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If Buffalo Bills are looking at DT, they should target New York Giants’ Dalvin Tomlinson

The New York Giants are 1-5 and are potential sellers at the NFL’s trade deadline. Giants general manager David Gettleman and Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane go way back to when Beane cut his teeth under Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers. Could this connection secure a piece for the Bills coming down the stretch?

Ed Valentine over at Big Blue View wrote this piece about the upcoming NFL Trade Deadline. On the list are a few players the Bills could use at positions of need. Former first-round TE Evan Engram and DE Markus Golden (who had ten sacks last season) could make sense but one name stood out to us:

DT Dalvin Tomlinson

I would really hate to deal Tomlinson, but I think the Giants have to consider it. The 2017 second-round pick is in the final year of his rookie deal, and I’m not sure that the Giants will be able to — or should — re-sign him.

The problem is that with a potential reduction in the NFL salary cap from $198.2 million this year to as little as $175 million next year due to revenues lost because of COVID-19, I think the Giants may be in a situation where they have to choose between Tomlinson and Leonard Williams.

Both are 26. Both are good, but not great, players. The difference is that Williams consistently impacts the pass rush in a way Tomlinson does not and if I have to choose between the two I’m taking the player who has pass rush ability.

The difficulty in dealing Tomlinson would be that the Giants likely wouldn’t get a lot in return. Hatman said that a run-stopping defensive tackle like Tomlinson would “maybe” bring a fourth-round pick because teams “can always find run-stopping defensive tackles.”

A fourth- or fifth-round pick, though, is better than losing him in free agency for nothing this offseason.

Buffalo’s defensive line is in turmoil. and on Monday night they benched their former third-round pick Harrison Phillips at DT. It didn’t help. The team is missing Star Loutlelei, who is on the NFL’s COVID-19 opt out list and Tomlinson could fill those immense shoes while keeping Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano clean on the second level.

“Tomlinson is a 6’3”, 320-pound nose tackle,” says Dan Lavoie. “He has averaged 55 tackles per year in his first three seasons. This year he has 27 tackles and 5 TFL in six games, and four ‘stuffs’ by ESPN’s charting. If you want a gap-clogger in the prime of his career, that’s your man.”

Lavoie also notes he is in the last year of his rookie deal which makes him available and a perfect stretch run player for the Bills to replace Lotulelei, who returns in 2021. Tomlinson signs elsewhere and could net the Bills a compensatory pick in return.

We’d probably be willing to get to a conditional fifth-round pick in exchange for Tomlinson if the Bills win the division and a sixth if they don’t.

The sooner Buffalo makes the trade, the better. Even if they made a trade today, that new player wouldn’t be able to practice before Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. Players have to complete five COVID-19 tests with their new team before they can play.

The NFL’s trade deadline is November 3rd.