(1) This is for fun. I told myself I would not do this but then I completely caved. This is not necessarily "best case scenario" for me; it is just one of a million scenarios, and I personally prefer to aim for something reasonable but unique on something like this. (2) I do not play caponomics, but my dealings in free agency are boring enough for me to justify not detailing how the Bills may find the cap room for these guys. (3) Many of these are long (which is fine), but I am keeping it as short as a can. Further discussion or explanation can be hashed out in the comments.
Buddy Nix is told that if he does not fire Chan Gailey he will be shown the door. Buddy Nix, being both invested in Coach Gailey and a loyal boss, goes down with the ship. Buddy Nix is replaced by Doug Whaley and all other key parts of the front office (namely Chuck Cook and Tom Gibbons) stay intact.
Whaley's first order of business is telling Gailey something that he already knew: that his time in Buffalo is up.
After some short period of interviews, Doug Whaley hires David Shaw to his first NFL head coaching gig. Shaw took over at Stanford for Jim Harbaugh. He is a young up-and-comer with a fair amount of NFL coaching experience who maintained Stanford's lofty football status even after losing Andrew Luck.
Since Shaw is an offensive minded coach, I am not overly concerned with his choice for offensive coordinator. At defensive coordinator, the only demand I would make here is that he keeps a 40 base while mixing things up on a per play basis more than Wannstedt did. A possible name for this spot is Derek Mason (Shaw's current DC at Stanford), and another one might be Mike Waufle (long time NFL defensive line coach, currently coaching Jeff Fisher's Dline in St. Louis and worked with Shaw on the Raiders under Gruden).
*In this case, the smart thing to do (in my opinion ) would be to immediately name Jackson the starting QB and force any addition to outplay him to get on the field.
*I personally would pick McIntyre. Judging by the kind of offense Shaw runs at Stanford, I would assume he makes the same choice. Nonetheless, I leave the door open for Dickerson should Shaw decide to run an offense closer to Gaileys.
Free Agent "Splashes"
1) Mike Glennon (QB, NC State) 6'6 232lbs
2) Margus Hunt (DE, SMU) 6'8 280lbs
3) Chris Gragg (TE/WR, Arkansas) 6'3 236lbs
Last three picks recycled from my previous mock:
4) DeVonte Holloman (LB, South Carolina) 6'2 240lbs
5) Mike Carter (CB, Minnesota) 5'11 189lbs
6) Justin Tuggle (LB, Kansas State) 6'3 237lbs
Projected Final Roster*
There are two vacancies here. One is presumably for a better 3rd RB option than Tashard Choice, and the other is a flex that could be used in any number of ways (including keeping both Dickerson and McIntyre). Let us assume that it ends up being a good undrafted free agent that plays his way onto the team on the defensive line.
QB: Jackson, Glennon, Stanton
RB: Spiller, Jackson
TE/FB: Chandler, Gragg, Smith, McIntyre/Dickerson
WR: Johnson, Alexander, Nelson, Graham, Jones, B. Smith
OT: Glenn, Hairston, Young, Sanders
OG/C: Levitre, Wood, Urbik, Brown, Snow
DE: Williams, Anderson, Hunt, Moore
DT: Dareus, Williams, Carrington, Troup/Ross (if Troup's healthy, I think he can make the team)
LB: Barnett, Sheppard, Bradham, White, Holloman, Tuggle
CB: Gilmore, Williams, McKelvin, Brooks, Rodgers, Carter
S: Byrd, Searcy, Wilson, Silva
Specialists: Lindell, Powell, Sanborn
The offense, in my opinion, does not lose much (if anything) at starting QB in the short term while gaining two viable threats and maintaining stability on the offensive line. The defensive reinforcements are closer to sub-package/developmental types, but the unit can still improve immediately with the younger players' continued development and by adding a competent defensive coordinator.
In regards to long term outlook, the Bills get young up-and-comers at both General Manager and Head Coach while adding a very good QB prospect to build around and mold (respectively). The defense gets a possible game breaker at defensive end, and Whaley's inherited team looks much better on paper than Nix's.