clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills needs list 2015: minor tweaks on defense

While the Buffalo Bills have plenty of needs to address on the offensive side of the ball, their fourth-ranked defense has a couple of issues to address this offseason, as well.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Over the past few weeks, we have been methodically working our way through breakdowns of the entirety of the Buffalo Bills defense, position by position, and player by player. This was a decidedly more entertaining exercise than doing so with the Bills' offense, for the very obvious reason that the Bills' defense is really good at football, and has a lot of good players.

In case you missed any of that work, here are the articles on each position, and the players discussed in each.

  • DE: Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Manny Lawson
  • DL: Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Stefan Charles, Corbin Bryant, Jarius Wynn
  • LB: Kiko Alonso, Preston Brown, Nigel Bradham, Brandon Spikes
  • CB: Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Corey Graham, Nickell Robey
  • S: Aaron Williams, Da'Norris Searcy, Duke Williams

Among that group of players, five are scheduled to become free agents on March 10 (though one of those will be very easy to retain if so desired), and while it's possible that some players will merit consideration for release if the Bills want, or think they need, more cap space, no Bills defenders currently stick out in that regard. (Veteran linebacker Keith Rivers did, but the team has already released him.) Those players are:

  • DE Hughes: unrestricted free agent
  • DT Bryant: exclusive rights free agent
  • DT Wynn: unrestricted free agent
  • LB Spikes: unrestricted free agent
  • S Searcy: unrestricted free agent

No team, no matter how good in any phase, is without need there, and that is the case for the Bills - especially as they transition back to more of an odd-front base defense with Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman calling the shots on this side of the ball. That said, the Bills already have a very good defense, and if they're able to take care of a small amount of business on this side of the ball, that will continue to be the case in 2015 and beyond.

Here's a quick stab at prioritizing the Bills' needs on defense. How does your list differ?

  1. DE: Retain a speed rusher, or find a new one.
  2. DL: Two-gap run plugger needed for early downs.
  3. S: Potential role to fill if Searcy signs elsewhere.
  4. CB: Make sure the pipeline stays flowing.
  5. LB: Make sure the pipeline stays flowing.