As the first sign of proof that the Buffalo Bills are working the phones in the opening hours of 2013 NFL free agency, Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports that the team was in on the bidding for free agent defensive lineman Mike DeVito before he ultimately signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
DeVito, 28, has spent the past four seasons playing for a New York Jets defense coordinated by new Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. An underrated run defender, the Bills were likely looking at DeVito as a rotational player along their defensive line, where he could have played end on run downs in Pettine's hybrid defense.
Instead, DeVito chose to sign a three-year, $12.6 million contract with the Chiefs, where he will likely be a starting 3-4 defensive end (replacing the soon-to-depart Glenn Dorsey). That type of contract makes more sense for a starter than as a backup, which DeVito would have been in Buffalo - even if he'd played a lot for one of the league's worst run defenses.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been released, Andy Levitre signed a massive contract with the Tennessee Titans (seriously, he's going to make $13 million next season), and so far all we know about who the Bills might be interested in is that they lost out on one of Pettine's former players. This is quite the departure from the start of free agency a year ago, when the team was already wining and dining Mario Williams at this juncture.