The Buffalo Bills have been active this offseason making moves to improve their team during a busy free agency period, signing 11 free agents to bolster areas such as the offensive line, the wide receivers, the return game, and the secondary among others.
Now that the free-agent signings have slowed down, general manager Brandon Beane, head coach Sean McDermott, and the rest of Buffalo’s brass have turned their attention to the 2019 NFL Draft, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.
Buffalo still has plenty of areas to address, including bringing in more pass-rushing help and depth along the defensive line and at linebacker. With ten overall selections, beginning with pick No. 9 in the first round, the Bills will have the means to improve those areas in the draft.
During a session with reporters, Beane discussed how the players brought in through free agency will impact the team’s strategy heading into the draft. Because of the talented players signed to new contracts, Beane said one of the biggest changes in Buffalo’s draft strategy is taking the best available player, compared to reaching to fill one of the numerous areas of need the team had prior to the start of free agency.
“We covered a lot of areas, again you’re always greedy, you’re always saying we can try and upgrade here, we can try and upgrade there, and free agency technically isn’t over. There’s still guys out there, so it doesn’t mean that because I’m standing here I’m done, but at the end of the day, we’re continuing to look,” Beane said. “Who knows, somebody could call in a week and say, ‘hey we signed this other guy, do you want to trade for this guy?’ Most of our attention after this weekend will be on the draft, but if there is a guy here who becomes available, whether it’s a cap release, a trade whatever, we’ll continue to try to find upgrades to the roster.”
The weekend is over and the 11-person free-agent class signed, but Beane told reporters the Bills aren’t done exploring the talented players still available in free agency.
Coming into free agency, the Bills had roughly $80 million dollars to spend. Despite signing high-impact free agents like C Mitch Morse, WRs John Brown and Cole Beasley, TE Tyler Kroft, T Ty Nsekhe, CB Kevin Johnson, and return standout Andre Roberts, Beane said the team still has available cap space.
“We are still well under. We have the draft picks. ... We still have plenty of room to maneuver should the opportunity be there for a marquee player that comes available, trade or release,” Beane said.