Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
26CornerBlitz

Ryan Talbot: 50 Potential Free Agent Fits for the Bills

Recommended Posts

50 potential free agent fits for Bills

By Ryan Talbot | Contributing writer

 

The Buffalo Bills have no shortage of positions to address in the offseason. Quarterback will likely be the top position the Bills look to address, but they could also look for upgrades at wide receivers, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker and cornerback while also addressing depth anywhere.

 

Buffalo is currently listed as having close to $40 million in cap space, but they'll likely make a few roster moves to increase this number. Although some cap space will go towards the 2018 rookie class, Buffalo will have money to spend in free agency.

 

Who are some potential fits? After looking at this year's free agents, the following list was compiled. It's important to note that this isn't a top 50 list. Le'Veon Bell, for example, didn't make the cut as Buffalo already has plenty of money invested in LeSean McCoy. Sammy Watkins also didn't make the cut as a reunion seems doubtful after the current regime sent him packing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would open the vault for Cousins personally, and I originally wasn't a fan.  But its pretty easy to think that we still win the 9 games we did this year had Cousins been the QB and also win the Carolina, Cincy, and Charger games.  That is a 12 win team as is, and we still have all our picks to go hard in the draft at other holes.  Not to mention, one could argue the Jets game and even both Pats games were winnable and might have had different results had we had both Cousins and KB out there together.  I also think its pretty clear we beat Jacksonville in the playoffs too, although we would have bene playing someone else had our record been better.  

 

But we dont even really know if there will be a shot at Cousins, so hard to make a plan for it.  So if we take him off the table, here is what I would like to see us go out and sign.

 

Sign Bridgewater (and then draft a QB still in first 2 rounds).  Not only is he a guy who can potentially start while we groom a rookie, he still has potential to be a franchise QB as he showed flashes before the injury.   

 

Sign Star Lotulelei at DT (or Poe if we cant land Star) to help shore up the interior D Line.  He wont be cheap, but if we dont pursue cousins I think he would be a great target to spend on and he obviously knows McD and the defense.  

 

Sign Brandon Fusco at OG.  I fully expect us to look at the draft to help the OL too, but he brings a solid veteran presence in to help shore up the pass protection.

 

Sign Mike Wallace at WR to help with the deep threat.  Preferably I would like Paul Richardson, but I think someone will over pay for him this year.  I think a guy like Wallace can be another vet for ZJ to learn from and still open up the field.   

 

ReSign Gaines at DB (unless the market is too high given his injury risk).  

 

NOTE:  Dont get me wrong, plenty of guys on the list that I would love to see us pursue, but I was focused on keeping it more realistic in terms of money, interest, and availability. 

Edited by Alphadawg7
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MichFan said:

Drew Brees is number one. No way would that make any sense.

 

He definitely included some players who will not be available. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only players on this list that I think are realistic targets (I'm not advocating for any of them, just think they could be targets):

 

Joe Webb

Leonard Johnson  

Deonte Thompson

Kyle Fuller

Ryan Jenen

Kyle Williams

Alex Okafor

Andrew Norwell

EJ Gaines

Nigel Bradham

Star Lotulelei

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Naming 50 people doesn't really feel like going out on a limb or anything. But still a good article, with some good names on there. I really like Star, Whitehead, Norwell. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad to see the lack of MLBs in that group.  I’m only a fan of a couple in this year’s draft (at this point, lots to learn still).   I’d like a true stud MLB in this defense.  Preston Brown was better than I had anticipated.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  He played pretty good after the 3 game slide.  Leading the league in tackles raises his price tag and I don’t think he’s worth over 3-4 mill a year. If that. I really hope we can upgrade that position. I’d really like to get Bradham back.  I wasn’t happy when he left.  He’s exactly what we need. Other than a qb, he might be the number 1 FA on my board considering how much he’ll cost and how he fits.  I hope Beane feels the same.  

 

A Lb group of Bradham Milano and Brown might actually work well.  If we need to employ 2 fast LBs in nickel, Milano and Bradham can both fill the need.  Brown never left the field this year apparently.  I’d prefer to have some speed 

Edited by NewEra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Bradham coming back.  Clayborn is an interesting prospect also.  If he could get help us get after QB's better he would be a nice addition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would really like Kyle Fuller at CB and Star at DT and if we can get Pugh or Norwell for the OL I think those would be great acquisitions pre-draft but I'm not sure we'll have that kind of cash.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, NewEra said:

Sad to see the lack of MLBs in that group.  I’m only a fan of a couple in this year’s draft (at this point, lots to learn still).   I’d like a true stud MLB in this defense.  Preston Brown was better than I had anticipated.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  He played pretty good after the 3 game slide.  Leading the league in tackles raises his price tag and I don’t think he’s worth over 3-4 mill a year. If that. I really hope we can upgrade that position. I’d really like to get Bradham back.  I wasn’t happy when he left.  He’s exactly what we need. Other than a qb, he might be the number 1 FA on my board considering how much he’ll cost and how he fits.  I hope Beane feels the same.  

 

A Lb group of Bradham Milano and Brown might actually work well.  If we need to employ 2 fast LBs in nickel, Milano and Bradham can both fill the need.  Brown never left the field this year apparently.  I’d prefer to have some speed 

Brown had some really nice plays but he also had some really bad ones and a lot of his tackles were after a 5 yard run.  Doesn't mean a whole lot if you get most of your tackles down the field.  However, I think part of that can be contributed to the defensive line play.  We shall see though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alphadawg7 said:

I would open the vault for Cousins personally, and I originally wasn't a fan.  But its pretty easy to think that we still win the 9 games we did this year had Cousins been the QB and also win the Carolina, Cincy, and Charger games.

 

Kirk Cousins hasn't broken 9 wins with equally talented teams.  The Redskins have also hovered around the Bills points per game the last three years.  2015 the Bills finished 12th in points per game, while the Redskins finished 10th.  2016 the Bills 10th, and the Redskins 12th.  2017 was the biggest gap, the Redskins finished 16th while the Bills finished 22th.  

 

Cousins might put up pretty numbers, but the Redskins have struggled to win games with him.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#1 Drew Brees and #3 Jimmy Garappolo? 

 

No, the serious list now, please.

 

And if we could somehow land Kirk Cousins and Star Lotulelei...Oh, My

Edited by Hapless Bills Fan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there are some solid options on this list.  Many options that aren't going to break the bank, but, be great value signings and hopefully impact players (such as Hyde and Poyer).  If we could fill just a couple of holes with good contributors in free agency that would go along way.  Here is what I thought of the list on who may be good matches with the Bills (age in parenthesis)....

 

Resigning

 

EJGaines (25)

Kyle Williams (34) - one year deal

Travis Cadet (28)

Deonte Thompson (28)

 

DT

 

Star Lotulelei (28) Carolina - let's get him signed!

Haloti Ngata (33) Detroit - stop gap for a year if we miss on Star

 

WR

 

John Brown (27) Arizona - one year prove it deal

Terelle Pryor (28) Washington - one year prove it deal

 

OLB

 

Nigel Bradham (28) Philadelphia 

Tahir Whitehead (27) Detroit - don't know much about him, anyone?

 

DE

 

Ezekiel Ansah (28) Detroit - might more than a value signing, maybe too expensive

Adrian Clayborn (29) Atlanta 

 

CB

 

Rashaan Melvin (28) Indy - if he is a complete CB and tackles, seems to be

Kyle Fuller (25) Chicago - if he is a complete CB and tackles, seems to be

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Alphadawg7 said:

I would open the vault for Cousins personally, and I originally wasn't a fan.  But its pretty easy to think that we still win the 9 games we did this year had Cousins been the QB and also win the Carolina, Cincy, and Charger games.  That is a 12 win team as is, and we still have all our picks to go hard in the draft at other holes.  Not to mention, one could argue the Jets game and even both Pats games were winnable and might have had different results had we had both Cousins and KB out there together.  I also think its pretty clear we beat Jacksonville in the playoffs too, although we would have bene playing someone else had our record been better.  

 

But we dont even really know if there will be a shot at Cousins, so hard to make a plan for it.  So if we take him off the table, here is what I would like to see us go out and sign.

 

Sign Bridgewater (and then draft a QB still in first 2 rounds).  Not only is he a guy who can potentially start while we groom a rookie, he still has potential to be a franchise QB as he showed flashes before the injury.   

 

Sign Star Lotulelei at DT (or Poe if we cant land Star) to help shore up the interior D Line.  He wont be cheap, but if we dont pursue cousins I think he would be a great target to spend on and he obviously knows McD and the defense.  

 

Sign Brandon Fusco at OG.  I fully expect us to look at the draft to help the OL too, but he brings a solid veteran presence in to help shore up the pass protection.

 

Sign Mike Wallace at WR to help with the deep threat.  Preferably I would like Paul Richardson, but I think someone will over pay for him this year.  I think a guy like Wallace can be another vet for ZJ to learn from and still open up the field.   

 

ReSign Gaines at DB (unless the market is too high given his injury risk).  

 

NOTE:  Dont get me wrong, plenty of guys on the list that I would love to see us pursue, but I was focused on keeping it more realistic in terms of money, interest, and availability. 

 

IMO, you can't do that for Cousins.  I get it, he can thrown the football and it looks appealing.  I also understand you can think about the hypothetical of him being on our team this year - and it appears all we'd need.  

 

First when it's game on the line or game that has to be won - Kirk Cousins will let you down.  The in between is fine but he craps the bed very very often.  It's the reason he isn't signed and is getting strung along by Washington.  He's the type of QB that keeps you good enough to not be awful and sometimes the record will be good enough to even have double digit regular season wins.  Similar to Drew Stafford.   He's talented but the big time moments swallow him up.  Both of them offer much more pleasurable seasons for their fans - but they're not going to have an opportunity to win it all.  

 

The contrary happens with the leagues best QB's and even they have up and down seasons.  Those teams have some seasons where their defense, etc. just isn't the same - can't gear up from a previous tough grind the season before or they run into a little salary cap issue, but they always work back out of those situations to become contenders.  Because when things align that QB is right there to give you that shot to win the super bowl.  Cousins will never be that type of QB.  He'll make it very difficult with the money he's making to get better in FA and sign players that develop into real good players.  Then when things align - you draft well and players are on team friendly salaries - coaches have things clicking - you'll have a good season but a QB like Cousins shuts the door.  

Edited by White Linen
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Manther said:

I think there are some solid options on this list.  Many options that aren't going to break the bank, but, be great value signings and hopefully impact players (such as Hyde and Poyer).  If we could fill just a couple of holes with good contributors in free agency that would go along way.  Here is what I thought of the list on who may be good matches with the Bills (age in parenthesis)....

 

Resigning

 

EJGaines (25)

Kyle Williams (34) - one year deal

Travis Cadet (28)

Deonte Thompson (28)

 

DT

 

Star Lotulelei (28) Carolina - let's get him signed!

Haloti Ngata (33) Detroit - stop gap for a year if we miss on Star

 

WR

 

John Brown (27) Arizona - one year prove it deal

Terelle Pryor (28) Washington - one year prove it deal

 

OLB

 

Nigel Bradham (28) Philadelphia 

Tahir Whitehead (27) Detroit - don't know much about him, anyone?

 

DE

 

Ezekiel Ansah (28) Detroit - might more than a value signing, maybe too expensive

Adrian Clayborn (29) Atlanta 

 

CB

 

Rashaan Melvin (28) Indy - if he is a complete CB and tackles, seems to be

Kyle Fuller (25) Chicago - if he is a complete CB and tackles, seems to be

4

 

I would love to see Gaines resigned and then go after Star. The Bills at best probably would only have cap space to maybe go after one more player that commands a starters salary but I would love to bring Bradham back. He fits the scheme and filling those holes at DT and OLB while keeping Gaines frees up the Bills draft board a bit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, billsfan89 said:

 

I would love to see Gaines resigned and then go after Star. The Bills at best probably would only have cap space to maybe go after one more player that commands a starters salary but I would love to bring Bradham back. He fits the scheme and filling those holes at DT and OLB while keeping Gaines frees up the Bills draft board a bit. 

Agreed!  3 starters to the D in free agency would be great!

 

Totally frees up the draft board and taking bargain bin flyer free agents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Maine-iac said:

I like Bradham coming back.  Clayborn is an interesting prospect also.  If he could get help us get after QB's better he would be a nice addition.

They fail to mention that 6 of Clayborn's sacks came against the Cowboys when he was facing a backup LT. He's not really worth throwing much money at. I'd rather take a shot on Aaron Lynch. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 26CornerBlitz said:

 

He definitely included some players who will not be available. 

 

I think it’s unlikely but Brees is untaggable at this point so who knows. He’s not been team friendly in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, H2o said:

They fail to mention that 6 of Clayborn's sacks came against the Cowboys when he was facing a backup LT. He's not really worth throwing much money at. I'd rather take a shot on Aaron Lynch. 

Good to know.  I didn’t.

 

Is Clayborn still a good combo of speed, strength and size?  Thusly versatile on downs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, H2o said:

They fail to mention that 6 of Clayborn's sacks came against the Cowboys when he was facing a backup LT. He's not really worth throwing much money at. I'd rather take a shot on Aaron Lynch. 

 

 

Yeah Shaq and Clayborn would be kinda' redundant skillsets.   Need a true pass rusher at one of those ends and Clayborn ain't that dude.    And Clayborn will be 30 this summer and is probably looking for a 3 year deal.    Don't see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

Yeah Shaq and Clayborn would be kinda' redundant skillsets.   Need a true pass rusher at one of those ends and Clayborn ain't that dude.    And Clayborn will be 30 this summer and is probably looking for a 3 year deal.    Don't see it.

Makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Julio Hopkins said:

 

Kirk Cousins hasn't broken 9 wins with equally talented teams.  The Redskins have also hovered around the Bills points per game the last three years.  2015 the Bills finished 12th in points per game, while the Redskins finished 10th.  2016 the Bills 10th, and the Redskins 12th.  2017 was the biggest gap, the Redskins finished 16th while the Bills finished 22th.  

 

Cousins might put up pretty numbers, but the Redskins have struggled to win games with him.  

 

The redskins also struggle to catch the ball and aren't a very good coached team.  I get your point of view, but I also don't think the Redskins are all that great of a team overall nor are coached well.  So, I am in the camp that its not really fair to hang the record only on his shoulders.  I mean Brees, Rivers, Stafford, Ryan, Luck, etc also don't have great records other over the last 5 years overall.  It wasn't all their faults either.  Brees is clearly a superior QB to Cousins and the rest of the list, and this is the first time he has been in playoffs in 6 years.  Cousins is not that far off and comparable to all those other guys though, and they all have few playoff appearances among them and win less than they should.  

 

Everyone is always fixated on pinning the W/L record mostly on the QB, but its not even close to accurate.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaron Lynch? He had 12 combined sacks in his first two years, then fell off the map a bit. I wonder if he could be a “buy-low” candidate? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you to everyone who has checked out the article. Just to address a few comments:

1. There are definitely some players who won't reach free agency in this article (Brees, Garoppolo, Demarcus Lawrence come to mind), but this is based on players who are set to become free agents and the focus of the article was players at positions of need (not a top 50 free agent list).

2. Certainly wasn't trying to go out on a limb by naming 50 players. Intention was to simply show what could be available when free agency starts. 

3. MLB options are thin. Cornerback, however, is pretty deep. If Buffalo is worried about E.J. Gaines' durability or asking price, there are plenty of options out there.

4. If Kyle Williams retires, I think the team will be very aggressive with a guy like Star Lotulelei. 

 

Appreciate the article being shared and discussed.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×