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Amari Cooper, A.J. Green top free-agent wide receivers who fit the Buffalo Bills

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If it’s a dynamic playmaker at receiver the team is looking for, this is a good year to find one

Buffalo Bills v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Last offseason, the Buffalo Bills signed two medium-sized free agent wide receivers to overhaul their roster along with adding a few other players on cheap deals. After trading Zay Jones in the middle of the season, their corps of John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Duke Williams were all brand new and gadget player Isaiah McKenzie was a 2018 midseason waiver-wire addition.

Should the Bills want to continue upgrading their wide receiver group in the 2020 offseason, they could once again look to lock and load around third-year starter Josh Allen by adding a veteran who could contribute right away instead of drafting a player who could take some time to develop.

Here’s a list of some of those possibilities.


Amari Cooper

Great numbers after the Dallas Cowboys acquired him in 2018 (53/725/6 in only nine games!), and he was even better in 2019 (79/1189/8). A legit number one who has size (6’1” 210 lbs), blazing speed (4.42-40 yard dash; 6.71-three cone), and a great catch radius (33” vertical with 31.5” arms). Big price—will probably cost at least $18 million annually, perhaps $20 million. Cooper has expressed reservations about playing in a place that isn’t ideal regardless of whether or not that team offered the most money, and he used Buffalo as the example of a place that may not be ideal. Whether he was merely making a rhetorical point or he was actually saying he doesn’t want to go to Buffalo can be debated, but the Bills should at least kick the tires on the clear-cut best free agent available.

A.J. Green

The veteran is a huge injury risk—at 31 years old, he did not play at all in 2019 recovering from ankle ligament tears suffered in training camp—but when he’s healthy, it’s hard to argue his talent. Green only played in nine games in 2018 while dealing with turf toe, and he tore his hamstring in 2017, causing him to miss six games. Even with a downturn in production from 2016-2018, Green still averaged a “slash line” of 62/912/6 in 35 total games. At 6’4” and 210 lbs, he would give the Bills the true “big” receiver they lack. A one- or two-year deal at a high but reasonable APY ($10 million) that doesn’t break the bank could cut it.

Breshad Perriman

Finally had a big year playing for his third team in four years. The former first-round pick set career highs in targets (69), catches (36), yards (645), and touchdowns (6) while playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. At 6’2” and 215 lbs, he is big and ridiculously fast (his pro day low in the 40 was 4.24 seconds). With only ten starts to his name, it’s a risk that he’ll be able to maintain the production he showed last year, but it might be a risk worth taking given his physical tools and the talent available at wideout in the draft if spending big on a “name-brand” receiver isn’t your thing.

Geronimo Allison

After alternating between a favored target of Aaron Rodgers and someone who never saw any passes, Allison has probably frustrated many fantasy football players over the last two years. At 6’3” and 202 lbs, he’s a tall, wiry-strong player who lacks long speed (he ran a 4.67 40 at the combine in 2016), functioning more as a possession-type underneath player. With John Brown able to take the top off the defense, the Bills could decide to draft another burner while they sign a guy like Allison to compete with Duke Williams for time as the second outside receiver. Allison caught 89 passes in four years with the Green Bay Packers.

Robby Anderson

Immensely talented, the mercurial Anderson isn’t someone who screams “process,” but at 6’3” and 190 lbs, he has the size, catch radius, and speed (4.34-second 40 at his pro day with a 36” vertical) to make Buffalo’s offense much better. Spotrac estimates that he’ll command $12 million annually, which feels a little steep for someone who lacks consistency both in his play and in his off-field behavior. To be fair, after his arrests in 2017, he has stayed clear of trouble since. It’s a big skeleton to have in the closet, however.

Demarcus Robinson

A speedy option in the Kansas City Chiefs’ phenomenal passing attack, he’s played third wheel to Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins (and, perhaps more accurately, fourth wheel when considering tight end Travis Kelce), so maybe he just needs a larger role in order to succeed. At 6’1” and 203 lbs, he is bigger than the majority of Buffalo’s receivers, and while his combine speed (4.59-40) wasn’t great, he plays faster.

Devin Funchess

As a former Carolina Panthers wideout, he has to be mentioned. Funchess is huge (6’4” and 225 lbs), but he lacks speed (4.7-40) and is an inconsistent hands-catcher, negating his size mismatch over nearly every corner in the league. He struggles to create separation, and he missed all but one game with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019 thanks to a fractured clavicle. If size and familiarity mean anything, then this marriage makes sense, but it feels a little too much like the Kelvin Benjamin acquisition for my taste. I’d pass.

Laquon Treadwell

Another former first-round pick, Treadwell has been a huge bust for the Minnesota Vikings, as he was immediately outplayed in 2016 by a second-year man drafted in the fifth round (Stefon Diggs) the year prior and a third-year man who joined the Vikings as a UDFA in 2014 (Adam Thielen). So, perhaps Treadwell was the victim of circumstance, and he could improve if given the chance to shine somewhere else. He has never played more than 52% of the offensive snaps in a year, with his snap total dropping to just 17% for Minnesota’s offense last year. At 6’2” and 215 lbs, he’s plenty big. Maybe a change of address will help to bring out his best.


Poll

Which free agent wide receiver should the Bills sign this offseason?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Amari Cooper
    (261 votes)
  • 21%
    A.J. Green
    (279 votes)
  • 14%
    Breshad Perriman
    (195 votes)
  • 2%
    Geronimo Allison
    (33 votes)
  • 5%
    Robby Anderson
    (76 votes)
  • 4%
    Demarcus Robinson
    (59 votes)
  • 1%
    Devin Funchess
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    Laquon Treadwell
    (57 votes)
  • 0%
    Other; specify in comments
    (5 votes)
  • 24%
    None; just draft one
    (324 votes)
1303 votes total Vote Now