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Potential Buffalo Bills 2016 NFL free agency targets: defense

The Buffalo Bills don't have a lot of money to spend this offseason, but they still have needs entering free agency. Who are some bargain-basement names the team could target on defense this spring?

With the 2016 NFL league year set to begin on March 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET, teams are ready to start making moves and bringing free agents in for meetings and signings. Given the Buffalo Bills' lack of salary cap space and need to re-sign their own prominent free agents, it's likely that the team won't be as active this year in free agency as they were last season. Still, they're going to dip into the pool for a few roster fillers and role players, so it's worth taking a look at who's available, and who might be a prime target for GM Doug Whaley and the rest at One Bills Drive when the time comes.

Here is a sortable free agency tracker, courtesy of Spotrac.


Possible Targets: Kroy Biermann, Kenrick Ellis

Despite his supposed willingness to renegotiate his contract, it would be shocking if Mario WIlliams remains on the Bills' roster after March 9. That said, his true replacement is likely to come by way of the draft. Still, the significant playing time that IK Enempkali received last season is a testament to the Bills' lack of depth at defensive end. Biermann is a veteran defensive end who has a fair amount of starting experience, but not enough to line him up for a huge payday at age 30. As far as backups go, he's near the top of the list.

Defensive tackle is pretty well set for this coming season as well, although Corbin Bryant is a restricted free agent and needs a new deal. Stefan Charles is also an RFA, but he may be allowed to walk. Ellis, a former member of Rex Ryan's Jets defense (yes, I know how you all feel about that) would be a good rotational tackle and offer a big body if Kyle Williams were to miss time due to injury again.

Likelihood of a Bills signing: High


Possible Targets: Demario Davis, Danny Trevathan

Ryan tends to use linebackers differently than the rest of the league, so projecting a fit from another team is difficult. The easiest name to plug in to replace Nigel Bradham would be Davis, who has been linked to the Bills by many observers. He's far from the best name out there, but he has experience and can play reasonably well in passing situations.

Trevathan is a much better and younger linebacker, and he does everything well enough to believe that he'd be a good fit for the Bills. Since the Broncos are looking to resign all three of their linebackers, there's a good chance he could end up elsewhere next season. If the Bills are going to break the bank on any free agent this offseason, it would probably be Trevathan, although they might see themselves priced out of the market if too many teams are interested.

Likelihood of a Bills signing: Medium


Possible Targets: Antonio Cromartie, Terence Newman, Mark Barron

The Bills are already reportedly set to meet with Cromartie, who is a free agent after a drop-off in production led to his release. He would be a decent filler as a depth corner, especially if Leodis McKelvin is released. That said, he would need to take a significant cut in both pay and playing time for that signing to have any chance at working.

Newman, 37, is at the age where most corners shift to safety. He is, however, still playing well as a full-time starting cornerback. He may try to parlay that into one more decent contract, but if he's willing to take backup money and playing time he would be another guy who could come in as a nickel/dime defender and a backup at the safety positions.

Barron, who has disappointed as a former eighth-overall pick, would be a replacement for Corey Graham if he were released in a cap move. Barron has a similar skill set and could even fill in at linebacker in a pinch. If Graham takes a pay cut, however, Barron would be an unnecessary redundancy.

Likelihood of a Bills signing: Medium