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Buffalo Bills Links, 2/11: Exploring Buffalo’s free-agency wish list

Plus, remembering former Bills LB Marty Schottenheimer

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Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have a tall task ahead of them, navigating through a tight salary cap situation while trying to close the gap on the reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs.

In today’s edition of the Bills daily links, we run through Buffalo’s free-agency wish list, exploring options for the team to sign to make improvements at tight end (Jonnu Smith and Gerald Everett), cornerback (Richard Sherman and Xavier Rhodes), offensive guard (bring back Jon Feliciano or sign Alex Redmond), offensive tackle (bring back Daryl Williams or turn to the NFL Draft and in-house options), and along the defensive line (Dalvin Tomlinson and J.J. Watt).

We also break down the state of the Bills’ quarterbacks, asking at what point Josh Allen will get his contract extension while diving into whether Buffalo should bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick as Allen’s backup.

We analyze the state of the defensive ends and defensive tackles, hear from draft experts on what Buffalo should do with pick No. 30, speculate on Matt Milano’s future with the Bills, remember the life and legacy of former Bills linebacker and head coach Marty Schottenheimer, and much more!

Exploring Buffalo’s Free Agency Wish List

Bills’ free-agency wish list includes J.J. Watt, Jonnu Smith – The Athletic
“(The Bills) are right up against the cap but have the ability to create between $20 million and $30 million in space by restructuring contracts and releasing players,” writes Matthew Fairburn. (Subscription required).

Bills Today | Pro Football Focus predicts these signings in free agency -
A cornerback, running back and edge rusher are brought in, while two big-time internal free agents will return, according to PFF.

Positional Grades/State of the Bills

Bills position series: At what point will Josh Allen get contract extension? | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“If there’s one spot on the Bills that doesn’t need to be addressed in the offseason, it is quarterback,” writes Vic Carucci.

Bills position grades: Offense drove the bus in 2020 season | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“The script was flipped for the Buffalo Bills from a unit strength standpoint,” writes Mark Gaughan.

2021 State of the Bills: Defensive end - WGR 550
Sal Capaccio’s “2021 State of the Bills” series continues with a look at the defensive ends as the team heads into the offseason, including one decision that seems like a formality and a few others that aren’t quite so clear.

2021 State of the Bills: Defensive tackle - WGR 550
Sal Capaccio’s “2021 State of the Bills” series continues with a look at defensive tackle as the team heads into the offseason, where every player is under contract for 2021, but decisions need to be made.

NFL Mock Draft Projections

2021 NFL mock draft: Bills get stronger up front, add playmaker, TE eraser in 4-round mock -
The Chiefs did not win the Super Bowl, but they are still the Bills’ biggest threat in the AFC for the foreseeable future.

Bills add ’difference-maker’ RB in Todd McShay’s latest mock draft -
Does Najee Harris make sense as an option for the Bills in Round 1?

Should Bills use first-round pick on a running back? - Democrat & Chronicle
Alabama running back Najee Harris could be available for the Bills at No. 30.

The Future of Matt Milano in Buffalo

Why Buffalo Bills could lose valuable linebacker Matt Milano in free agency - Buffalo Bills Blog- ESPN
The pending free agent's prowess in coverage could push his value beyond what the Bills can afford this offseason with a reduced salary cap.

Bills to-do list at linebacker: Franchise tag Matt Milano – The Athletic
“Given how important the linebackers are to the Bills’ defensive scheme, Brandon Beane has two big decisions to make in the offseason while working with a significantly lower salary cap figure,” writes Joe Buscaglia. (Subscription required).

Bills offseason position spotlight: Linebacker - Sports Illustrated Buffalo Bills News, Analysis and More
“Re-signing Matt Milano at a reasonable price likely is one of the team’s top priorities,” writes Nick Fierro.

Should Fitzmagic be Buffalo’s Backup QB?

Ryan Fitzpatrick should be Bills’ backup quarterback - WGR 550
The Buffalo Bills have a hole to fill at backup quarterback this offseason. A possible return of Ryan Fitzpatrick would make for a storybook ending to his career.

Remembering Former Bills LB Marty Schottenheimer

Ex-Bills player, NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer dies at 77 | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“Schottenheimer, who played four seasons as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills (1965-68) died on Monday in Charlotte, N.C., after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. He was 77,” writes Milton Northrop.

Former Bills linebacker, NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer passed away at age 77 -
The legendary NFL head coach started his professional playing career in Buffalo.

Doug Flutie on the passing of Marty Schottenheimer -
“Former Bills and NFL QB Doug Flutie joined One Bills Live to discuss his former head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who passed away earlier this week, his thoughts on Tom Brady winning another Super Bowl title, and his love for the Batmobile.”

Odds and Ends

Bills Today | These ESPN analysts pick the Bills as their Super Bowl LVI winner -
Experts predict the Bills to keep rolling and take another step forward in 2021.

Cuomo decision on reopening large arenas could be good news for Sabres | State-and-regional |
“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state’s large arenas would be permitted to again host events starting Feb. 23,” reports Keith McShea and Mike Harrington.

Erik Brady: Antoine Winfield Jr. abides by 3 Rs learned at South Davis Elementary | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“Winfield Jr. was a kindergartner at South Davis Elementary in the fall of 2003, when his father, Antoine Winfield Sr., was a cornerback for the Buffalo Bills,” writes Erik Brady.

Featured on Buffalo Rumblings

Todd McShay 2021 NFL mock draft has Buffalo Bills targeting RB Najee Harris - Buffalo Rumblings
One of those occasions where Kiper and McShay agree on something.

State of the Buffalo Bills roster: Tight ends - Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills might wait on their current crop of young players—but they could look to add a more dynamic element, as well.

BBR: Taking a closer look at the Buffalo Bills’ 2021 opponents - Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills face both the Bucs and Chiefs in 2021.

State of the Buffalo Bills roster: cornerbacks - Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills have to figure out what to do at CB2.

2020 Penalty Recap: Buffalo Bills’ Most Wanted - Buffalo Rumblings
It’s time for some offseason finger pointing!