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Q&A mailbag: free agency vs NFL Draft positions, surprising veteran cut, Sean McDermott hot seat

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The NFL is in full offseason mode, and after a brief opening statement on the Super Bowl, we dive into your Buffalo Bills questions. This week, we tackle the roster building question about which place is better for roster building; free agency or the NFL Draft. It’s our featured question of the week below the podcast player.

We also tackle questions this week on who will be a surprising veteran cut by the Bills this offseason, what would have to happen for Sean McDermott to be on the hot seat in 2020, who might have been the Bills coach in 2017 if McDermott was hired by the Cleveland Browns, the job Kim and Terry Pegula have done as owners, and the possibility of adding troubled but talented running back Kareem Hunt.

As always, you can call us at 716-508-0405 to leave your question about the Bills. That line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—so call any time! You can tweet us @RumblingsQandA, email us at BuffaloRumblings@SBNation.com, or leave a comment in this week’s show notes on BuffaloRumblings.com.

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Featured question of the week

“Which position are the Buffalo Bills most likely to handle in free agency instead of waiting for the 2019 NFL Draft?”

While this is an open-ended question, I think the answer is pretty straightforward: center. General manager Brandon Beane has been talking about a veteran presence at center since the Senior Bowl. He wants that experienced anchor to the offensive line to help out Josh Allen in setting protections and solidifying the middle of the line, allowing them to potentially place inexperienced players at both guard spots.

Let’s look at the track record for Beane:

  • In September of 2017, just a few months after Beane took over as GM, he signed Eric Wood to a contract extension even though he had time remaining on his current deal.
  • After Wood abruptly retired due to injury, Beane signed a four-year starter who had never missed a game as a pro; Russell Bodine.
  • In Carolina, Beane watched as Ryan Kalil was named All-Pro twice and wne to the Pro Bowl five times. He earned several contract extensions with the Panthers, playing 12 years.

Centers have been important for teams Beane has been on and he has ponied up the money for them time and time again.

With that being said, only two guys are clear upgrades over Bodine; Matt Paradis and Mitch Morse.

Paradis is recovering from a broken leg, but had made 57 consecutive starts for the Denver Broncos prior to that. He’s expected the be the crown jewel of the center class, and he is used to the weather of Denver (and Idaho, his home state). If Buffalo ponies up the money, they might be a team that can attract him.

Buffalo coach Sean McDermott should have some connection to Morse through Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Not quite as durable as Paradis, Morse has been almost as good of a player when he stays in the lineup. He’s started 49 games over four seasons, playing in only 18 games over the last two years. Morse is more than three years younger than Paradis, which could also factor into the conversation.

The rest of the center class have major injury problems, blocking problems, intelligence problems, or some combination of the three. At best, they are an even swap with Bodine, so there’s little point in adding them.

If they want a solid center who is a clear upgrade over Bodine and doesn’t need time to adjust to the NFL, they need to grab one of these two guys. Even if it’s Paradis for three years to shepherd the young Allen from inexperienced to a veteran, it will be worth it.

Show notes:

Upgrading at the center position

Surprise veteran cuts

More

Remember, you can call us at 716-508-0405 to leave your question about the Bills. That line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—so call any time! You can tweet us @RumblingsQandA, email us at BuffaloRumblings@SBNation.com, or leave a comment in this week’s show notes on BuffaloRumblings.com.