I am not greedy
At least I don't think I am greedy. I don't want any more big free agent signings or a new quarterback or anything crazy. Because I liked alot of what we did last year as a team. Its my opinion that if E.J. makes good progression and we can resign Alex Carrington and Arthur Moats, we have almost every important piece for a playoff push.
Alex Carrington- 2013 PFF Secret Superstar
I want Alex Carrington back for several reasons. I am under the impression that we will run a similar defense to last year, at least that is what Marrone and Schwartz have been saying. If you don't think we will be using a 3-4 (or 3-3-5) at all, maybe you think the coaches are trying a little misdirection, then you probably won't see the point in resigning Carrington. But you would be wrong, so wise up. Because he can also be effective on the inside of a 4-3 in a rotational/depth role. He could potentially play every snap if there was injury on the line. That being the case, why wouldn't you want a young guy with unknown and potentially huge upside for a cheap price? He probably won't get half the money we are paying a guy like Chris Williams, who's 3 years older has consistently disappointed and has a much smaller window for improvement. Carrington is the guy we had penciled in as the starter in the 3-4 base last year. Sure he's an injury risk, but his injury risk is what keeps him cheap! Think of the potential return on a $1-2 Million dollar a year deal. If he plays even 1/3 of the snaps and plays well, he would have earned his paycheck. If he plays 50% or more snaps we got a bargain and god forbid something should happen to Kyle Williams or Marcel Dareus, he could prove to be invaluable. 2 years for $2 million guaranteed with $2 million in potential performance/playing time bonuses. The guy can play both 4-3 and 3-4 and was playing very well before his injury. He has every quality I look for in bargain free agent: Upside, Cheap Versatile.
Arthur Moats- Best Tackler in the NFL?
Through the first eleven weeks of last season, Arthur Moats was the most successful tackler in the NFL. He had 32 individual tackles and 0 misses. The closest players to him in efficiency, who played significantly more snaps, were Paul Pozluszny and Vontaze Burfict. They each made 83 tackles with a whopping 6 misses. We already have good depth at linebacker and I know many people are clamoring for an elite linebacker to play next to Kiko. Now Moats may never be elite, but he could be very good and won't cost too much. He also plays well on special teams, where that tackling comes in handy. 3 years with $3 million guaranteed and $3 million in potential bonuses. Moats has each of those qualities I want in a bargain free agent: Upside, Cheap, Versatile.
With these signings there are 3 potential holes in the starting lineup.
1. Right Tackle- We need an immediate upgrade and should do so in the first or second round of the draft.
2. Left Guard- This may not be a hole if Chris Williams succeeds. Even if he does I would like at least one dominant powerful guard help open holes in the running game and improve interior pass protection. Imagine Freddie running behind Cordy Glenn, Gabe Jackson and Eric Wood. We should upgrade in the second or third round of the draft.
3. Safety- This may or may not be a hole. Da Norris Searcy, Duke Williams or Jonathon Meeks could potentially fill this spot, otherwise it should be addressed in the draft or with free agent Chris Clemons (Don't hold your breath).
On paper the Bills are a QB, a RT, a LG and probably a S away from potential greatness.
Conclusion- We need E.J. to improve. We need to draft a starting RT. We need to draft a starting LG or Chris Williams needs to meet high expectations. One of our young safeties must step up or we need to find a starting quality safety in the draft. Make it happen OBD!
P.S. My unbiased and wildly speculative estimate of the probability these things happen for the bills and they therefore make the playoffs is about 15% (.50*.75*.50*.75).