 49ers FA safety Donte Whitner, a Cleveland native.


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Potential FA LB off market

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 10:35 am

An inside linebacker that was slated to become a free agent, who could’ve been a good fit for the Bills is off the market. Washington LB Perry Riley just agreed to deal to re-up with the Redskins overnight and is expected to sign it today before the market opens.

NBC Washington’s Dianna Marie Russini reported that the two sides had agreed to terms last night.

She has since reported that Washington has confirmed the deal.


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Bills cap room less than previously reported

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 9:47 am

It’s always a moving target, but many projected the Bills salary cap room heading into free agency today would be in the upper 20’s in terms of millions. But the latest research from NFL Network indicates a much lower figure.

According to NFL Network Buffalo has $16.44M in cap space heading into today (Tuesday). That ranks 15th in the league.


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Report: Titans interested in LB McClain

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 2:19 pm

A free agent linebacker who visited the Bills last week is also drawing interest from another AFC club.

According to the Tennsseean’s Jim Wyatt, the Tennessee Titans have expressed interest in free agent LB Jameel McClain.

It sounds like the Titans have a couple of irons in the fire concerning their linebacker need so it will be interesting to see how they prioritize the free agents with whom they’re interested. McClain visited the Bills last Wednesday. McClain said he also had a visit scheduled with the Giants last week.


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Report: Byrd’s suitors said to number 3

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 1:58 pm

Despite conflicting reports the Associated Press is citing a source saying that there are three NFL clubs which have expressed an interest in free safety Jairus Byrd, who officially becomes a free agent Tuesday at 4 pm.

The AP report cites Cleveland, Miami and St. Louis as the three clubs interested in acquiring Byrd’s services.

 


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Aaron ready to step up at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 1:19 pm

Bills safety Aaron Williams, who was just signed to a contract extension last week, appeared on NFL AM Monday morning and was asked if he’s prepared to be the team’s number one safety if free agent Jairus Byrd signs elsewhere. Here was his response.

I’m prepared to be the guy if he’s gone,” said Williams. “I wasn’t able to be with him the first six games of the year with his foot injury and didn’t have the chance to be with him during training camp with his negotiations of trying to get a long-term [contract] last year. So if they need me to fill in for his role, we have guys behind us that are ready to step in and be productive for our team.”

Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked that same question, if Byrd signs elsewhere does he think Aaron Williams could be a number one safety. Whaley had a one word answer.

“Absolutely,” he said.


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Report: Miami interest in Byrd refuted

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 12:58 pm

Over the weekend there was a report by NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport that Miami was expressing interest in impending free agent safety Jairus Byrd. Now there is a report refuting that claim.

Miami Herald Dolphins beat reporter Adam Beasley is reporting that the Dolphins interest in Byrd is a bunch of hooey.

This report is anything but surprising. This is the time of year when agents will do whatever is necessary to drive the price up on their client’s value. Knowing Peter King in his Monday Morning QB column stated that he can’t figure who in the NFL would pay Jairus Byrd his $9M asking price, you can understand why creating the illusion of multiple suitors is important.


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Report: Browns, Redskins have Byrd on radar

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 12:50 pm

Over the weekend it was reported that Miami and St. Louis were two teams initially expressing interest in impending free agent safety Jairus Byrd.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport, there are two new teams expressing interest.

The Browns interest is anything but surprising. Byrd knows Pettine’s defensive system and could step right into the starting lineup with Cleveland starting safety T.J. Ward a free agent. Washington needs a ton of help defensively so them being interested in any top level defender is easy to understand.


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King unsure who will give Byrd $9M per yr.

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 10:27 am

Monday Morning Quarterback columnist Peter King provided his free agency primer on his site Monday morning. He commented on Jairus Byrd’s impending foray into free agency effective Tuesday at 4 pm. However, he doesn’t see how any NFL club would fork over the reported $9M per season Byrd is seeking in a new deal.

Here’s what King briefly wrote in his MMQB column on Byrd.

5. Jairus Byrd’s landing spot? A secret. He wants $9 million a year, and I can’t figure out who will pay a safety that much.

All it takes is one team to meet his asking price. Then again there are a good number of teams that deem other positions on defense like defensive end and cornerback as more critical to a unit’s success than safety. Only time will tell if Byrd gets what he wants.


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