Hours of articles and audio were spent by fans, analysts, and podcasters combing over the Buffalo Bills’ CB2 position since the signing of Josh Norman. The conclusion of many was that it remained an area of need on the team and the 2020 Draft was the place to affordably address it.
General manager Brandon Beane seems to have disagreed.
As of the time of this article being written, the primary contenders for the CB2 role are Levi Wallace, Josh Norman, and E.J. Gaines, Each come with significant question marks about their expected performance. Both Norman and Wallace are limited athletically and, as was evidenced in Norman’s time in Washington, struggle with man responsibilities on a majority basis. The Bills are a zone-based defense, however their boundary corners still have man responsibilities approximately one-third of the time. E.J. Gaines is a desirable CB2 when healthy; a stipulation that is difficult to believe can be met after four consecutive seasons of significant injuries.
All the time spent discussing the Bills’ need for a CB2 upgrade was obviously the opinion for some fans but after the Bills did not address the position until their last pick in the seventh round, it seems as though Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott didn't see the same need. Perhaps that should have been more obvious when seeing the timing and money around the Josh Norman signing before free agency even started. $6 million dollars is more than even Kevin Johnson got with the Cleveland Browns (1 year $3.5 million per Spotrac). It stands to reason if the Bills are willing to pay Josh Norman more than a younger, more athletic CB who just played more than adequate boundary corner for the Bills in 2019, then maybe we were ignoring the signs that Beane was sending.
Seems safe to say as of late April 2020, Josh Norman is penciled in as the starter at CB2 with a competition to be had once whatever offseason camp activities take place.
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