My name is Rob, and I've been reading this site for years now, FanPosts and all, but never got into commenting or posting on my own until now. Living in South Florida, coming to sites like these are the only true way to stay involved with my No. 1 team, the Bills. After a(nother) miserable season of pennying up the dough for Sunday Ticket only to watch Buffalo crap the bed, here is my dream offseason plan for the Bills. Let's hope Buddy & Co. are taking note.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is clearly not an option going forward, and Nix has all but stated that himself. He is average to below average in every major statistical category in the NFL, and lacks arm strength sufficient to deal with the November and December Buffalo winds. Accuracy is an issue, despite this basic, quick pass offense, completing just 61.7% of his passes, good for 16th in the league. Yards per attempt? 27th at 6.61. Interceptions? Sixth. The list goes on.
Stevie Johnson got locked up long-term last season, and is the only weapon on the roster in the pass game. Donald Jones is a capable wide receiver, but there is no way he should be a No. 2 target. T.J. Graham was supposed to be a game-breaker, but doesn't seem to have the hands. However, with 90% of his targets seemingly coming on screen passes, it's safe to say that he is misused. Marcus Easley is a sore subject for me, as I really don't see what so many fans see in him. I get that the "potential" is there, but after years of being a practice squad guy, that "potential" he hasn't been good enough in the eyes of 31 other franchises to warrant a waiver claim. Nix wants a big receiver "like A.J. Green" that can "Get open when he's covered." These guys are true No. 1 targets, 6'1-6'5" guys with a big frame that can be a weapon in the endzone on those back shoulder fades that are growing ever so popular in the NFL. With Stevie likely moving inside to the slot, and T.J. sticking outside, that leaves a hole at the opposite wideout position.
We got Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, and presumably Kyle Moore for the future, but in this league, you can never have enough pass rushing options. Mario is a true every down player at the left end position, but the right side needs a better run stopper. Anderson and Moore are best suited when strictly rushing the passer, and Chris Kelsay, arguably the best run defender of the three, which isn't saying much, is very old, has become ineffective, and has a pretty big cap number of $4,093,750 this year, $4.975 million next year, and $4.995 million in the following season.
These linebackers seem out of place on almost every play of every game. Nick Barnett is the only one who has a clue what is going on, and he is on the decline. Nigel Bradham is just a rookie, and while exceptionally athletic for his size, he is still very, very raw. Kelvin Sheppard can't shed blocks, is completely ineffective in the run game, and isn't much better against the pass. For the center of a defense, 66 total tackles is inexcusable. The guy just isn't a playmaker, and I don't think that can ever be taught.
Stephon Gilmore is the lone bright spot for a subpar group of cornerbacks. Aside from Gilmore, McKelvin has struggled for five years, and sadly, we're better off moving on from him. Aaron Williams can't cover the deep ball as we all saw early in the season, prior to his injury, and may be better off at the safety position, where many draft pundits projected him. Ron Brooks is taking his lumps as a rookie, but is showing some good potential. Justin Rogers is an embarrassment, and I really don't know why he even has a spot on the active roster.
George Wilson isn't making the plays he was making a year or two ago, and while Da'Norris Searcy is creeping into the lineup, he doesn't really seem to make many plays of his own. We saw Wilson pretty much throw away the St. Louis game, dropping not one, but two would-be interceptions, and he, like Kelsay, has a pretty big cap number for his production. He is making $3,566,666 this year, and $4,041,667 next year. \
Savings: Roughly $16.45 million
While Greg Jennings is probably the most productive and versatile of this group, he lacks the size that Buddy Nix explained in his recent press conference. Mike Wallace is a game-changer with blazing speed, however, I believe Nix thought he was getting a poor man's Mike Wallace when he traded up to grab T.J. Graham in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. That leaves Dwayne Bowe. Bowe fits the size mold for Nix, standing 6'2", weighing 221 pounds. He has been productive for a very poor Chiefs franchise with similar quarterback limitations. This season, he has 59 catches for 801 yards, and just three touchdowns. For his career, he has 415 receptions, 5,728 yards, and 39 scores. He is just 28 years old, and if he isn't asking for an arm and a leg, I think Nix Pulls the trigger.
There aren't any sexy linebackers or cornerbacks available in free agency, aside from Rey Mauluga, a 26 year old middle linebacker for the Bengals, but Daryl Smith, a 30-year old linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who has 107 tackles this year, and nine forced fumbles, six interceptions, and 21.5 sacks for his career, could be a solid upgrade over Kelvin Sheppard. As far as cornerbacks, Brent Grimes of the Atlanta Falcons, or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are the big names, but they will command a ton of cash on the open market, and that position may be best left to the draft.
2013 NFL Draft
Rd 1- LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Rd 1 (Trade to 22-28 area, same trade as New Orleans and New England)- 2013 2nd, 2014 1st- QB Mike Glennon, N.C. State
Rd 3 WR Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech
Rd 4- OLB Sean Porter, Texas A&M
Rd 5- SS Shawn Williams Georgia
Rd 6- CB Marc Anthony, California
So there you have it guys, my dream 2013 Bills offseason! Let me know what you think!