In one of the threads that popped up over the last two weeks, a Rumbler proposed that we should all come up with our own off-season plans as a matter for discussion to take our minds off the meaninglessness void that will be the last few weeks of 2012 Bills football (apologies in advance to whoever brought this up, can't remember the name).
This is my somewhat basic plan that I believe would lead to great success next year, or at the very least will provide some criticisms and structure for others to build upon when said builders craft their own plans in the future.
It's basic due to a lack of cap knowledge, and a lack of knowledge concerning the who's-who of certain positions in college. In light of that, there are some instances where I refer to a player not by name but rather [drafted rookie]. With that said, here is my plan. Bits of it I've already stumped for in other threads, but this will centralize them.
Concerning Free Agency -- this bit might bite me, as it's possible we don't have the cash to keep everyone.
- Re-sign Jairus Byrd -- this is a no brainer. He's arguably one of the tops at his position in the league.
- Re-sign Andy Levitre -- another no brainer. He's been dependable, both in play and durability.
- Tender/Re-sign Kraig Urbik -- I say tender, because Rotoworld is claiming he's an RFA this year. This will allow us to focus on signing Byrd and Levitre without losing Urbik.
- Tender RFA Donald Jones -- will make for a solid #4 receiver and backup deep threat. Speed is a commodity we don't have an abundance of at WR.
- Tender RFA David Nelson -- #1 safety valve, big bodied WR with sure hands.
- Tender RFA David Snow -- cheap OL depth
- Tender RFA Keith Williams -- cheap OL depth
- Re-sign Leodis McKelvin -- he seems to have turned into a solid cornerback. If we can get him at a fair price, say $2-3 million?, and we aren't forced to enter a bidding war for his services, it would be helpful to have him back.
- Re-sign Kyle Moore -- solid developmental prospect. Might be worth bringing back for $1-2 million.
- Re-sign Corey McIntyre -- cheap. STer. not going to cost us an arm an a leg. If it does? Let him go into free agency.
- Re-sign Jay Ross -- backup DT. Only if he is cheap.
- Re-sign Mana Silva -- cheap, backup, developmental prospect at S
- Sign Glenn Dorsey -- Despite the costs incurred re-signing the previous players, I think the Bills will have enough cap space to take a $1.5-3 million per year gamble on this player. As I've stated in my sig, he is a free agent this year and I don't believe Kansas City will try to re-sign him if they plan on running the 3-4 Defense next year. He was the 5th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, and it was his elite measurables and elite play as a 4-3DT at LSU that got him drafted that high. At 6'1'' and weighing 297 pounds, it's arguable that he never should have been picked to play in the Chief's 3-4. The $1.5-3 million per year is a small amount of cap space to gamble on being the dominant 4-3DT that he was in college. This is, of course, assuming that I'm not underestimating the demand for him from 4-3 teams. If we signed him and he reached his potential, which I don't think is a pipe dream, then we would have a deadly 3-way rotation at defensive tackle. And at 27, he's still youthful and could be helpful for years to come.
Do not re-sign the following:
- Ruvell Martin - he adds nothing as a WR. His work on ST can be replaced by either Marcus Easley or a developmental prospect at CB.
- Dorin Dickerson - he is an RFA, so it might be worth tendering simply for training camp
- Spencer Johnson -- prior to this year, he has been a solid mainstay at DT. This year, I can't recall him making much of a difference. His spot can be better utilized by taking the money paid to him and gambling that Glenn Dorsey can be useful as a 4-3 DT. If not, then we're left with the not difficult task of finding a #4 DT.
- Bryan Scott -- He has been useful as a Nickel LB, but he is getting older, and it would be helpful to find a younger LB prospect, or use Da'Norris Searcy, to replace him. If he is re-signed on the cheap, read: not much more than vet minimum, it would be useful to bring him back for training camp.
- Tashard Choice -- no point paying for a #3 RB that doesn't have potential to do anything. It would be more useful to draft a RB or pick up a UDFA that has an outside chance of becoming Arian Foster, even if it is the slimmest of hopes.
- Tarvaris Jackson -- this really depends on whether or not Fitz can be kept as a backup. We wasted a late round pick when we acquired him, but that's a sunk cost, and a small cost at that.
- Shawne Merriman -- if the draft goes as planned, we won't need him. If it doesn't, he could certainly be had as cheap depth, later in the season, as we saw this year.
Cut the following
- Brad Smith -- he is simply not worth the money. If we want someone in his mold, waste a late round pick on Danard Robinson. He'll be cheaper. Brad Smith is an average receiver. Our receiver depth is pretty solid. He's an average kick returner. We have no problems find kick returners amongst our CBs. He's an awful QB. We already have that in abundance.
- Chris Kelsay -- We have plenty of depth, and he isn't worth the cost in money or roster space. If the draft goes according to plan, his services will not be required.
- Terrence McGee -- if he takes vet minimum, we might as well keep him through training camp to see if he finishes healthy. Otherwise, we should just cut ties with him. He hasn't been a help on the field in years.
Concerning the Draft - assuming we draft at 10
1A) Bjoern Werner - Defensive End - Florida State - he's big. he's fast. he collects sacks. he would help make this defensive line comparable to the New York Giants. ESPN currently lists him at 6'4 and 255 pounds. Also, his first name means 'bear'. This is assuming that one of Mike Glennon, Geno Smith, or Matt Barkley weren't available. Or, that we didn't covet another late first, early 2nd round QB. If Bjoern Werner doesn't make it out of the top 10, Ziggy Ansah from BYU would be intriguing. It may be a reach, but he is raw like Jason Pierre-Paul and Chandler Jones were coming out of college. Ansah also has prototypical size for a 4-3 DE, listed at 6'6 270 pounds, and great speed to go along with it.
1B) Ryan Nassib - Quarterback - Syracuse - [trade up to 20-25 range]. Big arm. Solid accuracy. Good build for a quarterback. He might be available in the early 2nd round, but there's no reason to chance it once we're one piece away from being a great football team. Heck, it's possible he's not even available this late in the first. In terms of who to draft, I would be just as fine with Landry Jones in this situation. As far as compensation? I'm not sure what we'd give up. Whether it is a 2013 2nd round and 2014 2nd round, or more.
2) Traded away
3) Best available prospect between LB or big-bodied WR. This is where my lack of college following will show. In the later rounds, I am not as up to date concerning prospects.
4) Best available prospect between LB or big-bodied WR (assuming WR wasn't already drafted). Rex Burkhead, RB from Nebraska would be tempting here if he fell due to injury, but this would also be a luxury.
7) traded away
QB (3): Ryan Nassib / Ryan Fitzpatrick / [UDFA Developmental ROOKIE]
RB (3): CJ Spiller / Fred Jackson / [UDFA Rookie]
WR (6): Steve Johnson / David Nelson / TJ Graham / Donald Jones / [ROOKIE] / Marcus Easley
OG (4): Andy Levitre / Kraig Urbik / Keith Williams / David Snow
OC (1): Eric Wood /
MLB (1): Kelvin Sheppard /
S (4): Jairus Byrd / Da'Norris Searcy / George Wilson / Mana Silva
K (1): [Rookie - one that can actually kick field goals]
P (1): Shawn Powell
LS (1): Garrison Sanborn
UDFA targets: LBs, CBs, OL
Areas of Concern: OG depth, LB depth, S depth
can alleviate by giving Marcus Easley's ST spot to CB Crezdon Butler or TJ Heath
if we don't draft two LBs, Moats might be back as a backup
Notes on the Roster
- Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks, and Aaron Wiliams will fight for the #2CB spot
- Concerning Aaron Williams: if the coaches stop giving us lip service, and truly have Stephon Gilmore follow the #1 WR around the field, it would be interesting to see how Aaron Willimas would handle the #2 WR
- Safety depth is a concern. If the coaches feel Aaron Williams is meant for safety, George Wilson could be cut to save money.
- In the event of Aaron Williams moving to Safety, Marcus Easley's slot is moved to cornerback so we can keep a couple of developmental depth players (i.e. Butler, and Heath) who can still fulfill the gunner role on special teams. We keep 5 WRs and 6 CBs.
- LB would arguably be the weak link of the team, but also, arguably, the only clear liability.
- It might not be necessary to retain 5 DEs and 5 DTs, but I have kept them for this reason: better to have strong depth, even at positions of strength, than crap depth at positions of weakness. Obviously, if Torell Troup's back isn't in shape for 2013 training camp, we don't have to worry about keeping 5 DTs on the 53man roster.
- Mark Anderson goes back to being a situational pass rusher, a role that he has had much success in.