FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 1: Antwaun Molden #27 of the New England Patriots stops Derek Hagan #80 of the Buffalo Bills in the first half at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The wide receiver position is one at which the Buffalo Bills are bracing themselves to make several big decisions in the next month or so. One player that could be more involved in those discussions is Derek Hagan.
Buffalo signed the 27-year-old journeyman receiver on November 22 after injuries ravaged the position. From Weeks 14-16, Hagan caught two passes in each week and scored his first touchdown as a Bill in a loss to Miami. Then, in the regular season finale in New England, Hagan went off as the team's de facto go-to receiver, hauling in seven passes for 89 yards. Both totals were just shy of career-bests for Hagan.
Bills head coach Chan Gailey admitted in early January that he'd been impressed by Hagan's play at the end of the season, even going so far as to say that Hagan "merits a strong look" going into 2012. Keep in mind that the statement was made prior to the team's extensive post-season personnel evaluations; things may have changed.
It is not, however, simply a matter of inking Hagan into the rotation in July. The Bills have bigger fish to fry at the position as they attempt to re-sign Stevie Johnson, and although Hagan - an impending free agent himself - isn't likely to be a hot commodity on the open market, it's not a lock at this point that he'll return. That's especially true as the Bills are looking to overhaul the position, regardless of what happens with Johnson.
Still, the 6'2" Hagan did enough in a short amount of time for Bills fans to seriously be considering him as an option next season somewhere near David Nelson on the depth chart.