Titans TE Bo Scaife (Associated Press)
During the process of identifying the Buffalo Bills' biggest positional needs, the Buffalo Rumblings community nearly unanimously listed a pass-rushing defensive end as the one spot where the Bills most desperately needed an upgrade. Tight end, center and outside linebacker closely followed. We have already begun the process of profiling potential Bills free agents; for reference now and in the future, all of these profiles will be available at this link.
With the NFL's free agent signing period set to begin less than one month from today (midnight on February 27), we here at Rumblings are now starting the process of profiling several top-notch free agents that the community has identified as potentially worthy of donning the red, white and blue in 2009. Back in 2006 - Dick Jauron's first in Buffalo - the Bills signed veteran free agent Robert Royal in the hopes that the former Redskin would finally alleviate some of the team's long-standing issues at the tight end position. Three years later, Royal has proven to be an average player, and the Bills still lack a threat at the tight end position - a position that QB Trent Edwards would utilize often were said viable threat available. In a weak free agent class at the position, Tennessee's Bo Scaife might be the one veteran tight end who can help out in Buffalo.
Age 28 at start of 2009 season
6'3", 249 pounds
4-year NFL veteran out of Texas
It has been years since the Buffalo Bills had a legitimate receiving threat at the tight end position. The Bills have never actually had an elite athlete at the position, but instead have gotten solid production out of big bodies (and sub-par athletes) like Pete Metzelaars and Jay Riemersma. Currently, no threat like that exists on Buffalo's roster. With Trent Edwards favoring a shorter passing game and preferring to check down more often than he takes chances down field, a receiving threat with the ability to turn short gains into longer ones would be a great addition to Buffalo's offense. Titans free agent tight end Bo Scaife has shown big play ability through his first four years in the league, and as the top name available at the position this off-season, he's certainly worth a look for the offensively challenged Bills.
I'm no authority on the Titans, but Jimmy of Music City Miracles (which I respectfully submit is the most gut-wrenchingly awful blog name in the history of mankind) most certainly is. SB Nation's Titans blogger recently shared some insight with me on Scaife, which I now present to you here...
On Scaife's on-field abilities
"Scaife has been one of the Titans' most consistent options as far as catching the ball in the passing game in his time with the team. He is sure handed and makes some big plays. The problem with him is that he will have some big stretches where he doesn't have any catches. How much of that is him and how much of that is the offense is hard to say, but the numbers are kind of crazy. In Week 10 at Chicago, Scaife caught 10 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. He only caught 16 passes the rest of the regular season."
On Scaife's free agent options
"Scaife is one of those guys that some team will throw a bunch of money at, and I seriously doubt it will be the Titans."
On his overall opinion of Scaife
"He is a very solid player, but in my opinion he is only somewhere in the 2nd to 3rd tier of tight ends in the league."
Does Scaife "Fit the Bill"?
Look, I'm as gung-ho about finding a good tight end for the Bills as the rest of you. But I have some serious doubts about Scaife. Sure, he's got qualities that the Bills have sorely lacked at the position - some production, straight-line speed and solid hands. But take a gander at his stat line below, particularly the areas of average gain per reception and YAC (yards after catch) average. Folks, Robert Royal beats him in both categories, at least in terms of his time with the Bills. Royal is averaging over 10 yards per reception (10.27), and his YAC average (5.07) is on par with Scaife's (5.0). The question then becomes whether Scaife's solid reception totals are a product of the Titans having few good receiving options - and I think history indicates that that very clearly is the case. I'm not saying I'm completely against the idea of bringing Scaife in - in fact, that's not the case at all, because I really like his speed - but Scaife isn't the type of game-breaking threat that the Bills could really use, in my honest opinion.
Any thoughts on Scaife that you'd like to add? Take a gander at his stat line below, vote in the poll, and let's talk some about Bo Scaife this afternoon. Many thanks to Jimmy for the valuable insight!