Inside The Bills

Crabtree holdout not helping Maybin talks

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2009 – 4:54 pm

Michael Crabtree’s holdout with the 49ers is not helping the situation the Bills have with the unsigned Aaron Maybin. Crabtree’s agent wants money comparable to what Darrius Heyward-Bey got from Oakland at #7 believing Crabtree should have been drafted before DHB.

It’s lead to a virtual stalemate, and knowing Crabtree’s agent (Eugene Parker) he’s not been averse to having his client hold out for a while. Case in point was Jason Peters last year, who missed all of training camp and the preseason.

I’m of the opinion that Crabtree’s contract is a domino that has to fall (be completed) before Maybin’s representatives feel comfortable in what they can or should be asking for. The top 10 is a tier unto itself, but if Crabtree at  pick 10 can land money equivalent to pick 7, then presumably Maybin’s agent will look to do the same in terms of percentage increases in the contract, and could get top 10 money for him, or at least think he could.

And if that proves to be the case, it could take a while.

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Crabtree not sure he’s running his 40 at pro day

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2009 – 5:11 pm

At the combine three days ago, Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree made a brief statement where he said he would run his 40 time at his pro day on March 26th. Now he’s apparently not sure.

In a telephone interview with NFL Network he said to “stay tuned.”

“It’s 50/50,” he told the NFL Network. “I’m going to take some time and evaluate it.”

Crabtree said he will huddle with his circle of people over the next week or so and make a decision.

Personally I don’t think he needs to run. Though teams would no doubt like to see him run in what they feel is an acceptable range in the 40, getting healthy is definitely more important. Fortunately he’s got enough of a college resume to convince teams of what kind of player he can be.

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Crabtree to run his 40 today

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2009 – 4:24 pm

In a complete reversal of fortune Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree made a brief statement in which he said he would run his 40 at the wide receiver group workout here at the combine today.

“I’m coming here today regarding my injury report. It’s an old injury I’ve been having,” said Crabtree. “I’ve never had any pain in it. I will run my 40 and after I do that I’m going to do surgery and I’m looking forward to going to the next level.”

This is a good idea as I see it. If his claim that the stress fracture has never bothered him why wait a month until the Texas Tech pro day. He should just run today. Now he’s apparently decided to do that. Now he can have surgery and be healthy for offseason OTAs as a rookie.

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The real reason Crabtree isn’t running

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2009 – 5:02 pm

Yesterday, Michael Crabtree said he wasn’t going to run because he had only been training for four or five weeks and would need three more weeks to get back up to 100 percent following an ankle injury in the Cotton Bowl.

According to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter, Crabtree has a much better reason for skipping the workouts. He has a stress fracture in his foot.

Provided it’s not serious I don’t think it should impact his draft status all that much. Last year Oregon’s Jonathan Stewart had a stress fracture and he still went in the first round.

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Why Crabtree isn’t running

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2009 – 6:48 pm

Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree explained why he’s chosen not to run at the combine this weekend.

“I only started running four or five weeks ago so I’ve decided to do everything at my pro day,” said Crabtree.

Crabtree suffered an ankle injury in the Cotton Bowl and said he’s not all the way back from it yet.

“I’m about 90 percent and in about three more weeks I’ll be 100 percent,” he said.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Maclin looking to burn up the track

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2009 – 5:23 pm

Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin, who is expected to be a top 10 pick, is looking to run a blazing 40 time when the receivers work out on Sunday.

“I’m hoping to run a personal best,” said Maclin. “My best time ever is a 4.31. I have a goal to run a 4.29.”

Maclin offers more than blazing speed. He’s a receiver, a returner and a runner if necessary. He offers a lot more than some of the other fast receivers like a Darius Heyward-Bey. I respect Crabtree’s game a lot, but I really like Maclin’s versatility.

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Fan Friday 1-30

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2009 – 6:47 pm

Not surprisingly, free agency and the draft are dominating the questions I’m getting at Feel free to submit a question if you have one. Here we go.

1. Chris, 
        I have read before that Bill Parcells in the late 90’s (while with the Jets) brought in Kevin Mawae to stop Ted Washington when we ran the 3-4 defense.  I thought that was interesting to build your team to stop or beat particular players in your division and not necessarily always filling holes on your team. What are your thoughts on this?

CB: I think when there are players of Ted Washington’s caliber that can be disruptive up front at a certain position on a division opponent you have to make it a top priority. There’s no question the Bills are facing a similar situation knowing they’re going to see Vince Wilfork and Kris Jenkins twice a year, every year, and to a lesser extent Jason Ferguson. Center might be a higher priority for Buffalo than any other team in football in light of the teams they have to face in their division. So taking a similar approach to what Parcells did with the Jets would be wise, but is the right free agent answer out there?

As I’ve said before I’d be willing to sign Matt Birk (Minn.) to a two-year deal and groom a young replacement behind him (draft pick). That being said I’d probably re-sign Duke Preston as well. Baltimore’s Jason Brown is another option. He holds his ground a bit better than Duke, but he’s not any more athletic as I see it.


2. Dear Chris,
Hardy’s injury was rough on the receiving corps. Any chance of trading up for Crabtree?
Zubbaz Wearer
CB: James Hardy’s injury will be something that has to be addressed, even though Steve Johnson came on strong at season’s end. I think a one or two-year deal for a veteran free agent like Amani Toomer would be the best move. It takes the pressure off Hardy to come back quickly and make an impact this year, which I think will be difficult. And it provides the receiving corps with a player that has been there and done that along with Evans and Reed. While Crabtree is enticing, I just don’t think another young wideout is the answer, particularly with a host of other positional needs.


3. Hey Chris,

Just taking a look at the draft this year.  Do you think either Everette Brown or Aaron Maybin would fit in the 4-3 and do you think (or know) if the Bills would be inclined to take either of these DEs?


CB: I think Everette Brown is capable of playing in a 4-3 at the NFL level. I’m less sure about Maybin. Brown is a guy I like a lot. Most mock drafts right now don’t have him coming off the board in the top half of round one, but I like what I’ve seen.

I’ll try to do a little more homework on Brown to see if there are off the field issues or knocks on his game, but what I see on tape is pretty darn good stuff. I still need to see more of Maybin, but all indications are that he projects more to an OLB in 3-4 at the NFL level.


4. Hey Chris,
            I have been reading and a lot of people think that the Bills need to draft a TE to help open up there passing game, but what about free agency?  I believe the bills should pick up a DE in the draft with our first round pick, and then get our TE from free agency.  What do you think about L.J Smith being a realistic option for us?
-Anthony McClure

CB: I think there is a need to add a dynamic pass catching tight end and L.J. Smith has been that in his career. However, his injuries have become alarmingly frequent and I think he’s a very old 29. I think despite his talent, he’s too high risk to sign and expect him to change the face of your passing game. In free agency it’s pretty thin. The only attractive pass catching options are Tennessee’s Bo Scaife and RFA Owen Daniels (Houston). The draft might be the way to go, though I’m hesitant to add more youth.


5. Hey Chris,
For the upcoming draft I have a few scenarios that the Bills could pursue. Do you see them trading up to guarantee a guy like Orakpo from Texas? I also have them trading their first round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles 2 first round pick selections where they can draft a TE and C?
Toronto, Canada

CB: I think it’s very unlikely that the Bills would move into the top 10 to secure almost any player because it costs an awful lot to move up that high in the draft even from 11, and the top 10 is where the money really gets ridiculous for rookies. I expect the Bills will have a top 3 candidate pool for their first pick and hope one is still there at 11.

Either way they’re virtually guaranteed to get an impact player at that spot. If however, none of their top three choices are there at 11, I believe it’s reasonable to think they would explore moving down as you suggested.

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WR Crabtree declares for draft

Posted by Chris Brown on January 13, 2009 – 9:18 pm

WR Michael Crabtree declared for the draft today. Widely considered a top 10 pick, the receiver will hopefully push at least one or two pass rushing DE prospects further down the board for the Bills who sit at number 11 and sorely need pass rush help.

Speaking of defensive ends, Crabtree’s teammate DE Brandon Williams, who led the Big 12 in sacks this past season with 13 sacks also declared for the draft. He was given a 3rd round grade by the NFL Advisory board. At 6’5″ and 246 he may need to fill out a bit to play in a 4-3.

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