The Buffalo Bills were able to re-sign Levi Wallace to be their second cornerback in 2021 for an incredibly cheap sum. Now, though, he’s looking to cash in on a big deal and we are all in favor of him securing the bag, but should it be with the Bills? What happens if they let him walk? Is Tre’Davious White going to be ready to go for the season opener after his mid-season knee injury?
There are a lot of questions the Bills will have to answer. We do our best to give you information in the excerpted articles below. Click through the link to read the full information and then vote in our poll.
All-22 Review: Levi Wallace
Long story a bit longer, I’m still on the Levi Wallace bandwagon. The biggest knock on Wallace remains his overall athleticism. I don’t usually go with the best or worst plays as they can color the analysis too far in one direction. That said, let’s just say I could have really driven the lack of top-end speed home waaaaay harder had I wanted to. It is something that teams can exploit.
Wallace is a smart player with good fundamentals who fits into the Frazier/McDermott defense very well. He’s a quality CB2 and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring him back if I’m running the show at One Bills Drive. That is of course unless there’s a bidding war. Quality corners can be in high demand.
Read his full analysis with GIFs of a cross-section of plays here
All-22 Review: Dane Jackson
I doubt this will surprise anyone, but Dane Jackson is no Tre’Davious White. He played a lot better than many expected, though. The Bills and their knack for getting the most out of defensive backs continues. Credit the scheme. Credit the surrounding talent. Credit the front office for finding intelligent players who can read the field. If a Levi Wallace departure is in the cards this season, it very likely could lead to a Dane Jackson CB2 scenario. And like Wallace, we may see an annual “try to upgrade but probably won’t” cycle.
Read his full analysis with GIFs of a cross-section of plays here
Contract projection for Levi Wallace
Three years, $25.5 million contract
$10 million guaranteed
Wallace might compare numerically to the guys listed, but his body type and playing style aren’t as sexy and he certainly doesn’t have their pedigree. He’s a solid contributor, makes good decisions, is a good tackler, and he’s not afraid to do the little things. He’s a guy you want on your team, but he probably fits better on a team with more cap space trying to establish a culture.
See all the comparable contracts for Wallace and how we got to the number in our full article
In-house replacement options for Wallace
With injuries a natural part of the NFL season, going in with a recuperating Tre’Davious White, Dane Jackson, and guys with five combined NFL games is not a formula for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
Read more about the current state of the Bills’ CB room here
Free agents who could play CB
The 6’2”, 209-lb CB, turning 27 this year, is due a major pay raise. Although teams might be looking for a one or two-year deal, since he’s coming off a breakout season.
He’ll turn 26 this year, and was tagged with a second-round tender (and paid $3.4 million) last year. A $10 million-per-year extension is the kind of market he’s hoping for.
He missed four games from a hamstring injury, but had 45 tackles, an interception, and five pass breakups in the rest of his season. Peterson was paid $8 million last season. He’ll probably be roughly around that number on his next contract.
All in all, he played like a fringe starting cornerback, with an interception, nine passes defended, and 46 total tackles on the season. If the Bills, concerned about Tre’ White’s availability, want a veteran presence ready to roll next year, this 11th-year veteran can jump right in and play.
Rhodes will be 32 in 2022. Entering his tenth pro season, the contract price will probably dip a little bit from the $4.8 million, but this is still a player who can compete to start for his team.
Only three years ago, Fuller was in the Pro Bowl, so maybe he’s a buy-low candidate? He’ll almost certainly make less than the one-year, $9.5 million contract he played under in 2021 when he bet on himself.
There’s still time to keep the Panthers pipeline intact. There’s a chance that Carolina uses a franchise tag, but if they don’t, he’s the kind of player who could sign a large deal with the right team.
If the Bills were serious about adding athleticism to their secondary, then the former first-round pick, who ran a 4.40 40-yard dash, definitely qualifies. Apple’s whole career has been inconsistent, but he had a nice year starting for the Cincinnati Bengals, and is one of the reasons they’re playing in the Super Bowl.
Read even more about each candidate in our full article
2022 NFL Draft options to replace Levi Wallace
Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)
Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)
Trent McDuffie (Washington)
Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson)
Stingley never lived up to his phenomenal freshman season, but he has length, elite athleticism, physicality and scheme flexibility. He’s a no-brainer. “Sauce” Gardner is a bit thin and isn’t the best tackler, although his man-coverage ability is already NFL starter-caliber. Pretty much the only thing McDuffie lacks is ideal height—he’s a cool 5’11”—but regardless, he’s a feisty competitor and offers the ability to play in the slot as well. A bit of a forgotten man, Booth’s top speed may disappoint. However, with his good size and long wingspan he looks like a strong fit for a press-man scheme.
Roger McCreary (Auburn)
Kyler Gordon (Washington)
Kaiir Elam (Florida)
Derion Kendrick (Georgia)
Martin Emerson (Mississippi State)
Marcus Jones (Houston)
Josh Jobe (Alabama)
Mario Goodrich (Clemson)
Read more about the Tier II and Tier III prospects in the full article.
Opinion: maybe it’s time to take the training wheels off the defense
The Bills are limited in the looks and coverages they can show to opposing quarterbacks because although Hyde and Poyer may take throws off the menu for opposing quarterbacks, there are certain plays that are themselves off the menu for the defense due to the presence of a sub-standard relative athlete at the cornerback position...which was fine when Wallace continually played a reasonable level for a reasonable salary. But if you have a corner opposite Tre’Davious White making almost $10 million annually, he shouldn’t be a player who limits what you can do defensively.
Read the entirety of Bruce’s opinion piece here
Now it’s your turn. Vote in our poll and let us know what you want the Bills to do this offseason at CB2.
What do you want the Bills to do at CB2 this offseason?
This poll is closed
Re-sign Levi Wallace for $6 to $10 million per season to start
Start Dane Jackson, sign a depth option
Start Dane Jackson, draft a depth option
Sign a starting-caliber CB to compete with Dane Jackson
Draft a starting-caliber CB to compete with Dane Jackson
- All-22 Year in review: Levi Wallace
- All-22 Year in review: Dane Jackson
- Contract projection for CB Levi Wallace
- Bills don’t have in-house depth to replace Levi Wallace
- Free agents who could replace Levi Wallace
- 2022 NFL Draft prospects at CB
- Opinion: Bills should upgrade the CB2 spot from Levi Wallace this offseason