Over the weekend, the Buffalo Bills made two under-the-radar free agent signings when they signed themselves a new backup quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick and a new starting center in Geoff Hangartner. We've been fortunate to have SB Nation's Bengals and Panthers bloggers drop by to talk about Fitzpatrick's skills and Hangartner's potential; if you're looking for a little light reading on both of our new players and didn't drop by yesterday, those are the links to do so.
The team did not host any free agent visitors on Sunday, but that doesn't mean that we went without news. Here's the latest on four more guys that have had their names associated with the Bills activity-wise over the busy first weekend of free agency.
Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that the Bills are the team pursuing WR Laveranues Coles hardest. Hutchinson also mentions that two teams thought to be interested in bidding on Coles' services, the Dolphins and Browns, have already dropped out of the running. Teams like Cincinnati may enter the bidding (depending on what happens today with T.J. Houshmandzadeh), but right now, it's "Buffalo or wait" for Coles.
The Bills, however, are playing their cards correctly on this. Obviously the team wants him here, but they're not going to leave an offer dangling out there forever so that Coles can use it as leverage if a new team enters the bidding. We felt sure, and it was confirmed to us by a source close to the team, that the Bills have an end date on their offer to Coles. They'll pull the offer and move on before getting into a bidding war with him, and that's the smart play. It's on Coles' shoulders from here. Hopefully, we'll know something by day's end, but for now, we'll dub Mr. Coles "Panda II".
Why didn't the team have any free agents in the building on Sunday? Two reasons. One, Coles is currently their top priority, and as the team doesn't have oodles of cash to spend, they clearly have a bit of waiting to do on Coles before they can start talking deals with anyone of significance. The more important reason, however, is that the Bills are reportedly working hard on securing an extension for OT Jason Peters and trying to find a way to re-sign CB Jabari Greer.
Peters, if you recall, held out for the entirety of last off-season seeking a new deal. Buffalo is determined to avoid history repeating itself. There isn't a huge rush to get Peters signed, but the sooner it's done, the better - Buffalo needs to know exactly what their cap situation looks like once he's extended so that they can continue adding talent.
Greer has been a priority for the team for some time, but his is one of the hottest names remaining on the free agent market. Greer has already visited with Detroit and Tampa Bay, and other teams, including Denver, St. Louis and New Orleans, are reportedly interested as well.
After releasing LG Derrick Dockery last week, the Bills have reportedly expressed interest in disgruntled Chiefs guard Brian Waters. The 32-year-old Waters is looking to be moved, as he isn't particularly thrilled with the Chiefs' new power duo of Scott Pioli and Todd Haley. Depending on what happens with Coles, don't be shocked if the Bills ramp up their efforts to kick the tires on Waters - they might even have an extra WR to dangle as trade bait by the time their interest becomes more legitimate.