There's an old saying that the rich get richer. It happens to be true. As it relates to Buffalo, in this mock, the 49ers sign Jairus Byrd to an offer sheet with a term that the Bills simply can't match. Perhaps the 49ers include a term that Byrd must be the highest paid member of the secondary while also pegging his salary (though not bonus money) a shade beneath what the Bills are paying Gilmore. Byrd punches his ticket to a Super Bowl caliber team. The 49ers replace Goldson while giving up little more than they received from Kansas City for Alex Smith-the pair of second rounders will be at the top of the respective drafts while the first rounders Buffalo receives will be at the bottom of the first rounds. In summary, Byrd goes to a contender, the 49ers use found money to get Byrd (the team would likely have cut Smith if they had no trade partners), and the Bills pick up 2 first rounders for a guy who could have held out. The league is happy because someone has finally poached a franchised player, undermining any collusion talk. Win-win-win-win. The only people who might grumble are the San Fran fans who worry that Byrd is another Whitner due to the shared taint of being former Bills.
Losing Byrd clears his franchise tag money off the books. The Bills could try to turn around and sign Levitre. However, even if Buffalo wanted to, by that point Levitre would have already signed a deal with someone else-one worked out well before the start of free agency officially began.
The good news for Bills fans is that the team has roughly $28 million to spend in the free agent market. The team dumps the money that would gone to Byrd (or Levitre) on Rinehart and McKelvin. The hope is that Rinehart can slide into Levitre's LG spot if the team can't get a guard capable of starting in the draft and that McKelvin can work as the 3rd CB along with his return duties. With the remaining $20ish million the team turns to Delanie Walker for help at TE, loses out on Bowe to KC (though who really got the worse end of that is debatable), signs G Donald Thomas from New England, are openly told by ILBs Brad Jones and Dannell Ellerbe that they prefer to play for less on better teams but do snag OLB Philip Wheeler from Oakland, and sign CB Keenan Lewis from Pittsburgh.
Heading into the draft the Bills have their picks, San Fran's #31, and have free agents TE Walker, G Rinehart, G Thomas, OLB Wheeler, CB McKelvin and CB Lewis in the fold.
The Bills are on the clock. With a pick at the end of the first round and another early in the second, the team has already filled some needs at CB, TE, G and OLB. Since Nix doesn't believe in maximizing the value of his first round pick it's a good bet that he pulls the trigger on one of:
It says something about the draft class that seven different guys make sense at #8 in terms of value. There are no QBs on the list because I think Nix will stay true to the board at #8 and, in this scenario, take a QB at the end of the 1st or early in the 2nd. Of the seven listed, which do you prefer at #8?
137 votes total
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