As the Buffalo Bills assemble in Rochester for 2012 training camp, GM Buddy Nix told reporters on Tuesday that the team is not yet comfortable with its depth in all areas.
"The one place I’m a little concerned is our depth at safety," Nix said. "We’ve got three guys and we’d like to have four there that can play. Other than that I think we’re pretty deep."
The "three guys" Nix refers to are the team's two starters, Jairus Byrd and George Wilson, and 2011 fourth-round pick Da'Norris Searcy, who profiles as Wilson's eventual replacement in the lineup. Bryan Scott has ample experience at safety, but the team appears intent on keeping him in his very specific nickel/dime linebacker role.
Beyond that trio of safeties are four current and former undrafted free agents: Joshua Nesbitt, a former college quarterback, spent most of the 2011 season on Buffalo's practice squad, while Delano Howell, Nick Sukay and Nick Saenz were all added to the roster after this past April's draft.
One would think that if the Bills were legitimately interested in any of the safeties currently available on the open market, the team would have already brought said safety (or safeties) in. I imagine that players like Jim Leonhard, Deon Grant and others will be popular names in the comments section, but I'll be waiting on the speculation until more names become available via releases and the waiver wire.
The waiver wire, in particular, has been a favorite tool of Nix's over the last couple of years. Six players currently on the roster were waiver claims made by the Bills: running back Tashard Choice, tight end Lee Smith, right tackle Sam Young, right guard Kraig Urbik, pass rusher Shawne Merriman and defensive lineman Lionel Dotson. Watch that waiver wire, ladies and gentlemen - particularly if an athletically-intriguing former early to mid-round draft choice becomes available.