A Post Mortem of a 2014 BROP in 5500 words

For reference (I warn you, it’s long, so is this post-mortem):

Needs I identified:

At the beginning of my 2014 BROP I stated how important turnovers are to NFL Success, predicting post season play, how some successful teams have entire practice days devoted to turnovers, and that if the Bills did, it would have helped EJ throw less INTs, and help the defense create more. Everyone liked to mention how the 2013 Bills D was second (to Seattle) in the league in Interceptions, but what I didn’t hear enough of was that we were only +3 turnovers on the year as a team (where as Seattle led the league in 2013 at +20).

Notably, the Seahawks have a Defensive Passing Game Coordinator coaching position right below DC, and I thought the Bills should have one too (which is interesting to note, as the Bills seem to be doing something similar on Offense this year). I ultimately added the following 2 coaches:

Tony Oden. Former Defensive Backs coach for the Bucs, I would have given him the title of Senior Defensive Assistant, however, in reality he spent 2014 without a coaching position.

Travaris Robinson, I would have given him a DB assistant coach position, in reality he was the Florida Gators DB coach. In the past he coached under DC Dan Quinn before Quinn went to the Seahawks, it looks like he’s taking a position with Auburn in 2015.

Obviously neither of these guys were added, and it’s really sort of impossible to predict what type of change bringing them in would have made. The Bills went from playing against the Pass well and the Run poorly to being a top defense in all areas, and as a team they went from +3 Turnover differential in 2013 to +7 in 2014 (tied for 6th in the league, the Defense finished tied for 6th in INTs, tied for 11th in fumbles recovered, resulting in a 3rd place finish for Turnovers by the Defense, while the Offense struggled again, tied for 19th with INTs, 15th for fumbles lost, and tied for 15th overall for give aways).

I attempted to get FAs and Draft players that filled needs at:

OLine. In reality OBD brought in 1 FA and drafted 3 (3!).

LB. In reality OBD brought in 2 FAs and drafted 2.

CB. In reality OBD brought in 1 FA and drafted 1.

Fill "nice to haves" at:

WR. OBD drafted 1, traded for 1, and traded 1 away.

TE. In reality OBD did nothing here in FA or the draft, though they made a move in the season when Gragg got injured.

And get some "depth" players with upside, but wanted them to be value pick ups (clearly, this proved to be wanting to have my cake and eat it too), at the following positions:

RB. In reality OBD brought in 1 FA and traded for 1.

DLine. In reality OBD added 1 FA.

Extra attention was given to defenders proven at causing turnovers and that could contribute on ST to make that unit better.

Positions I didn’t identify where OBD made moves:

QB. To be fair, OBD signed Orton after the pre-season games when it was apparently that Tuel, Thad Lewis looked worse than 2013 and Dennis Dixon still looked bad.

I feel like a did a decent job at identifying needs. I would like to point out that I envisioned the DLine and LBs differently from Schwartz, with Corbin Bryant being a backup DE instead of a backup DT, and a FA pickup starting at DE, with Manny Lawson (on run downs) and Jerry Hughes (on passing downs to blitz) being LBs instead of DEs. Schwartz clearly thought differently, and as a result, in my BROP I picked up more DEs and less LBs than OBD. Additionally, since I envisioned it differently, I don’t know how I thought adding a starting DE would constitute a "depth" pickup.

Who I cut (who the Bills actually cut in bold):

Kolb. Out of the NFL.

Legursky. Signed with the Chargers due to injury on their line, started 2 games, getting injured in the second one, and wound up on IR.

Pears. Would have given us another $3.45M in 2014, with $0.55M in dead money.

Lee Smith. Would have given us another $688,401 in 2014.

Pears struggled again in 2014, this time at RG instead of RT.

Lee Smith was Lee Smith in 2014. A blocking specialist who is undersized to play anything but TE, is neither athletic enough, nor has good enough hands to make plays down the field, and seems to get penalized at the wrong times (early in a drive, making it 1st and 20 or 2nd and 16 at the 20~30 yard line, thus drastically increasing the chance of the drive dying).

Who I let walk in FA (who the Bills actually let walk in bold):

Carrington. Signed with the rams, 1 year/$1.5 million, dude made bank, he has 8 games played in, and ONE tackle for the Rams all season taking only 146 Defensive Snaps and 45 Special Teams snaps, granted he’s behind some far superior players at DE in St Louis, but to not even be part of the rotation for half the season and come up with 1 tackle in the other half???? Last year I couldn’t believe people wanted him to get re-signed, I was pretty sure we could do better and we did with a "hungrier" player in Jarius Wynn.

Leonard. Signed with the Browns 1 year/$855,000, the Browns probably got their money’s worth, he played all 16 games, starting 5, made 43 Tackles, had 1 sack, 2 INTs, and 3 passes defensed, and no doubt he helped make sure people on D were on the same page with Pettine, I still think the Bills made the right move, opting to go with Searcy and Duke Williams trying to grow them as players by giving them more snaps instead of re-signing a stop gap.

Moats. Signed 1 year/$795,000, looks like the Steelers got their money with him contributing 4 sacks and 2 Forced Fumbles, I still think it was the right call to let him walk)

Welch. Unsigned.

I think I did well here, Carrington was overrated, I think everyone knew nothing was happening for Welch. Arguments can be made for keeping Leonard and Moats, but at the end of the day, I didn’t see them as starting material, or as the type of long term answers you want on a team (even as role players). Better to move on and find a player you can grow (in the case of Leonard it’s more obvious, in the case of Moats it’s less obvious).

Who I Re-signed (who the Bills re-signed in bold):

Chandler. I wanted to hand him $1.5M a year, OBD gave him $2.375M a year.

Carpenter. I wanted to hand him $0.9M a year, OBD gave him $2.4875M a year.

Summers. I wanted to hand him $0.495 a year, OBD agreed, then he got cut later.

Byrd. I wanted to give him $9M a year, OBD more or less agreed, but only wanted 3 years or so New Orleans signed a him to a $9.3M a year contract for "6" years, it’s back-loaded with a lot of guaranteed money up front, and he may not see the last couple years. I’ll talk more about Byrd in a bit.

I feel like I did a decent job at identifying who to bring back but I underestimated what it would take to bring Chandler and Carpenter back, and disagreed with OBD about how big of a contract to give Byrd (same amount of money a year, different lengths of time and thus different amounts of guaranteed money).

FA Considerations I ultimately said no too:

LB Vincent Rey. I figured Bengals would wrap him up, they did at $2.1M a year for 2 years.

LB Spikes. I thought he'd want $4~5M a year, instead he took a $3.25M a year Prove It Deal with the Bills. While I’m not sure I would have ultimately signed him at that price, I definitely would have thought about it for a lot longer, keep in mind we were expecting Kiko to start, and I was giving extra attention to defenders who could contribute on Special Teams, and force turnovers.

LB Donald Butler. I assumed SD would lock him up long term, they did, he signed a 7 year contract extension with the San Diego Chargers on March 1, 2014. The total value of the contract is $51.8 million and it contains a $11.15 million signing bonus, that’s $7.4 Million a year, holy cow.

LB/ST Ace Jordan Senn. I figured Panthers would want him back, they didn't, he signed with the Bears, then was released in camp, I probably would have brought him in on an inexpensive contract, but then the coaching staff probably would have cut him anyways.

LB Perry Riley. I figured he’d make $4M a year and that that would be a little too rich despite him being a solid contributor, Washington signed him to 3 years for $12 million, so I was right on the money.

OT Austin Howard. He was my backup plan at RT I would have offered him $2.5M a year, he signed a 5 year $30M deal with the Raiders, started all 16 games.

Who I would have tried to sign in FA (and who I actually may have gotten given the offer I would have presented and how much they actually signed for in bold):

LB Akeem Jordan. I would have offered $1.1M a year, he signed with the Redskins for $855,000, wound up on IR and has been waived.

OG Jon Asamoah. I would have offered him $1.5M a year and not have been able to get him, he signed a five year $22.5 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons, starting 15 games for them.

OT Zac Strief. I would have offered him $3.3M a year but had a feeling he wanted to play for the Saints, he signed a five year, $20 million contract with the New Orleans Saints on March 17, 2014. Strief received a $5.5 million signing bonus and fully guaranteed base salary in 2014. Interestingly, March 17th was about a week after the start of Free Agency and there were no reports of him visiting any other teams. Byrd signed with the Saints March 11th, potentially Strief was agreeing to sit around until after the Saints had brought in all the FAs they wanted to. He started all 16 games.

Blocking TE/Backup OT Eben Britton. I wanted him as a replacement for Lee Smith, as he’s the same height but 40 pounds heavier at 308 pounds and could double as a backup OT. I would have offered him $1.1M a year, he signed a 1 year $730,000 deal with the Bears, he was suited for 10 games but played only 94 snaps, seeing his snap count go down pretty badly (he doesn’t have any receptions). In comparison, Lee Smith had 335 snaps and 7 receptions including a TD.

CB Charles Tillman. I would have offered him $5M a year, he signed a 1 year $3M contract with Bears, wound up on IR after 2 games. He visited the Bucs in FA on Mar 12 and re-signed with the Bears sometime between then and March 14. It’s hard to know whether he would have considered the Bills, being that he has a lot of community ties to Chicago and had stated in the past that he wanted to play his whole career there. Potentially TB was him attempting to gain leverage in negotiations with the Bears, or wanting to play for Lovie Smith again, however, I think he would have taken a 2 year $5 million a year deal over the 1 year $3M contract with the Bears he took, money talks.

CB Zack Bowman. I would have offered $1.5M a year, he signed a 1 year contract with Giants for $730,000, looks to have been a solid contributor with 5 starts in 15 games, 6 passes defensed and 2 INTS, 1 Fumble Recovery, 364 Defensive Snaps, 152 ST snaps, that said I don’t know what he looks like in coverage as I didn’t watch Giants games, but from the stats he looks to be in line with Nickell Robey except that at 6’1" 196lbs and he covers on the outside instead of the slot. Spoiler alert, in my 2015 BROP I want to bring him in. The bottom of our CB depth chart has players like Ross Cockrell, Ron Brooks and Mario Butler.

RB James Stark. I would have offered $0.75M a year, he signed a two year, $3.25 million contract with the Green Bay Packers, 333 yards on 85 carries for 3.9 YPC and 2 TDs, 140 yards on 18 receptions and 1 fumble lost.

DE Everson Griffen. I would have offered $2.75M a year, he signed a five-year contract worth $42.5 million, started 16 games, 55 tackles, exploding for 12 sacks (in previous years he was putting up 6-ish), 1 FF. The Vikings never let him hit FA, instead letting Jared Allen walk, from my write up, it looks like I was expecting the Vikings to let Everson (a backup until that point) test FA and keep Jared Allen (a proven starter). Clearly this was wrong, since Everson was putting up 6 sack seasons, AS A BACKUP. Stupid me.

DT Clinton McDonald. I would have offered $1M a year, he signed with TB four-year, $12M, deal started 13 games, put up 46 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 passes defensed, 1 int.

I over-estimated the cost of the CBs I wanted to sign, while clearly underestimating the cost of signing OLine and DLine Free Agents. The lone FA RB I wanted as depth and getting Bills FAs re-signed I also underestimated but not as badly. I think I hit the nail on the head more or less for the cost of LBs.

Who the Bills got instead in FA:

QB Kyle Orton

DE Jarius Wynn. A pleasant surprise.

LB Brandon Spikes. 54 tackles (this is a lot less than I expected, but he also played less than I expected as he came out a lot), 1 sack, 3 passed defensed (this is more than I expected), 1 FF

LB Keith Rivers. Questionable signing, 3 games started, 16 tackles, 53 ST snaps

OG Chris Williams. Questionable signing, 3 games started before ending up on IR and didn’t look great in those games.

CB Corey Graham. 9 games started, 84 tackles (seems like a bad sign when your CBs are making tackles?), 15 passes defensed (holy crap that’s a lot, in comparison Richard Sherman has only 8, and only 57 tackles, which means he gets tested less), 2 INTs. 164 ST Snaps. I think Corey Graham was a good signing. 4 year $16 million contract.

RB Anthony Dixon. 432 yards on 105 carries for 4.1 ypc and 2 TD, 8 rec, for 49 yards, and 1 Fumble lost.

Obviously, getting the FAs that the Bills brought in right would be nearly possible to predict (as would getting the draft right too) since there’s hundreds of players, instead of "around 10". Also predicting Orton getting brought in would be near impossible, everyone thought Manuel was going to progress a bit, and if he got injured we’d be in Ok shape with Thad. Then Ralph died, Whaley made a big gamble Watkins, and all our backup QBs stunk it up in the pre-season, with Orton getting signed after all the pre-season games.

Who/What the Bills Traded For:

RB Bryce Brown (23 ST snaps, 7 games played, 126 yards on 36 carries for 3.5 ypc, 16 rec for 176 yards, and 1 very costly lost fumble)

WR Mike Williams (8 rec, 142 yards, 1 TD, he performed better than your average 6th round WR would have, but what a sad mismanagement of potential...)

+5th round pick in 2015

My Original Draft (with players actually available at that pick in Bold):

1 Mike Evans. Drafted #7 overall by Tampa Bay, meaning he likely wouldn’t have fallen to us at #9 overall, but who knows, 15 Games Started, 68 Receptions, 1051 yards, 12 TDs)

2 Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Drafted #38 overall by Tampa Bay, meaning we wouldn’t have got him either, 9 games started, 21 Recs, 221 yards, 2 TDs, 447 offensive snaps, looks like he has a ways to go as a receiver, but having not seen any TB games, I don’t know anything about whether he’s a better blocker than Scott Chandler. He’s definitely a better receiver than Lee Smith at least.

3 Trai Turner. Taken 92nd, 3rd round by Panthers. We could have had him instead of Preston Brown. He started 9 games for the Panthers, looks like he won the starting job early-ish, then got injured, came back and kept playing well. From Wikipedia: Through 618 snaps this season, Turner has yet to allow a single sack.). It seems like he would have been the best OG in Pass Pro on our roster by a mile.

4 Telvin Smith. Taken 144th, 5th round, by Jaguars, 9 games started, 104 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 passed defensed, 1 INT, 1 FF, 171 ST Snaps, 705 Defensive Snaps. Looks like he compares decently to favorably with Preston Brown (stats below, eerily similar stat lines, but Smith started less games and played about 300 less snaps on D), but I didn’t watch any Jags games (so I don’t know if he blows his assignments or anything like that), I think we can ignore the sacks, because Schwartz wouldn’t have had him blitzing. Also, it’s impossible to side by side compare, the Jags D is not as good as the Bills D, perhaps their DLine didn’t have as much responsibility in making tackles (or ability to get in the back field, this is almost surely true) as compared to the Bills DLine.

5 Andre Williams. Taken 113, 4th round by Giants, played all 16 games, 7 started, 721 yards on 217 carries, for 3.3 ypc and 6 TDs, long of 50 with a TD, so there’s big play potential, 1 fumble lost, 18 receptions for 130 yards, didn’t watch any Giants games closely, so I don’t know what his blocking looks like in pass protection).

6 Brent Urban. Picked 134 in the 4th by the Ravens, tore his ACL in training camp and was placed on IR.

7 Chris Davis. Undrafted, signed with Chargers, 15 tackles, 1 pass defensed, and 1 FF, and some kick return yards, but how many, I don’t know, Wikipedia and Rotowire don’t agree, and doesn’t show those stats on player pages, seems like he would have been better than Ross Cockrell.

I seem to recall using several draft simulators to try and help me come up with realistic picks. My first 4 picks all seemed to be about in line with reality (Mike Evans moved up a little in the draft, and ASJ managed to get picked before Jace Amaro, who I definitely would have taken with ASJ off the board. Figuring out where guys are going to go after 3 rounds seems like a crap-shoot, but Brent Urban in the 6th round seems like it was a stretch in hindsight. It appears I for sure overdrafted Chris Davis as well, but knowing who’s going to fall all the way to the 7th round seems hard to predict as well.

Who the Bills got instead in the Draft:

1 Sammy Watkins. Traded up, 65 recs, 982 yards, 6 TDs, 16 games started.

2 Cyrus Kouandjio, Traded back with the Rams to get Cyrus and a 5th round pick, 0 starts, 1 game played. Questionable pick up in hindsight.

3 Preston Brown. 14 games started, 109 tackles, 0 sacks, 2 passes defensed, 1 INT, 0 FF, 1 Fumble Recovery, 194 ST snaps, 1020 Defensive Snaps.

4 Ross Cockrell. Questionable pickup, 7 games played, 10 defensive snaps, 1 tackle, 53 ST snaps.

5 Cyril Richardson. Pick up from the Rams, the original 5th rounder they traded to Tampa Bay to get Tampa’s 2015 5th rounder and an additional 2014 7th rounder.

6 traded for the aforementioned Mike Williams.

7 Randall Johnson. 1 tackle, 80 ST snaps.

7 Bills swap 7th rounders with Philly and trade next years 4th for Bryce Brown

7 Seantrel Henderson. Despite Seantrel struggling in 2014, I think this pick up was a steal, 16 games started.

Who/What the Bills traded away, cut, or let walk that I didn’t:

1st round pick in 2015

4th round pick in 2015

Stevie Johnson to San Francisco for a 2015 4th rounder (boo). Had 35 recs for 435 yards and 3 TDs with the 49ers.

Jairus Byrd to FA. Wound up on IR, we dodged a bullet, but I would have locked him up long term if it had been up to me.

I did not see Stevie Johnson being traded. And after the trade, I certainly didn’t see him underperforming in SF.

Who the Bills signed to an extension:

Aaron Williams

How Free Agency would have had to change:

For my BROP to work in hindsight, we have 2 scenarios but both will require some assumptions:

Assumption 1:

Jairus Byrd stayed. My offer was 5 years, and there would have been guaranteed money, OBD offered 3 years at the same price, but there was no mention of how much was guaranteed, Byrd took a 6 year contract with $28M guaranteed money at the beginning of the contract and non-guaranteed money back loaded on it. While we don’t know if Byrd wanted to play in Buffalo, I’m making the assumption for 2 reasons. A, it ties up my cap space into Byrd so I can do less revising. Revising after the fact would make me look bad, Byrd was my guy to get and the price wasn’t far off of what he got from New Orleans. B. It will help illustrate another short-coming of my BROP.

Assumption 2:

I wanted to re-sign Bills FAs, we’re going to have them signed at what they actually signed for and eat up our Cap Space:

Beginning cap room after 4 cuts (Kolb, Legursky, Lee Smith, Pears): $31,525,000

Re-sign Byrd: $22.25M left

Re-sign Chandler: $19.875M left

Re-sign Carpenter: $17.3875M left

Re-sign Frank Summers: $16.8925M left

Set aside $3.5M for the rookie class, just like my original BROP: $13.3925 left (it appears I accidentally cheated and had a non-characteristic math mistake, there was a $1.83M discrepancy in my original numbers).

Assumption 3:

Charles Tillman would have been open to moving to Buffalo for the amount offered (there was evidence he visited TB in FA), but Zac Strief wasn’t leaving New Orleans (there was no evidence he visited any other places in FA, and he signed a lucrative contract a week after FA had started, which to me screams that he wanted to stay in NO and was asked to sit FA out so New Orleans could get their guys, namely Byrd). This forces me to go after Austin Howard if I want a RT. We’re also going to say that I need $1M more a year to get Austin Howard (went to the Raiders from the Jets, while I think he want to play for the Bills more, but the Raiders had a ton of cap space to bid for him).

Assumption 4: I didn’t state whether LG or RT was my higher priority, and honestly I don’t remember. I listed Jon Asamoah at LG first, Zac Strief at RT second (with Austin Howard as an alternate should Strief not want to leave New Orleans), and Eben Britton at TE/OT 3rd. But I also have an OG picked out for the draft, so I’m going to say that RT was a higher priority than OG.

My needs identified were as follows (in order):

Fix the OLine



Special Teamers

Depth at Cornerback

OLB depth

DT Depth

Team wants:

A big, tall, WR.

A TE in the mold Rob Gronkowski, just without the injury problems.

A RB who can pound the ball and can learn from Fred Jackson before he’s gone.

I’m going to limit myself to players I had listed that I wanted as FAs, and we’re going to get less of them.

Scenario A:

I just got the guys I made offers to that were more than the offer they actually took (Scenario A), I would have gotten Akeem Jordan, Eben Britton, Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman for a total of $8.7M. This would have left me with $4.6925M, which is maybe enough to have made a run at Jon Asamoah (signed for $4.5M a year), or Clint McDonald ($3M a year) and James Stark ($1.625M a year). Or maybe extend Aaron Williams.

Scenario B:

I try to go roughly in the priority that I identified them as, dropping off the guys I way underbid for (1 OG, 1 DE and 1 DT) scratching them off the list entirely so that I’m not revising and saying "Well I would have gotten Jarius Wynn too once I realized Everson Griffin was out of our price range". This puts us with signing Austin Howard at all costs:

$6.3925M left (his deal was $6M a year with the Raiders who had a lot of cap space and could have gotten into a bidding war with us).

Sign Akeem Jordan (at the price I originally offered instead of the lesser one he took):

$5.2925M left

So we can either get the CB I really wanted, outbid the Atlanta for Jon Asamoah, or maybe get a couple guys cheap (Eben Britton + Zack Bowman, or Zack Bowman + James Starks). Let’s go with Charles Tillman to highlight a problem.

So we re-signed 4 FAs and signed 4 (or maybe more) FAs in Scenario A and 3 FAs in Scenario B, in both scenarios Akeem Jordan and Charles Tillman are brought in and Byrd is re-signed. All 3 went down to injury early in the year.

The draft revisited:

Assumptions for the draft:

Let’s assume that whatever position I took in the draft at that spot, I still have to take that position. Obviously, taking the Best Player Available puts a lot of talent on your team (and I want to do that) but it would feel like cheating doing that in hindsight.

Exhibit A: For a while everyone thought that Stanley Jean-Baptiste was going to be a 4th~5th rounder, until he started drawing comparisons to Richard Sherman, then they thought 3rd or 4th round, until eventually he was drafted in the 2nd round by the Saints. He played 4 games as a rookie, almost all Special Teams snaps.

Exhibit B: Marquise Lee was a highly touted WR, and didn’t do much his rookie year (of course he doesn’t have a good QB throwing him the ball though), etc.

Exhibit C: The Browns took Justin Gilbert as their best CB, but Kyle Fuller had a clearly better season with the Bears (another struggling team).

So I’m going to tie myself to positions I suppose.

Round 1. Even though Mike Evans was off the board at 9, we did trade up and get a receiver so maybe he would have been there at 9? Let’s assume we take a WR still and just for the sake of argument, since Mike Evans went 2 spots away and we’re in the ballpark that it was him (the next WR off the board after that was Odell Beckham Jr). Either way we should be in a good spot for WR (my idea though was to get someone tall as a Red Zone threat and be able to move Stevie or Woods to the Slot, with Goodwin occasionally coming in as deep threat on 5 receiver sets).

Round 2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins was off the board. I was expecting Jace Amaro to go before ASJ and had him rated higher, so we’re going to take Jace Amaro here, he had 4 games started, 38 Receptions for 345 yards and 2 TDs, which is about the same as ASJ. Clearly not supplanting Chandler in the starting line up as a rookie, but probably better than Lee Smith in the passing game and has more upside, even if his blocking isn’t as good.

Round 3. Trai Turner.

Round 4. Telvin Smith.

Round 5. We’ll take Tyler Gaffney (I recall liking him, James White who went in the 4th round, and James Wilder Jr who went undrafted) instead since Andre Williams was off the board in the 4th round. In reality Gaffney went in round 6. We’re taking a different RB here (as our roster at this point would only have Fredex and CJ unless we went with Scenario A and got James Starks in FA somehow). Gaffney wound up on IR.

Round 6. Ben Gardner. I seem to recall potentially having taken him in some mock drafts??? Brent Urban was picked in the 4th by the Ravens, tore his ACL in training camp and was placed on IR, but with him off the board and not being able to get Everson Griffin in FA, we’re taking a DE. Gardner also wound up on IR.

Round 7. Chris Davis

So, my re-signings and acquisitions in total would have been more like:

-Lee Smith

-Erik Pears




Byrd (IR after 4 games)

Akeem Jordan (IR and waived, played 2 games, made 1 tackle)

Charles Tillman (IR after 2 games)

(Eben Britton + Zack Bowman + (potentially (Jon Asamoah) OR (Clint McDonald + James Stark)) in Scenario A


Austin Howard (in Scenario B).

Mike Evans (or Odell Beckham Jr?)

Jace Amaro

Trai Turner

Telvin Smith

Tyler Gaffney (IR)

Ben Gardner (IR)

Chris Davis

This is somewhere between 6 and 3 less guys than OBD actually brought in, and for every questionable pick up OBD had (Ross Cockrell, Chris Williams, Keith Rivers, etc), I have just as many, if not more, guys that wound up on IR (Byrd, Akeem Jordan, Charles Tillman, Gaffney, Gardner), which would have left the Bills reeling come the regular season with holes on both sides of the roster.

In one of the Scenario A options the team (after injuries in the first month) looks like:

OLine: Cordy, Trai Turner, Wood, Jon Asamoah, Chris Hairston with Eben Britton at Swing Tackle and Urbik the backup OG.

QBs: EJ, Thad Lewis

RB: Freddy, CJ, Summers

WRs: Mike Evans/OBJ, Stevie, Woods, Goodwin, Hogan, Easley

TE: Chandler, Jace Amaro

DLine: Mario, Kyle, Dareus, Hughes, Corbin Bryant, Stefan Charles, Manny Lawson

LB: Telvin Smith, Nigel Bradham, Ty Powell, Kourtnei Brown, probably with Lawson needing to play at LB when he isn’t being asked to be a DE.

DB: McKelvin, Gilmore, Aaron Williams, Searcy, Zack Bowman, Robey, Duke Williams, Ron Brooks, Chris Davis. (With $14M sitting out on IR between Byrd and Charles Tillman).

In Scenario B (after injuries in the first month) looks like:

Line: Cordy, Trai Turner, Wood, Urbik, Austin Howard with Chris Hairston at Swing Tackle and JJ Unga? at backup OG.

QBs: EJ, Thad Lewis

RB: Freddy, CJ, Summers

WRs: Mike Evans/OBJ, Stevie, Woods, Goodwin, Hogan, Easley

TE: Chandler, Jace Amaro

DLine: Mario, Kyle, Dareus, Hughes, Corbin Bryant, Stefan Charles, Manny Lawson

LB: Telvin Smith, Nigel Bradham, Ty Powell, Kourtnei Brown, probably with Lawson needing to play at LB when he isn’t being asked to be a DE.

DB: McKelvin, Gilmore, Aaron Williams, Searcy, Robey, Duke Williams, Ron Brooks, Chris Davis. (With $14M sitting out on IR between Byrd and Charles Tillman).

Potentially I’m unlucky with players I’m interested in getting injured, but Akeem Jordan, Charles Tillman and Byrd all had injury histories to some extent beforehand. Byrd’s $9M a year can be thought of as paying for Brandon Spikes, Corey Graham, and Jarius Wynn as well as having money left over. That’s probably a worthwhile trade, even if Byrd is healthy, and very likely to be the way OBD saw it as well.

In summary, I need to up the amount I’m willing to pay OLine and DLine players, I should bring the money I’m willing to pay CBs down a little bit. I think I’m pretty accurate at gauging the market for LBs. I also think I’m pretty good at identifying who for sure isn’t getting away in FA (like Donald Butler getting wrapped up long term, or Zac Strief wanting to stay in New Orleans).

I think I did well at identifying potential LBs, while managing to either be unlucky (no one knew with 100% certainty that Akeem Jordan would get injured) or pick a bad one (he did have an injury history) out of the rest of them to try and stretch the money, but also got a good Rookie in Telvin Smith. I identified a good DE and DT, but was expecting to get them for far cheaper than was reasonable.

I think I identified good OLinemen as well (Howard, Strief, Asamoah and Trai Turner all had good seasons). I need to set aside money to extend some guys as well.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of