Dear Fellow Bills Fans,
With NFL free agency just around the corner, I wanted to pinpoint some possible targets for our Buffalo Bills. With the Bills having an estimated $18 million in cap space we do have some money to go shopping, however in the market that is free agency there is always an asterisk that reads "buyer beware". For one, the "top" free agents always get overpaid. For two, it is really hard to gauge what type of player you will really be getting. For three, there are questions as to why he is a free agent in the first place. Will he mesh with your coaching staff and the current members of your team? Who is this player really? This off-season is a particularly tricky one to guess what direction the Bills are going to go after the off-season hires of head coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
It is not really Buddy Nix's style to make big splashes in the free agents pool, with the obvious exception of Mario Williams ( that was fun!! ), as we have seen in off-seasons under his tenure. Also, I think the Bills are looking to get much younger and I wouldn't be surprised if they chose to target undrafted free agents over the veteran variety to fill out their roster and save the additional cap space to carry over to next season. However we do have needs and they need to be filled, so here goes nothing ...
Team Needs : QB,QB,QB,QB,QB ( just kidding .... kinda)
Team Needs : QB, WR, TE, OL?, DE, ILB, OLB, CB, S ( wow, that is an even longer list )
So, I started here to look at the free agents that are due to hit the market. If you are just going to scroll down and not read my thoughts, I will outline in bold what I am looking for. There appears to be enough talent in the list of TE's and CB's to suit my desire to find starter quality talent for a relatively cheap price. Unfortunately, there just are not many LB's and the ones at the top are going to get a lot of coin ( although I would really like Ellerbe). I did not want to scour the lists for depth/rotational guys but rather I am looking to find an impact starter or two. I am also looking for players that fit my goal of remaining young, so basically those players coming off their rookie contracts or under the 30 mark. Furthermore, I want to sign guys that are pretty durable and will stay out of the headlines for all the wrong reasons. On top of that, I am no longer going to speculate on our impending free agents as the Bills brass should know these guys better than any of us do. I will say for the record that I want Levitre and McKelvin back with Moore being a toss-up.
My Short List :
WRs - Brandon Gibson
OL - Phil Loadholt, Brandon Moore
S - LaRon Landry
My top 3 :
(1) Martellus Bennett - A big guy who can block and catch. He would easily replace Nelson/Jones with his production and while some may view him as a loud mouth, I think the Bills need a player on offense to bring some excitement and rally the team.
(2) Erin Henderson - Certainly not the big name player that Bills fans are hoping for but a solid player nonetheless, especially in the run defense department. After watching our defense define putrid in recent seasons, he allows our pass rushers to finally earn their dough this year with his solid 1st and 2nd down play.
(3) Delanie Walker - Yep, another TE and yes his versatility has me leap-frogging Dustin Keller in my above rankings. I really like Keller but targeting Bennett above has me drooling over our TE combination of Bennett, Chandler and Walker. This "movable chess piece" allows the Bills to be a running team while still having options in the passing game.
Obviously the targeting of these players still leaves the Bills with holes on the roster but that's what the draft is for, right??? I like the "value" these players provide over some of the other "high priced" players available this year. I do like polls, so I will add one here with the players on my short list. As always thank you for reading and I look forward to your comments!
Which player would you like the Bills to pursue in FA?
Martellus Bennett (7 votes)
Dustin Keller (10 votes)
Delanie Walker (10 votes)
Jared Cook (11 votes)
Antoine Cason (7 votes)
Cary Williams (9 votes)
Erin Henderson (4 votes)
Larry Grant (1 vote)
Rey Maualuga (12 votes)
Brandon Gibson (19 votes)
Phil Loadholt (2 votes)
Brandon Moore (3 votes)
LaRon Landry (5 votes)
None of the above (10 votes)
110 total votes