Tinoisamoa (right), 27, had 104 tackles in 2008 (photo source)
As reported last evening by ESPN.com's Tim Graham, the Buffalo Bills will host a free agent visit with recently released St. Louis Rams OLB Pisa Tinoisamoa.
Tinoisamoa, who will turn 28 just prior to training camp this season, has spent all of his six NFL seasons in St. Louis, where he broke into the starting lineup as a rookie. He has struggled some with injuries over the past few seasons; he missed five games in 2006 and another seven in 2007, though he did play in all 16 games last season. Tinoisamoa - 6'1" and a reported 220 pounds - can best be described as active and athletic, but not a game-changer.
We discussed just last week the fact that of all of their many needs, the Bills wisely let linebacker go the longest without being addressed. As it stands now, incumbent starter Keith Ellison would retain his role next season, with serious challenges from free agent signee Pat Thomas, rookie Nic Harris and second-year pro Alvin Bowen. None of those names have the experience nor the productivity of Tinoisamoa.
SB Nation's St. Louis Rams blog, Turf Show Times, had this to say upon Pisa's release last week:
It was hard to question his motor, but his lack of consistency frustrated observers the most. Tinoisamoa, however, was the man without a position with the move of (Will) Witherspoon from the middle back to his natural role on the weak-side. Pisa, at 220 lbs, is a little smallish for the strong-side. We speculated this might be coming earlier in the spring.
The blog also discussed reports that Tinoisamoa, just a day after his release from St. Louis, was already on the radar of the New England Patriots. If that isn't extra incentive to try to get something done today on Buffalo's part, I don't know what is.
In Buffalo, Tinoisamoa would man the SAM linebacker role - a position which holds the responsibilities of a weak-side linebacker in a traditional 4-3 defense. As the team's two sure-fire starters, Paul Posluszny and Kawika Mitchell, are "thumpers" by nature, the athleticism of Tinoisamoa would be a nice complement - particularly in nickel packages, where the limited athleticism of Mitchell has been exposed.
Tip of the hat to 'O.J. is My Bodyguard' for breaking the story here last night in this FanShot.