Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 4-1

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2016 – 12:16 pm

Back from vacation to resume our weekly Fan Friday forum. The draft is now less than a month away. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see the Bills improving on Defense this year? They lost a couple guys but I don’t think they could fall any further.

iamthelegenddd

CB: I think a lot will hinge on what the Bills are able to add to the roster defensively via the draft. I believe they have to come away with at least two plug and play starters on defense. Buffalo has eight picks and they’ve done a good job of late of finding instant contributors beyond the first round (Darby, Woods, Alonso, Brown, Karlos, Miller). If that continues in this year’s draft I’m optimistic they can rebound from last season’s disappointing results.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills what moves will be made next year in order to pay Tyrod and Gilmore?

9thekid

CB: Contrary to popular thinking the Bills cap situation for 2017 is quite healthy. Last I checked Buffalo was projected to be about $50M under the cap next offseason, which should afford them more than enough space to handle sizable long term extensions for both Gilmore and Taylor.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills qb to develop behind taylor, who in the draft would it be? cardale, hogan, hack or cook? #billsfans

Srothenburgh

CB: I think among the quarterbacks you mentioned the only one that gives me pause is Kevin Hogan. While GM Doug Whaley is right about Hogan’s pro readiness having worked in a pro-style system and his vast game experience at Stanford, I just can’t see his throwing arm allowing Buffalo to do all the things they do with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback.

I watched Hogan throw at the NFL Combine with my own eyes and while I respect his game, I can’t get past his lack of arm strength. He’s a strict West Coast system, horizontal passing game QB. That’s not what the Bills do. They drive the ball down the field a good deal with Sammy Watkins. That element of Buffalo’s passing game is critical to their success.

That’s why I can’t see them drafting a quarterback that isn’t capable of executing those kinds of plays. Cardale Jones certainly has the arm strength to do that. Hackenberg’s arm strength is good enough, though he probably needs some refining of his mechanics, and Cook has demonstrated enough examples in the Michigan State offense that pushed the ball downfield to convince me he could handle that as well.

So I’d say those other QBs you listed would all be on the table for Buffalo.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills in your opinion what’s more important need in draft LB’er or true NT, true 3-4 DE for Rex system?

rockydm92

CB: I think we need to take into account not only Rex’s system, but the offensive trends in the league and where the depth on Buffalo’s roster lies. Right now there is not only no depth at linebacker, but limited options for starters.

I think the most pressing need position is LB, but there is a need for an additional pass rusher and those players go early. So although LB is the bigger need, the value in drafts typically dictate that you get your pass rusher first and second level players later.

Of course if the right value at LB falls into their lap at 19 (e.g. Ragland, Lee) you can make a very good argument to take them in round one.

As for nose tackle, it’s a deep defensive tackle draft, so if there is a position where Buffalo can afford to wait it’s there as the talent goes into the fourth round this year.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

I am curious about Jaylon Smith with this most recent news he will miss at least the whole 2016 season and maybe more, he was easily my favourite player entering the draft before all of this happened, how far in the draft do you think he could fall and do you think the Bills would have any interest should they have a chance at selecting him? Also should a receiver like Laquon Treadwell still be available at the Bills selection do you think they would go that direction over an offensive tackle or a defensive player ? Thank you.

Alexander, Toronto

CB: I think a lot will depend upon the medical re-check that takes place on April 14-15th in Indianapolis where doctors will perform a full examination on his surgically repaired knee again after taking an initial look in late February.

Doctors will be assessing his progress over those six weeks between exams and put together a prognosis for his future playing career. Teams will have their own physicians formulate their best opinion on what kind of career Smith can expect to have and develop an appropriate draft grade off of that.

The first installment of our On the Clock series focused on the medical component of the pre-draft process last month and highlighted Jaylon Smith’s situation and how it was not all that different from Willis McGahee.

Whether he’ll be a first round pick will hinge on how team doctors believe Smith can recover. He told NFL Network’s Mike Mayock at the Notre Dame pro day this week that he’s leg pressing 600 pounds and squatting 400 pounds. But it will all come down to the medical.

I hate to tell you this, but I don’t think Laquon Treadwell will be a day one pick. So I don’t see the Bills or anyone else taking him in the first 31 selections.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-11

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2016 – 11:33 am

Free agency is up and running, but the Bills will be watching the action for the most part. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills hey Chris how does cap for bills look next year ??

mok186946

CB: Right now the 2017 cap for the Bills looks very healthy. If we conservatively estimate that the cap goes up $10M next year to $165M then Buffalo currently has more than $50M in cap space ($112M plus in cap commitments). Now a good portion of that figures to be gobbled up by long term contracts (hopefully) for Cordy Glenn, Stephon Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor, but they will still be in a better position next year than they are right now.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills What will the Bills do at WR, especially after losing Hogan to that big deal to the Patriots?

KevinMassare

CB: Buffalo currently has nine receivers on the roster. They added size and physical play, something they needed, with the additions of Jarrett Boykin, Greg Little and Greg Salas, who all stand 6-2. Salas is a player that I believe can capably fill the role Hogan held in Buffalo and perhaps offer more production.

Salas has a feel for the game that I don’t know if Hogan has yet just based on the fact that he played only one year of college football. Yes, Boykin and Little have bounced around a bit in their NFL careers, but both are big physical receivers that can box out defenders in the red zone. That’s an area where Buffalo had to add more muscle to improve their scoring efficiency. We’ll see how they fare in training camp.

As for adding there, this year’s draft class is not very strong. It lacks the explosiveness and pure speed that the past few draft classes have offered at receiver.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills upcoming contracts for Glenn, Gilmore, Taylor. Will Bills look at drafting OT or CB high in case they can’t re-sign one?

nywvfl

CB: It’s my belief that aside from quarterback, the only other offensive position the Bills figure to address in the draft is offensive line. I just don’t think it’s predicated on what may or may not happen in the way of a long term contract for Cordy Glenn.

I think adding a cornerback or two is a strong likelihood in the draft because the depth behind the top three (Gilmore, Darby and Robey) is largely unproven. Fortunately for the Bills it’s a great cornerback class this year.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills how much cap room does Buffalo have to create/need just to sign rookies in the draft?

BmoreBillsfan

CB:
Essentially it’s the money they have under the cap right now (about $5M) with a little left over. If they do not match the offer sheet for Chris Hogan (and they’re not expected to) it would provide a little more space. The thing to remember is that only the top 51 salaries count toward the cap. So for the lower draft choices the only part of their salary that counts toward the cap would be their pro-rated signing bonus, which would be minimal in the tens of thousands of dollars.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills :Bradham, Brooks, McKelvin gone to the Eagles hole in the defense are starting to become more apparent. Who fills the holes?

rosenbarker

CB: I would say there’s a good chance a couple of draft choices fill a couple of holes and then some younger players on the roster fill a couple of others. I liked Max Valles’ pass rush ability coming out of Virginia and think he’d be a nice fit in a 3-4 at OLB. Is he a starter or a situational guy? That’s to be determined in training camp.

Brooks was largely a special teams player and McKelvin was a reserve corner behind the starters. Those are depth roles that the Bills personnel department has shown an ability to fill before (See: Nickell Robey, Seantrel Henderson, Karlos Williams etc.).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-26

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2016 – 10:49 am

Our NFL Combine coverage presented by NAPA Auto Parts continues today 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 – Dear Chris,
First off, I’d like to say I appreciate everything you do to keep us Bills die hards informed during the off season.

My question is with a lot of needs to be addressed and not too much cap room to use in free agency do you see the bills trading down in the draft to acquire more draft picks? You keep hearing how deep the draft class is so I feel trading down will help us address a lot of our needs.
Thank you again for everything you do,
Dave G from Niagara Falls

CB: It’s interesting that you bring this up because I just asked GM Doug Whaley about that very possibility in our 1-on-1 interview on Buffalobills.com, which I made a note of in our Bills Daily Dish this morning out here at the NFL Combine.

Whaley said he’s open to adding picks if the opportunity presents itself. You’re right that with a tight cap Buffalo has to make the most of their draft picks, but right now they have just six (no seventh). So while I think they’d like to stay in the first round I don’t think they’d be opposed to moving back a few spots if it meant adding to their lot of selections.

Their cap situation is going to be pretty restrictive so adding picks to add players in what is considered a draft deep in value rather than elite talent behooves the Bills to look for deals that can land them more draft choices. And we all know Doug Whaley isn’t afraid to make a deal.

 

2 – Chris
I need your keen insight. This seems to be a good year for drafting a QB, I’m concerned if we pass at 19, when we get a chance at 51, the good ones will be gone ?? If many of the top ones don’t go in first 18, Dallas, Cleveland , San Diego, Rams, Saints etc. will grab one. My biggest fear is the Jets and Patriots draft one after us. A lot of top QB’s are aging out.

Could we sign Tyrod to a 4 year contract, if we hit on one, we will be primed to continue to win ??

Jim M.

CB: I think you might be getting a little carried away. Doug Whaley has stated more than once that while there isn’t a lot of top end, elite QB talent in this draft there is very good depth at the position for talent that he feels offers enough to develop some prospects into eventual starters. That’s a perfect scenario knowing it’s very likely that Tyrod Taylor gets an extension from the Bills after a promising first season in 2015.

That’s why I expect the Bills to wait until the middle rounds to draft a quarterback. There will be good talent in rounds three to five that can be brought along behind Taylor. I don’t get the sense that Buffalo will strike early at QB unless someone falls into their lap that they weren’t expecting.

Rounds 3-5 look like the window where picking a QB is most likely to occur based on how their draft board shakes out.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

Thank you for constantly keeping us informed over the off season.

My question is about Lesean McCoy’s contract, but also all contracts in general when it comes to the league’s personal conduct policies. If you are in violation of something and face suspension, or do something that hurts the team’s image, can that player be released without any salary or can penalty to the team? And to be more direct, can the Bills release LeSean McCoy over this incident if he is found to be at fault?

Thanks,
Paddy

CB: To my knowledge a team would not be off the hook in terms of the salary cap hit that cutting or releasing a player like LeSean McCoy would leave behind. As I understand it a player must have a morality clause in their contract that specifically states what kind of behavior would render their contract with an NFL club null and void.

As the team has stated though we should let the investigation play itself out because there are an awful lot of conflicting reports being circulated out there as to what really happened.
4 – Hey Chris’

I read an article that the Bills even with the estimated increase of the cap for the next league year expected to jump to $155 mill that the Bills are still over with the contracts they have, & the article outlines how they can free up about $27 mill of cap space by cutting some other players & or redoing their contracts.

Another way that could free up some cap space is if the Bills were to try & re-work Kyle Williams current contract. Do you think that Kyle might be willing to do so given the fact that he is coming off an injury & he is in the later stages of his career.

Many teams good at keeping a team good would probably cut someone like Kyle say if it were the Pats just to continue building for the future. So I would think it would be a good thing for both if Kyle could finish his career here in Buffalo but maybe do it at a home town discounted price. That could quite possibly put the Bills into the $30 mill + range of cap space enough to sign Glenn, Incognito, Gilmore, & Bradham to long term contracts …

Thanks for your insight !
Mr. T formally from Fort Myers now in Nashville
CB: While I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills approached Kyle about renegotiating again (they tacked another year on his deal last offseason) they’re limited in what they can do to get his cap figure down short of having him take an outright pay cut. He’s 32-years old and has a cap figure of $8M. He’s still a productive player, but injuries have been catching up with him. At the same time his leadership is valuable as evidenced by what happened to the defense after he left the lineup in Week 6.

It’ll be a tricky situation, but hopefully with as good as the Bills have been to him over the years he might be willing to reduce his salary a bit to help the cause. We’ll see if it’s a road the Bills choose to travel.

The good news is they’ve already made some salary cap headway by getting Charles Clay restructured, which we reported last night, and moved their unused cap space from 2015 in the amount of $4.4M to 2016.

 

5 – Chris,
There is lots of discussion about acquiring a possible #2 WR to play opposite Sammy Watkins, but no mention of using Dez Lewis in that role.  He has the height (6′ 4″) and plenty of speed.  Was the coaching staff still very unsure about him at the end of the 2015 season, or is he a real possibility for the #2 spot, especially if he builds up his strength during the offseason?

Mack
Rochester

CB: While I think Lewis will get a good look from the staff this offseason and in training camp, he’s really got to come on and play more consistently to make a jump that far up the depth chart. I know a lot of people weren’t overly impressed with Robert Woods season last year, but you need to remember the guy played hurt with a torn groin for almost the final three quarters of the season. His separation ability was greatly hindered by that injury. I’m interested to see how he comes back from that injury in 2016 before we start actively looking for other options there.

And at this point there are some other options now on the roster like Greg Little and Jarrett Boykin that will bear watching.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

All options open with Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2016 – 3:35 pm

By now everyone knows that Mario Williams has a cost prohibitive cap figure of almost $20M. In an offseason where the Bills have the least cap space of any team in the league, Williams contract will be addressed. How is the big question. Bills GM Doug Whaley is not closing the door on any option.

“We’ll be talking to his representatives and all options are open,” said Whaley. “We’re not going to back ourselves into a corner and say we’re going to do this or that. But we will do what’s best for the Buffalo Bills in the future.”

Clearing cap space is the top priority to enable them to re-sign offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. A big cap figure like Williams’ has to obviously be adjusted for that to be fiscally possible.

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


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills carry over unused ’15 cap space to ’16

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2016 – 9:45 am

The Buffalo Bills currently have the least salary cap room of any team in the league right now. That will obviously change as the start of the new league year on March 9th draws closer. Under the current CBA each NFL club has thet option to carry over unused cap space from the prior League Year and the Bills have done so to improve their current fiscal situation.

The Bills exercised their right to carry over the $4.4M in unused space from the 2015 year to make use of in 2016. Every NFL club carried over at least some of the monies from 2015 available for carry over. Buffalo was just under the league average of $6.4M.

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


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: Our cap situation is pretty restrictive

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 9:18 am

Senior Bowl week is currently on the front burner for the Bills personnel department, but prior to leaving for Mobile, Alabama, the front office had a personnel meeting to discuss their offseason priorities concerning their current roster with their own free agents the focus. Naturally Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn remain at the top of the list with both set to become unrestricted free agents in less than two months. But Buffalo’s salary cap situation has to be rectified first.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, GM Doug Whaley outlined how at the outset heading into the new league year in March, the Bills have some financial maneuvers to make as they are currently over the projected salary cap for 2016.

“Right now it’s pretty restrictive. I believe we’re over the cap,” said Whaley. “So (Senior VP of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf is going to be working really hard and work his magic. We have confidence that we’ll be able to put our best foot forward and try to get this done (with Incognito and Glenn). When you have the number one rated rushing offense in the league you want to try to keep that as stable as possible. If we can get those five guys back and maintain the continuity up front that’s not only going to keep our running game strong, but it’ll help our quarterback improve as well.”

The 2016 salary cap is projected to be somewhere between $150 and $156 million. It was $143 million and change last season after making a $10M jump in one calendar year thanks to some new large television contracts the league had brokered. Per OverTheCap.com, Buffalo currently sits at almost $158M in contract commitments that count toward the cap.

Look for the Bills to make the necessary maneuvers to put themselves in a position to re-sign the left side of their offensive line and make a few other moves they deem essential to take the next step as a team in the offseason.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-18

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2015 – 11:26 am

The Bills are 1-0 with a pretty important early season matchup with the Patriots up next. Be loud Bills fans! Here is this week’s edition of your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hey Chris thanks for all the hard work you put in!

Are the Bills keeping three QB’s because of the chance a running QB (Taylor) is likely to be injured?

Danny in Scottsdale, AZ

CB: I think the Bills intended to keep three quarterbacks from the very beginning. The performance of all three in the preseason I believe cemented their spots on the 53-man squad. Cassel’s value is in his experience and Manuel’s play in the preseason convinced the offensive staff that he’s on the right track with his progress as a young signal caller. Taylor obviously won the job.

 

2 – How will the contract extension for Marcell play into our ability to re-sign some of the other Bills on contract years? Including the usage of a franchise tag do you see the Bills being able to retain Glenn, Bradham, and Gilmore as a big three? Do you think that leaves enough for McKelvin( is he on a final year?) and Harvin?

Thanks!

-Michael

CB: The Bills bought themselves some time with Stephon Gilmore by picking up his fifth-year option, so he’s not up until after the 2016 season. Nigel Bradham and Cordy Glenn are the other big names that are coming due after the 2015 campaign.

The good thing that the Bills did was spread out Dareus’ guaranteed money over the first two years with singing and option bonuses in addition to his guaranteed base salary. The deal is relatively cap friendly until the last two years when his base salary balloons to more than $12M.

Bradham and Glenn are the two that figure to be addressed. The linebacker would be much easier to sign than the left tackle, knowing the market rate for left tackles is far higher than at LB. Knowing how thin the Bills are depth-wise at both positions it’s going to be interesting to see how the decision making plays out with those two players.

The good news is the salary cap continues to go up and up and up, and with the revenues projected where they are for NFL clubs this year the cap is expected to take another sizable jump this offseason. That makes re-signing players like Bradham, Gilmore and Glenn more realistic.

Leodis McKelvin signed a four-year extension that runs through 2016.

3 – Hey Chris,
With the extension of Dareus, Could you give bills fans an update on how long we will have our d line for?
Thanks!!!

Danny in Scottsdale

CB: The contracts of Kyle and Mario Williams are the ones set to expire first following the 2017 season. Jerry Hughes’ deal runs out in 2020 and Dareus is after the 2021 season. Now we all know circumstances crop up at other positions that can necessitate some difficult decisions at defensive line, so to assume that the line will be together for another four seasons might be foolhardy. I do think it’s safe to say we’ll see the group together through at least 2016.

 

4 – Hello Chris,

As always, thank you for providing the fans this opportunity. With our limited exposure to Ronald Darby, we don’t really get to see his progression. I understand the need for him to struggle and that the preseason is a good place to throw him to the wolves. I am curious how much he has progressed since he came in? Does he learn quickly from his mistakes? Any information would be helpful.

Thank you!

Cory

CB: I will let defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, a former NFL cornerback himself, handle this one. Here’s what he said this week about Darby’s progress.

“He continues to work on his craft, he’s a very talented young man. We believe the sky is the limit for him, we expect him to play well,” said Thurman. “If he’s out there we’re expecting him to play well. We don’t look for him to play like a rookie. We know at times that he may get himself in trouble but if he’s focused on what his assignments are we feel like he’s talented enough to get the job done.”
5 – Chris,

Why do the Bills make comments about the Pats? All that does is fuel the fire. Every time they talk smack they get beat down.

Sam

CB: I think we all know that Rex Ryan has a track record of not being afraid to say what he believes. Coach-speak doesn’t really exist for Ryan and that filters down to his players, who he encourages to speak their mind and say what they believe. I don’t think there has been anything this week other than players speaking confidently and believing that they can beat New England. That’s a healthy and necessary mindset to have going into a game against an opponent of this caliber.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills official cap number

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 11:54 am

There have been conflicting reports on what the Bills workable cap space is for this time of year. We’ve got an accurate estimate for you.

First, the reason the figures have been conflicting is some reports are counting all of the salaries on the offseason roster and some have not accurately computed dead money and not likely to be earned incentives, which can adjust the working number. This time of year what counts are the top 51 salaries on the team, and going by that approach the Bills have cap space that will be in the low 20’s in terms of millions.

That comes from about as official a source as possible here at One Bills Drive.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Franchise tag goes up with cap

Posted by Chris Brown on February 28, 2014 – 7:19 pm

With the salary cap for 2014 now set at $133 million the cost of the franchise tag for safety has also increased.

When it was anticipated that the cap would increase to $126M to re-tag Byrd would’ve cost 120% of his previous year’s salary or $8.3M since it was the greater amount, but now it appears that the new salary cap figure will push the franchise figure for safeties to $8.43M.

Here are the rest of the franchise tag amounts by position courtesy of CBSSports Jason LaCanfora.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2014 salary cap officially $133M

Posted by Chris Brown on February 28, 2014 – 7:00 pm

It went up a lot more than most we’re anticipating, but the league’s salary cap went up $10M from last year to $133M.

Each team may, at its own discretion, carry over unused salary cap room from the prior League Year. Most Clubs elected to carry over Salary Cap room from 2013 to 2014. The average carry over for those teams that elected to do so was $6.1 million per Club. Thus, those Clubs have an average of $139.1 million to spend on player salaries in 2014.

How is the Salary Cap calculated?
The Salary Cap is calculated by taking a percentage of all projected NFL revenues, subtracting projected benefits for the upcoming season, and dividing by 32 teams.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills projected to have 7th most cap space

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2013 – 8:08 am

As the 2013 season has now come to an end, the Bills will reportedly have among the most cap space available this NFL offseason for 2014.

That according to OverTheCap.com, which projects the Bills, under an assumed new league salary cap of $126M and change, to have the seventh most cap space in the league for 2014.

Buffalo was projected to have just over $29M in cap space, prior to the Alan Branch extension. The top three teams with the most projected cap room were Oakland ($62M), Jacksonville ($55M) and Cleveland ($46M).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills cap space rank

Posted by Chris Brown on February 8, 2013 – 9:35 am

NFL.com recently posted a list of where NFL clubs rank in terms of cap space from most to least. Here’s where the Bills stand.

Buffalo ranks eighth in the league in cap space with $16.7 million in cap room for 2013. Obviously that can be a moving number knowing roster releases can change the books. In any event here’s the list compiled by NFL.com for the league.

1. Cincinnati – $50.6M
2. Cleveland – $45.6M
3. Miami – $44M
4. Indianapolis – $43.1M
5. Tampa Bay – $30.1M
6. Jacksonville – $23.8M
7. Tennessee – $18.3M
8. Buffalo – $16.7M
9. New England – $15.8M
10. Seattle – $15M
11. Denver – $14.9M
12. Kansas City – $13.3M
13. Baltimore – $12.9M
14. Minnesota – $12.3M
15. Chicago – $10.3M
16. San Diego – $6.3M
17. Houston – $6.1M
18. Green Bay – $5.8M
19. Philadelphia – $5.7M
20. Atlanta – $2.1M
———————————
21. San Francisco – $49K Over
22. St. Louis – $2.3M Over
23. Arizona – $3.3M Over
24. Detroit – $5M Over
25. Washington – $5.9M Over
26. Oakland – $8.3M Over
27. NY Giants – $10M Over
28. Carolina – $13.7M Over
29. Pittsburgh – $13.8M Over
30. New Orleans – $20.6M Over
31. Dallas – $21.1M Over
32. NY Jets – $23M Over


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-23

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2012 – 11:19 am

The NFL draft is just about a month away. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hey CB,

Thanks for all of your hard work reporting on the Bills–it’s really appreciated.  I was just wondering if you could layout the off season calendar from OTAs to Training camp and explain the new guidelines under the new CBA opposed to years past? 

Thanks,
Aaron
NYC
CB: You can find all the OTA and minicamp dates right here. As far as OTAs go players can only go against “air.” In other words no offense vs. defense, no kickoff team vs. kick return team. Team drills can only be run against air and there are no one-on-one drills allowed either. Also during the first phase of OTAs there are no helmets worn and obviously no pads or shells without any live contact.

In the second phase of OTAs helmets can be worn, but there is still no live contact and therefore no pads or shells. A maximum of 10 practice days can be scheduled over this three week period, with no more than three days over each of the first two weeks.

For the mandatory minicamp coaches can have two-a-days on two of the three total practice days, but there are still no contact drills or use of pads allowed.

So in summation contact drills, unit vs. unit drills and one-on-one drills are now prohibited.  

And per the CBA each team is required to film all of these OTAs and minicamp practices and hold onto them until a month into the regular season in case the league wants to review them to make sure the rules are being followed.

2 – Chris,

I could use some clarification on how the salary caps works under the new CBA.  My understanding is that the salary cap is the most that a team is allowed to spend on player contracts, and under the new CBA that was reached last year, every team has to spend up to 99% of the cap beginning in the 2012 season.  I also understand that teams that were under the cap last year have the ability to roll that money over to next season to spend extra money.

Any additional info on this topic would be greatly appreciated. 

-Brendan
Las Vegas

 

CB: The way it was outlined in the new CBA was confusing to a lot of people because the league talked about collective team spending and then in the next breath individual team spending. It kind of muddied the waters with respect to what each team has to commit to spending-wise. I’ll try to present it as simply as I can (no easy task).

League-wide there has to be commitment to cash spending of 99 percent of the cap in 2011 and 2012. That means all the teams collectively. If the league’s 32 teams fail to reach the 99 percent level then the league has to make up the difference.

In 2011 and 2012 there is no salary cap floor (minimum). That does not kick in until 2013. At that point each individual club is committed to cash spending of 89 percent of the cap from 2013-2016 and 2017-2020. 

For the 2013-2016 seasons, and again for the 2017-2020 seasons, the clubs collectively will commit to cash spending of at least 95 percent of the cap. Again if the 32 teams do not reach that figure the league makes up the difference.

So starting next offseason there is technically a salary cap floor for all NFL clubs (89% of cap), but as far as the higher percentage, that’s a figure the league’s teams have to reach collectively.

The most important thing to remember is it’s not cap space, it’s cash spent by the clubs. That adds up a lot quicker than cap space knowing contracts with respect to the cap can be spread out over the length of the deal. Hope that all makes sense.

 

3 – Chris,

These two months of speculation of the draft are like sitting in a closed room, watching the walls of its paint dry. I am impressed with your tenacity for finding new information and working your sources for the fans of the Bills. I wonder how many Bills fans are aware that we could have picked Ron Gronkowski in the second round of 2010, instead we picked DT Torell Troup. Belichick had the next pick and he rewarded his Pats with what turned out to be the best TE in the business. I’m sure Buddy hasn’t forgotten that snafu as another draft approaches.

There are some really good quality picks for TE in the early second round. Did you think Buddy will take a chance on one of them? And who do you think is the best pick between Dwayne Allen, Orson Charles or the Stanford TE? It’s high time the Bills paid respect to a such versatile position with a huge upside.

Go Bills!
Buffalo Bill

CB: First, I wouldn’t call taking Torell Troup a snafu. Yes, Gronkowski has panned out to be a tremendous talent, whose value has largely been maximized by a very good coach and outstanding quarterback. Troup has been mired by a persistent back problem his first two seasons, but with his back issues rectified I think he’ll prove to be a solid contributor. Only time will tell.

As for the TE position this year, Stanford’s Coby Fleener is the most complete. After clocking a 4.45 at his pro day he’s probably not going to be there in round two. That leaves Dwayne Allen from Clemson and Orson Charles from Georgia. Both are lacking a bit in size, and some NFL scouts consider them H-backs more than true tight ends.

I believe Allen’s hands are a little better than Charles’, but both are pretty good blockers. Allen looks a bit stronger physically than Charles. Both have good intangibles. I think it’s going to come down to whether a team wants a more versatile TE or not. If they want versatility I think Charles can line up in more places than Allen. Allen however, is stronger and a more natural pass catcher.

Both could come off the board in round 2.

 

4 – Chris,

Love the Bills’ coverage year round. There seems to be changes in the wind with the 10th pick. It appears they might lean towards Left Tackle. But at that spot, is that the best player available? Reiff and Martin both have concerns. I know they would like to add a tackle but both players have just as much risk as Ingram, Coples, and Upshaw. I would like to see them trade down or draft Floyd from ND. A sure handed big receiver with speed. Floyd would be a great addition across from Stevie and give Fitz targets. What’s your assessment on Floyd, LT.  Need vs value at pick 10?

CB: This is the great debate for the Bills heading into the draft. Reiff and Martin are widely viewed as players worthy of coming off the board between 10 and 15. Floyd has enhanced his overall stock with a solid Combine workout and squeaky clean senior year off the field.

Truthfully the debate isn’t need versus value. They need a starting left tackle and a number two wide receiver. The question is what is Buffalo’s draft grade on Martin, Reiff and Floyd? If the grades are close I think they pull the trigger at left tackle because they need a starter there. It’s harder and harder to find a capable starting left tackle with each passing round. This draft is deep at receiver and you can arguable get a quality player in round three, though he won’t have 4.47 speed that Floyd possesses.

What we also need to remember is if the grades on Martin, Reiff and Floyd are not close to that of the 10th pick Buffalo could trade down from there and re-group presumably armed with an additional pick.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

I know that Buddy and Chan want a deep threat that is open even when he isnt, and they dont see a pass rusher at 10, would it not make sense to go after Mike Wallace, if they gave him enough money in year 1 Pittsburg wouldn’t be able to sign him and they would have the scariest deep threat in the league, which should open things underneath for everyone else to shine even brighter
                                       
Thanks from North of the Border

CB:  I think the premise of your thought is a good one. You know what Mike Wallace is being a proven deep threat in the NFL. However, where things get sticky is in the money you would have to commit to Wallace. After committing number one receiver dollars to Stevie Johnson there’s no way they’d be able to do the same with Wallace, who will absolutely be looking for big, big money.

When you consider the fact that the Bills told Robert Meachem to take the four-year $25.9M deal from San Diego, it was an indication that $6.5M per season for their number two receiver is too steep a price as they see it. You’re not getting Mike Wallace for less than $6.5M per season so it makes giving up the 10th pick not worth it. I’m sure the Bills would love to have Wallace, but I don’t see Buffalo willing to accommodate Wallace’s contract demands after what went down with Meachem.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2012 cap projections

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 10:24 am

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel took a look at every team’s 2012 cap situation to assess their potential participation in free agency, albeit with some words of caution in how they reached those figures. In any event they put teams in three categories, possible big spenders, working on a budget and tightening the belt. Here’s a look at where the Bills fit in.

Buffalo based on their cap figures were listed under the working on a budget category. The paper made a safe estimate in assuming the cap to be around $124M keeping in mind that $5M must be set aside for one’s draft choices, more if a team has more picks, which the Bills do (9 right now). Here’s what was written as well as the NFL clubs that are in the same boat.

WORKING ON A BUDGET
Teams that aren’t up against the cap, but need to make smart moves to avoid trimming a ton of players and salaries.

Jacksonville Jaguars        $107,270,274
Buffalo Bills                         $108,426,522
Seattle Seahawks              $111,742,430
San Diego Chargers         $111,960,165
New Orleans Saints         $113,358,069
Philadelphia Eagles          $113,964,694
Baltimore Ravens             $115,670,281
Minnesota Vikings           $116,078,422
Houston Texans                 $116,306,676
Miami Dolphins                 $116,636,173
Indianapolis Colts             $116,773,288
Green Bay Packers            $118,001,169
Arizona Cardinals             $118,787,639

Bills GM Buddy Nix said last month that they intended to be aggressive where they could in free agency for the three or four needs they believe need to be addressed.

“I’m not limited except by the cap,” said Nix. “Nobody’s ever told me you can’t do this or you can’t do that. There’s a lot of things that go into it that I’m sure you guys know but one of them is, and the thing that I ask our cap people, Jeff Littman and Jim Overdorf, the thing I ask them is if we sign this guy for this amount, then is it going to cost us this player and this player and that’s kind of the way I try to make my decision is, are we going to be able to keep the core, important guys or are we just going to get this guy and can’t get anybody else?

“Listen, I want to win. That’s what I came here for, that’s what I want to do. I want to do whatever I can to help that along. And I’m saying there’s a lot of us involved. We’ve got a lot of good people in personnel and a lot of good help and we’ll use all the resources and then make the best decision we can.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

ESPN cap info

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2009 – 2:21 pm

ESPN, through FootballOutsiders.com put up a recent division by division look at the salary cap spending for each of the NFL teams for 2009.

The rundown can be found here at ESPN Insider.

Basically they have the Bills ’09 figure at almost $128M (less than $2M from what the Jets and Patriots are spending). Miami is spending the most this season at $135M. So anyone that claims Buffalo doesn’t spend money would be off the mark. Here are the numbers compiled by FootballOutsiders.

AFC East
Miami $135,835,822
New England $129,831,466
New York $129,278,924
Buffalo $127,997,000


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Posted in Inside the Bills

’09 cap goes up $4M

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2009 – 3:28 pm

According to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter the league’s salary cap for teams has increased from $123M to $127M, giving teams $4M more of cap space.

This shouldn’t really have a major impact on a lot of the league’s teams that were comfortably under the initial figure, including the Bills. But for the Jets and Colts, it’s good news.

Schefter stated the reason for the increase was due to the collective bargaining agreement language concerning cap adjustment. The salary cap figure is reduced if teams spend over the cap in cash and it’s increased if teams don’t spend up to the cap.

It’s kind of an indication that teams over the past year have not been spending wildly (excluding Oakland of course) with actual cash out.


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Posted in Inside the Bills