1 – Hi Chris
Thanks for all you do to keep us Bills fans informed! My question is about extending Gilmore and Tyrod. With Gilmore being under contract under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, if he and the Bills were able to strike a long term deal this offseason, does that work like the franchise tag where his new deal would replace his current contract, or is this year’s salary set in stone and they can only negotiate an extension for next year and beyond?
If it is an extension that doesn’t impact his present salary for this season, how would that work with his signing bonus? Would a prorated portion count against the cap this year? Same thing with Tyrod, if the team signed him to an extension so they could keep him at his low salary for this season, if the extension were signed this offseason, would there be any impact on this season’s salary cap from his signing bonus if his salary doesn’t change? Thanks!
CB: New long term deals typically replace the existing one. The club usually does this to more effectively spread out the amortized portions of the contract (e.g. signing bonus). On occasion teams will tack on an extension to the current year, but it’s uncommon.
2 – Chris
Can you give us more insight into UDFA Justin Zimmer. He was the fastest/quickest/strongest tackle in this year’s draft with something like 86 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 tfl, and 4 ff’s. This kid should have been drafted just based on his measurables alone. 44 Reps/4.85 40 with outstanding short shuttle and 3 cone times- Are you kidding me? Mo Boehringer got drafted on pure potential and this kid is way more experienced than him, even at Ferris St. Can Coach Blake morph this kid into the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins? With Adolphus Washington we really strengthened the interior D.
CB: One reason why Zimmer went undrafted is because he has short arms. While this might sound ridiculous these are parts of the player measurables that carry weight especially when it comes to line play. If you can’t keep offensive linemen from getting into your chest then you’ll have problems making plays.
Now Zimmer to his credit was ultra-productive at the FCS level. He’s quick and agile and obviously powerful and he’s a hustler. To say he could be the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins is a stretch. That being said he’ll be interesting to watch when the pads go on in camp.
3 – Chris,
Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.
Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?
CB: First, I’m going to tell you that in this first week of OTAs the players admitted they assumed with an accomplished defensive coach coming in the door that they just expected to be just as good as they were the year before and did not put the required time in to master the defense. Just about every place Rex Ryan has been his players have never had a problem absorbing and implementing the defensive system he employs. They’ve never had a problem playing fast.
Buffalo’s players pretty much acknowledged that a lot of their shortcomings last season were on them because they didn’t buy into the system. That’s changed now, so I’d be interested to see how well they can play in this defense with the talent they have on hand.
Now will it be an adjustment for the three top draft choices? Probably, but their talent will help to carry them until they do have it all down pat. Additionally all three draft choices are workers and committed to being great. Those are all encouraging signs. As we all know the proof will be in the results on the field.
4 – Hey Chris ,
Do you think the Bills have any interest in trading for Sam Bradford ? Personally I think he has had a pretty raw deal since entering the league, his first three seasons the Rams had nobody really legit to play with on offense except for Danny Amendola , he tore his acl twice and the Eagles were a mess to begin with before he got there, Buffalo has a lot of good players on offense right now I would be really curious to see who would win the starting job between Taylor and Bradford, thank you.
CB: I’d be surprised if the Bills pursue something like this if in fact Bradford is offered up again. The biggest question facing this team is whether or not they have a franchise quarterback. That won’t be answered if you add another QB to the mix. They should stick with Tyrod Taylor this season and see what kind of step forward he can make.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills Didn’t the Bills defense want to be the ‘85 bears last year?
Joe gnozzo @joegnozzo51
CB: I don’t think the bar was ever set that high. From a scheme perspective that wasn’t the plan either. Rex’s defense does have some 46 principles to it, but the biggest issue in terms of scheme in 2015 was Ryan’s attempt to blend some of the successful concepts of the team’s 2014 system that helped them finish fourth in the NFL with his own scheme.
The blend did not work by Ryan’s own admission by midseason and the unit never recovered when they tried to eliminate that in season.
This year they’re going to be more of a traditional 3-4 and play strictly Ryan’s defensiv
Tags: Bills defense, Fan Friday, Justin Zimmer, Rex Ryan, Sam Bradford, Stephon Gilmore, Tyrod Taylor
Posted in Inside the Bills
1 – @ChrisBrownBills with the drafting of Williams, can all 4 make the team? Or is he fighting Gillislee for a single spot?
CB: I think all four could absolutely make the roster. I think Jonathan Williams is going to open some eyes very quickly at training camp. Talented kid with great feet for a downhill back.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills What Undrafted Free Agents do you see having the best chance of cracking the 53 man roster? Matt from England #Bills
Matt Swain @MSwain86
CB: I like LB Erik Striker’s athletic ability on the whole. Even though he’s making a position switch I think Rex and Rob Ryan find a way to find a role for him. Plus I think he can be a demon on special teams. I think G Jamison Lalk’s versatility could really help him. He’s played OT, G and C in his college career. I also like NT Justin Zimmer’s short area quickness, but we’ll see.
3 – Chris,
Thanks for all your efforts in keeping us diehard fans up to date. My question is, with the issues Dan Carpenter had last year in missed extra points and field goals, do you foresee any change? It would be nice to have a player fill both roles for kick offs and field goals, extra points. Kickoffs surely are an important factor in keeping an opponent backed up and a whole field in front of them. But missing an extra point changes future decisions and you are usually down a point instead of tied.
Thanks for your insight.
Gary in Indianapolis
CB: While I understand your frustration with the extra point issues Carpenter had last year, if you look at his NFL track record I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills look at his 2015 season as an aberration. Now that being said the coaching staff isn’t turning a blind eye to what ailed Carpenter last season. Hopefully those days are behind him, but they did bring in an undrafted rookie free agent kicker in Georgia’s Marshall Morgan as competition.
4 – Chris,
How do you feel about the Bills 1st round pick considering who was available? Nkemdiche for example. I feel like it was a bit of a homer pick considering Rex wore a Clemson helmet to a press conference. Do you think he was on the top of our board or was Rex being Rex?
Great work as always Chris!
CB: Having the privilege of being in the draft room I can assure you he was the top player available for them. As I covered in my Inside the Draft Room feature, the Bills thought he’d be gone in the first dozen picks. That’s how high they had him graded.
The Bills and just about every other team doesn’t let personal attachments affect draft grades. There’s too much investment involved to let that play a factor.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills Thoughts on Slauson? Does he leave town? Lots of connections to Rex/Kromer. Can play across the line other than LT
CB: I think the Bills would like to add him and they do have one open roster spot at this point. The money saved by signing Cordy Glenn to his big extension helps make that a greater possibility. Have to see what Slauson is willing to accept if he likes what his role would be, which at this point would be a backup. Not certain he’s ready to accept such a role.
Tags: Dan Carpenter, Erik Striker, Fan Friday, Jamison Lalk, Jonathan Williams, Justin Zimmer, Matt Slauson, NFL free agency, Rex Ryan, Shaq Lawson, undrafted rookies
Posted in Inside the Bills