Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 11-18

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2011 – 11:21 am

Couple of big division games here these next two Sundays. Time to fire up another edition of Fan Friday, with your questions from And since I won’t be back with you until next Friday have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

1 – Chris,

Given the recent shortage of WR’s on the team, I can’t help but think about Marcus Easley, wishing he was playing.  Can you give us an update on Marcus?  How is he doing and have they found anything out as of yet?  I know that it may simply be a personal issue that he and/or the team doesn’t want to put out there, but there are plenty of fans thinking of him. 

CB: Unfortunately I can’t. I just spoke to Easley on Thursday and he is choosing to keep his medical condition private. He would not say whether the condition is career threatening or if he’ll know at some point in the future whether he will be fit to play football. Obviously the hope is that he’ll be able to play again. I think his size and speed could be put to good use on the outside. It’s just unfortunate because by this point in the season it wouldn’t have shocked me if he had earned a starting job.


2 – Chris,

During our great start to the season everyone thought the Bills would eventually fade and return to their rightful spot as a mediocre team.
I’ve seen it said on TV and posted online that the Bills are due for “market correction”. What can this team do to prove everyone wrong and
show that they really are an elite team?

Salt Lake City

CB: I don’t think it’s going to be easy. Unfortunately the depth of the team has been challenged by injuries, and if you remember Bills GM Buddy Nix was trying to calm everyone down after the fast start saying staying healthy was the key to keep things going. As the rigors of football have claimed two of the team’s best linemen for the season in Kyle Williams and Eric Wood along with some other key players (Roscoe Parrish, Shawne Merriman) with still others in and out of the lineup it’s going to prove difficult to sustain or re-gain the level of success they had earlier this season. I think they’ll still win games, but winning three in a row or four out of five is going to be much more difficult.


3 – Chris,
I suppose there are bigger concerns for the Bills and Bills fans right now, but an article about Josh Nesbitt that was linked to on got me to wondering again about something I wanted to ask you back when the season began.  I was intrigued that the Bills decided to keep Nesbitt on their practice squad, but to switch him from quarterback to safety.  I guess they didn’t think he had enough quarterback skills to make it at this level, but saw enough general football skills to keep him around?  And who’s idea was it to try the safety position?  Even with all the guys coming and going on the PS as the season progresses, he keeps hanging around.  Do you think he has a legitimate shot at being an NFL safety some day?

Bob in Orlando, FL

CB: Right now I think it’s too early to tell whether Nesbitt can be an NFL safety. I do know that the guy is an athlete. If George Wilson cannot go on Sunday, Nesbitt is likely to be active and see some time on special teams. He was an option QB at Georgia Tech, but has some experience as a defensive back so I believe that’s where the idea started.


4 – Chris,

The Bills “lost” Donte Whitner and POZ through free agency to other teams.  Compensatory picks are sometimes awarded to teams that have a net negative loss of free agents.  I know the formula to calculate compensatory picks is a bit esoteric, but do you think the Bills might have a shot at a compensatory pick higher than a 7th rounder?

I understand you start with the players and the round they were drafted. Lost [Donte (1st rounder) + POZ (2nd rounder)] – Gained [Brad Smith(4th rounder)] = Comp. pick

Then the NFL committee factors in things like playing time, production, etc. Love to see the NFL award the Bills a 5th…….we need all the picks we can get!
Tim Neville

P.S.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I left Nick Barrett out because he was waived before the Bills signed him.

CB: You’re right that the Nick Barnett signing would not count in calculating whether the Bills had a net loss of free agents. However, I believe Tyler Thigpen would count toward that total. If so it might be an even two-for-two. That being said the two contracts signed by both Thigpen and Smith don’t add up to what Poz got from Jacksonville (6-$45M). Whitner’s deal was comparable to Thigpen’s.

So while the Bills may not have sustained a net loss of free agents, Poz’s contract size present a good argument that the Bills lost better free agents than it acquired, which would also qualify them for a compensatory pick.

Last year three clubs (Oakland, Seattle and New Orleans) each received a compensatory pick even though they did not suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents last year. Under the league’s formula, the compensatory free agents lost by these clubs were ranked higher than the ones they signed (by a specified point differential based upon salary and performance).

I think that could happen for the Bills next spring based on Poz’s salary and performance. Of course Oakland, Seattle and New Orleans were the last three compensatory picks awarded at the bottom of the seventh round, so that’s where I’d expect the Bills to be given one as well in 2012.

Also remember, last year the league also handed out 11 additional compensatory choices to the teams with the worst records in 2010. The rules state that the number of compensatory picks must equal the number of teams in the league (32). So if the regular compensatory picks distributed falls short of that number the figure is reached by giving compensatories to the teams with the poorest won-loss records. Buffalo got one of those last spring, which they used on Mike Jasper. Hopefully the Bills don’t qualify for that again this offseason, if you know what I mean.


5 – Chris,

I have three other I/R related questions: Earlier this season I read that one of the many reasons that the Colts have kept Peyton on the roster rather than put him on I/R is so Peyton would get paid his full contracted salary for the 2011 season.

1) I thought players got their full salary if they went on I/R since the players are under contract, isn’t that true? (unless they work a deal with the team to separate from the team and get released from the I/R list )

2) If players on I/R don’t get their full salary, while they stay with the Bills to play for them again next season, what type of % of their salary do they get while on I/R.

3) Do salaries being paid to players on I/R remain part of the salary cap or do they come off the cap and fall under another type of classification?
CB: First, players do not get their full salary when they go on injured reserve. The percentage to which their pay is reduced is dependent upon the player’s contract. Typically, younger players see a larger reduction in pay than veteran players and higher draft choices see a smaller reduction in pay, but it’s on a case by case basis.

The players that go on injured reserve still count towards the cap. Obviously with the salary number reduced there’s some relief provided, but NFL clubs must give themselves wiggle room so they can absorb the contract of the new player to replace them on the active roster.

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