With the start of free agency just days away, the Buffalo Bills have obviously begun looking at potential targets to replace some of the 22 pending free agents they’re set to lose to the free market.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, two players who could be hearing from the Bills this week are Baltimore Ravens receiver Kamar Aiken and Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jack Crawford.
Aiken, who turns 28 in May, broke into the NFL with the Bills in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida. He appeared in two games with the 2011 Bills, recording no stats. He split 2012 between the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots, appearing in one game with New England, before spending the last four seasons with the Ravens. From 2014 to 2016, Aiken recorded 128 catches for 1,539 yards and nine touchdowns. Most of those (75/944/5) came in 2015, when injuries to Breshad Perriman and Steve Smith boosted Aiken into a starting role. When both players returned last season, Aiken returned to a depth position. He could be a low-cost replacement for Robert Woods, who is also hitting free agency and is expected to earn more than the Bills could be willing to pay.
Crawford, 28, was a fifth-round pick out of Penn State by the Oakland Raiders in 2012. He moved on to the Cowboys in 2014 and had steadily increased his role, starting 11 games last season. He’s not terribly productive on paper (25 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season), but does have the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line. He could be looked at as a depth piece for the Bills at defensive end, depending on how the depth chart shuffles around with the move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense under Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier.
Tomorrow, teams can begin talking to players whose contracts are set to expire this offseason, although no deals can be signed until the new league year kicks off on March 9. These two should be the first of many names that are linked to the Bills over the next few weeks.