Mar 15, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills new defensive end Mario Williams speaks at a press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Chief executive officer Russ Brandon is seen in the background. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
Up until this past month, a decade's worth of being a Buffalo Bills fan taught me to enter a given off-season with very low expectations. That has changed in the last ten days, with the Bills shelling out $127.5 million in contracts to defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. Suddenly, my Bills fandom seems chock-full of possibilities.
in that light, I'm dreaming big. After the jump, I've listed everything else I would like the Billsto accomplish before the start of the regular season in terms of player acquisitions. It is my Buffalo Bills Wish List.
A young quarterback developing. We've discussed this before. It's fine and dandy to call Brad Smith your third quarterback on game days, but that shouldn't prevent the team from actually beginning the process of molding an eventual starter at the position.
A play-making wide receiver. Preferably, this play-maker would have the ability to beat defenses vertically, as that's what the team most desperately needs. But really, any play-maker would do; Roscoe Parrish had the ability to diversify Buffalo's passing attack had he been able to stay healthy, and he was by no means a deep threat.
An athletic receiving tight end. It's nice that the Bills have something more than a warm body here in Scott Chandler, but in a changing league that emphasizes the passing game, a player like this would add a desperately-needed matchup problem to the Bills' offensive arsenal.
At least two offensive tackles. They only have three at the moment, and clearly that isn't going to cut it. Ideally, one of the new tackles would be able to at least compete with Chris Hairston for the starting left tackle job.
Another young defensive end. Yes, this position appears fortified, but neither Williams nor Anderson is particularly young, Chris Kelsay will be 33 in October, and Shawne Merriman is still a major injury risk. It would be very wise for the Bills to keep this position stockpiled with evolving talent on a permanent basis from this point forward.
A talented young defensive tackle. Their starting duo is obviously set here, but color me unimpressed with most of the team's reserves, particularly insofar as rushing the passer and winning one-on-one matchups go. There is some young talent here, but more wouldn't hurt. Rotational depth is essential.
At least two young linebackers with speed. At a position with diminishing importance to a defense, the Bills should focus on finding fast-flowing players that don't look lost dropping into coverage. Most particularly, they need a guy that can do what Nick Barnett does, if at all possible.
Another cornerback. The Bills legitimately roll five deep here, but Terrence McGee is a known injury risk, Leodis McKelvin has fallen from grace, and all five players have struggled in one way or another. More depth is needed, and if that depth can push for playing time, all the better.
A good backup free safety. Jairus Byrd is entering the final year of his deal, and the Bills would be smart to hedge their bets in case they can't retain him next off-season. None of their safeties are particularly speedy, including Byrd, and players with range are necessary in this division.
Good competition at punter. Brian Moorman is an organizational institution, and should remain the team's punter as long as he is effective. Thatthat said, he is also entering a contract year. Again, hedging bets would be wise.
What would you add to - or subtract from - the list, Bills fans?