On Saturday evening, Tim Graham of The Buffalo News reported that the Buffalo Bills and free agent pass rusher Jerry Hughes continued to progress toward a long-term contract extension, even as the pressure ramped up with the free agency deadline for a new deal looming.
If the Bills aren't able to close the deal this weekend, several teams are ready to pounce - and are likely already involved in the negotiation-slash-bidding process on Hughes. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, and New York Jets are all interested in Hughes, as well.
Robinson adds that the Jaguars are offering the most money among the other teams bidding, but that the Bills are "intent" on keeping Hughes around.
Bills GM Doug Whaley has maintained for two-plus weeks now that the team is optimistic about its chances of keeping Hughes from hitting the open market, but as the deadline nears without a new deal, that optimism will wane. Hughes is the top pass rusher on the open market, and the longer this drags on, the exponentially more difficult it's going to be for the Bills to keep him around.