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Buffalo Bills News - February 21, 2017

Marker DeSean Jackson named best free-agent fit for Bills [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Without Watkins for half the year (and him playing hurt the other half), the Bills finished with just 35 catches of 20-plus yards in 2016. Only Houston had fewer, with 34.'

Marker Free agency focus: What to do with LB Brandon Spikes [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If the team needs Spikes again as the 2017 season draws near, they should be able to sign him to a low-cost, one-year contract.'

Marker Buffalo Bills' Stephon Gilmore named top CB set to hit free agency by PFF [1:57 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"Among this year's cornerback class, Gilmore is the closest thing there is to a sure thing. As a rookie, he was the Bills' starting right cornerback in Week 1. Since then, he has either been their right cornerback or tracked opposing No. 1 wide receivers. He has 48 combined interceptions and pass breakups since entering the league in 2012, tied for ninth-most. He allows a few too many big plays to be an elite cornerback, but the good plays he makes against the competition he faces far outweigh the bad. While he earned a lower grade in the 2016 season than most other CBs on this list, his larger body of work elevates him to the top of the ranking."'

Marker Marcell Dareus joins efforts to help father's homeland recover from natural disasters [1:56 AM]
Birmingham News reports: 'Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has gone to Haiti, following up on a recent donation to the Hope for Haiti charity with a first-hand look at conditions in the country.'

Marker Bills' free agency, draft shopping list [1:55 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'The Bills believe Cardale Jones has a chance to compete for the starting job, but if Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel leave in free agency, the Bills have big problems here.'

Marker Bills RFAs - breakdowns and verdicts [1:54 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'All Gillislee has done for his one-plus season in Buffalo is lead the league in yards per carry and score bunch of touchdowns, earning him the nickname “Touchdown Mike” in the locker room.'

Marker A five-step plan: What might the Bills do with Tyrod Taylor? [1:53 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'By picking up the option, the relationship becomes a marriage between player, team, and GM. And if it's Whaley making the final call, I think he'd be strongly inclined to have the Bills move on. If McDermott has more of a say than most head coaches would, then hope remains for bringing Taylor back.'

Marker Bills Today: Dareus making his big presence felt away from the gridiron [1:52 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I love giving back, especially to kids in need, but this is extra special because I've never been on a trip like this before,” Dareus said. “The Haitian people have seen hardship after hardship, with the earthquake and then the hurricane. Being able to meet with them and show them that I care about them is really important to me."'

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February 20, 2017

Marker Bills finish 24th in special teams rankings [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo's kicking game shoulders most of the blame for the low ranking. The Bills ranked tied for 28th in made field goals (19) and 30th in field-goal percentage (76 percent), as well as 27th in extra-point percentage (88.9 percent).'

Marker Marv Levy pens children's book to celebrate Cubs' championship [1:58 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Of the Bills’ firing of Rex Ryan, Levy knew nothing of the particulars, but did say that at some point, the organization has to stop starting over. “There has to be a degree of patience,” said Levy, who coached the Bills for 11 ½ years and won six AFC East division crowns and four AFC championships before retiring after the 1997 season. “I used to say ‘Don’t keep shaking up the coke bottle, it’ll spray all over the place.’”'

Marker Buffalo Bills' John Miller named most improved second-year guard by PFF [1:57 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'From year one to year two, no guard improved more than Miller. Pro Football Focus shared that Miller and Patriots guard Shaq Mason were the most improved second year guards in 2016.'

Marker In or out? Upcoming Buffalo Bills RFAs [1:56 AM]
Batavia Daily News reports: 'Gillislee is the Bills most talented RFA of the lot. Gillslee rushed for 577 yards, 5.7 yards per carry and eight touchdowns behind starter LeSean McCoy. Gillslee's downhill running style is a change-of-pace from the elusive McCoy.'

February 19, 2017

Marker Free agency focus: What to do with RB Reggie Bush [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This is an easy call – there is no reason to bring Bush back. Running back is a young man's position, and he's on the wrong side of 30. It's surprising the team kept him on the 53-man roster the entire year. The Bills can find a younger, cheaper option to serve as their third running back, and may even have that player on the roster in second-year Jonathan Williams. Bush's NFL days are likely done.'

Marker Free agency focus: What to do with WR Brandon Tate [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The veteran minimum for a player with eight years of experience next year is $900,000. If the Bills want to re-sign Tate to a one-year contract, they can take advantage of the minimum salary benefit that would mean Tate earns that amount, but counts just $615,000 agains the salary cap – the amount of a player with two years of experience. Given the Bills' cap situation, that's the offer they should make to Tate. If he's beaten out for the job at training camp, the Bills can move on with minimal impact to the salary cap.'

Marker If Buffalo Bills cut Tyrod Taylor, is QB Jay Cutler an option? [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The mere fact that I would even pose the following question should tell you all you need to know about the desperate situation the Buffalo Bills are in regarding the quarterback position, but here goes: If they move on from Tyrod Taylor, is Jay Cutler a viable option as a replacement?'

Marker Buffalo Bills ranked among NFL's least stable franchises by The Ringer [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Put all three areas together and you can understand why Danny Kelly of The Ringer ranked Buffalo as one of the least stable franchises in the NFL. Kelly ranked Buffalo second-to-last in his NFL stability rankings. The 49ers were the only team to finish behind the Bills in Kelly's stability rankings.'

February 18, 2017

Marker Free agency focus: What to do with QB EJ Manuel [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Manuel’s time with the Bills should be over. His legacy will be that of a first-round draft bust, even if it’s not his fault the Bills reached for him. Some may argue that Manuel was never given a fair shake, but two separate coaching staffs agreed he wasn’t good enough. Now on his third agent as a pro, his best hope is to compete for a backup job somewhere, but it shouldn’t be in Buffalo.'

Marker Marv Levy, Bruce Smith join Sports Collectors Expo in Batavia [1:58 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The annual Sports Collectors Expo runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18 and 19, at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.'

Marker Buffalo Bills should sign wide receiver DeSean Jackson, says Pro Football Focus [1:57 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Jackson makes plenty of sense for the Bills if the team picks up Tyrod Taylor's contract. Taylor displayed one of the league's best deep balls in 2015 and a combination of Jackson and Watkins could challenge any secondary deep. If Taylor isn't Buffalo's starting quarterback next season, Jackson suddenly isn't as great of a fit with the Bills. Jackson is coming off of a season in which he caught 56 passes for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns with Washington.'

Marker 1990 Buffalo Bills named among best offenses of all-time by NFL's Gil Brandt [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'The reason the 1990 Bills offense only ran 931 plays is because the K-Gun offense was able to put up points quickly. In addition to the Hall of Fame players mentioned, the offense also featured important contributors such as Kenneth Davis, Jamie Mueller, Keith McKeller, Don Beebe and Pete Metzelaars.'

Marker Former Bills GM Bill Polian says Chad Kelly is most talented QB in 2017 NFL Draft [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"The psychological testing is really, really important," Polian said on ESPN's Mike and Mike this week. "The background goes without saying. By the way, the most talented quarterback in the draft is probably Chad Kelly, but he has a ton of baggage," Polian said. "So you get that out of the way immediately."'

Marker Staying or Going? Bills FB Jerome Felton [1:54 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'It's an interesting situation because, on top of being a solid blocking fullback, Felton's great relationship with McCoy must be considered. Soon to turn 31, the Bills likely wouldn't need to break the bank to bring back Felton and help out the running game. They should look to bring him back for 2017, all the while searching for the later part of the draft and in undrafted free agency for a more athletic type to battle Felton in the summer, and eventually take over as the lead at the position.

Marker President Trump's new communications director is a Bills season ticket holder [1:53 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Michael Dubke, the founder of conservative public relations group Crossroads Media, is also on the advisory board of the Buffalo Bills fan alliance and describes himself as a Buffalo Bills season ticket holder.'

Marker PSE announces executive leadership promotions [1:52 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Pegula Sports and Entertainment announced today the promotions of Bruce Popko and Erica Muhleman within PSE’s executive management team. Popko has been elevated to Chief Operating Officer, while Muhleman has been promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of Business Development.'

Marker What to watch for in AFC East this offseason [1:51 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'While it’s widely expected that the Patriots will franchise LB Dont’a Hightower, what to do with TE Martellus Bennett is a bit more complicated. There’s incentive to sign Bennett long term knowing Rob Gronkowski’s injury history, but a big contract could complicate the team’s standing with Gronk, who will make just $4.25M in 2017. A short term agreement is more likely.'

Marker Bills Today: Is safety a realistic scenario for Bills at 10? [1:50 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'There’s little question that safety is a need position for Buffalo knowing the depth players at that position are all free agents (Robert Blanton, Jonathan Meeks). The Bills did re-sign Colt Anderson, but he’s largely on the roster to lead the special teams unit.'

February 17, 2017

Marker Ramon Humber re-signed by Bills [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With Humber re-signing, the Bills have 22 pending unrestricted free agents. Earlier this offseason, the team re-signed safety Colt Anderson, another player who is primarily a contributor on special teams.'

Marker NFL.com suggests LeSean McCoy could be a 'surprise' cap casualty [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"McCoy is a very awkward fit in new coordinator Rick Dennison's one-cut running attack. The Bills could decide to risk letting McCoy go a year too early rather than hold on to him a year too long," Rosenthal writes. "If the team designates McCoy a post-June 1 cut, they get $6.25 million in cap room and -- more importantly -- save $6 million in cash to spend elsewhere.'

Marker Dolphins set to release former Bills DE Mario Williams [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams' release saved the Dolphins $8.5 million against the salary cap and came as part of a series of cost-cutting moves that also included the release of left tackle Branden Albert, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, according to the Herald. All told, the releases will save Miami $19.7 million in cap space.'

Marker Buffalo Bills re-sign linebacker and special teamer Ramon Humber [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Humber led the Bills in both special teams tackles and snaps in 2016. He didn't have a huge role on defense, but his contributions on special teams made him worth retaining.'

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