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Joe B takes a look at Buffalo's four core free agents...

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I didn't see this posted yet so I thought I'd share. It's an article on The Athletic so it's behind a paywall but I'll cut and paste a few bits and pieces.

 

Shaq Lawson - Joe predicts the Bills will get a long-term deal done with him before free agency. Quote...

 

"Signing Lawson would benefit the Bills in a few ways. They would be rewarding a young, vocal leader who has grown immensely under their watch. They would also be sending a message through the locker room that it doesn’t matter whether a player was brought in under the current regime; hard work, a good attitude and production are more important to them."

 

Jordan Phillips - Joe predicts Phillips will sign elsewhere during free agency, however...

 

"It wouldn’t be a surprise if Phillips allows the Bills to match a contract offer he receives, but the Bills are in a good place. Oliver is a superior pass rusher and run defender to Phillips, and Harrison Phillips is on the way back. All the team needs is another low-cost, rotational piece to complete their four-person defensive tackle rotation and they should be able to make up for the loss of Jordan Phillips. If Phillips doesn’t find a long-term deal in free agency, the Bills should remain open to another one-year pact (though it seems unlikely his market falls flat after his jump in production). But, with so much already in place at the position, it makes sense for the Bills to use that money elsewhere."

 

Quinton Spain - Predicts he will test free agency...

 

"Spain was an above-average starter for the majority of the season and stood out as a run blocker. But it’s notable that the Bills chose to rest Feliciano, and not Spain, in Week 17 against the Jets. Feliciano provides the versatility that Spain does not. The Bills also have a team option on the second year of Long’s deal and could bring him back this offseason. Cody Ford could play a part in the Spain decision, as the Bills haven’t ruled out moving the second-round pick inside."

 

Kevin Johnson - Predicts the Bills will give him a short-term deal...

 

"Without any substantial money tied to the cornerback position right now, the Bills have the flexibility to bring Johnson back on a short-term deal. He would give the Bills a fringe starter and depth option, he fits their scheme, is a special teams contributor and can even play inside at nickel when they need it."

 

He also adds that he believes the Bills will likely bring back some depth/special teams players, naming Dean Marlowe, Julian Stanford, Senorise Perry, and LaAdrian Waddle.

 

I wouldn't be opposed to bringing Lawson back, but at a manageable deal. He might be looking for a payday, though, who knows. There were also some quotes from Beane in the article that seemed to allude to them knowing the likelihood of Jordan Phillips testing the market is high. He added that they have Harrison Phillips coming back and how he had been playing very well before his injury. JP had some splash plays but also seemed to disappear at times, and also seemed to be in the game when the struggles to stop the run would happen, so, we'll see what happens there. Kevin Johnson is solid depth, I'd bring him back. Spain played well down the stretch but they may feel they have a better option there if they decide to switch Ford over to guard full-time. Should be an interesting off-season. 

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Lawson scares me. His comments and history here make me feel like he's a candidate for "Gets Paid, gets lazy."

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Good read and I think it’s probably accurate! Although I would like to keep Spain it would be interesting to see who someone like Singletary would want back on the o-line! Not that he would ever say in public if he didn’t want someone back. 

Phillips is as good as gone!

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Of the under the radar Bills free agents, I'd give Waddle another 1 or 2 year deal at a similar salary as he was paid in 2019.  Reasonably priced competition at RT.  

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5 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

Lawson scares me. His comments and history here make me feel like he's a candidate for "Gets Paid, gets lazy."

Yeah me too!! Hopefully McDermott can tell if Lawson is really “all in”

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6 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

Lawson scares me. His comments and history here make me feel like he's a candidate for "Gets Paid, gets lazy."

Agreed

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I think the interesting question is how would you rank them in terms of who you want back?

 

For me (I think):

Shaq

Spain

Phillips

Johnson

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I think we’ll bring back 2 of them.  Kj and one of the other 3.  

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Just now, Kirby Jackson said:

I think the interesting question is how would you rank them in terms of who you want back?

Spain

Johnson 

Shaq

Phillips 

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3 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

Lawson scares me. His comments and history here make me feel like he's a candidate for "Gets Paid, gets lazy."

 

I guess you're not considering the fact that he has become a team leader?  Those guys don't typically slack off after a new contract.

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2 minutes ago, eball said:

 

I guess you're not considering the fact that he has become a team leader?  Those guys don't typically slack off after a new contract.

I follow Shaq a little bit on social media and I’m surprised to hear the term “team leader” used to refer to him. He doesn’t come across as a bad guy, just a bit self-consumed.

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13 minutes ago, Kirby Jackson said:

I think the interesting question is how would you rank them in terms of who you want back?

 

For me (I think):

Shaq

Spain

Phillips

Johnson

 

I think Johnson is my #2.  Lots of talent and I don't fully trust Wallace.

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a whole lot of meh - none of these guys really fit a core player definition - some nice players, but nothing I am building a team around

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25 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

Lawson scares me. His comments and history here make me feel like he's a candidate for "Gets Paid, gets lazy."

THIS...him and Phillips I would only re-sign on short term friendly deals

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1 hour ago, eball said:

I guess you're not considering the fact that he has become a team leader?  Those guys don't typically slack off after a new contract.

 

I'm not sure what criteria you use for a 'team leader'. I'd say Hughes, Alexander and Hyde would be team leaders before him. I'd probably also put Milano, Edmunds, and Poyer ahead of him in that regard. I'd debate whether White and Lotulelei are ahead of him as well. I'm not sure how far down you go and still call someone a 'team leader'. 

 

In short, if he goes, I don't think the Bills lose any 'leadership'.

Edited by jeremy2020
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I don't consider any of these "core" guys. So if they end up getting overpaid wish them well and move on. Bills should look into extending Tre'Davious White instead and locking him up to a long term deal now before his price goes up.

Edited by billieve420

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1 hour ago, Kirby Jackson said:

I think the interesting question is how would you rank them in terms of who you want back?

 

For me (I think):

Shaq

Spain

Phillips

Johnson

Spain

Johnson 

Not bothered. 

 

I don't think either Lawson or Phillips would be worth the money it would cost to sign them

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Sign Shaq. Put a C on his jersey. If he is the real deal, he won't want to let his teammates down.

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1 hour ago, Reed83HOF said:

a whole lot of meh - none of these guys really fit a core player definition - some nice players, but nothing I am building a team around


agreed. Great problem to have. No one will be losing sleep over losing any of the free agents this year. 

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1 hour ago, eball said:

 

I think Johnson is my #2.  Lots of talent and I don't fully trust Wallace.

Agreed.

i feel like KJ might come back for another 1-2 year deal. He knows the system, stayed healthy, and hopefully gets himself some recognition next year opposite White for a bigger long term deal. Meanwhile Beane and McDermott have drafted a youngster to step in after KJ leaves. 
Spain would be my next one. I feel like he won’t get crazy money and really would help with continuity on the line. Beane structuring a three year deal so Bills can get out in a year or two if Ford does need to kick inside.

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2 hours ago, MiltonWaddams said:

I follow Shaq a little bit on social media and I’m surprised to hear the term “team leader” used to refer to him. He doesn’t come across as a bad guy, just a bit self-consumed.

 

Yeah, I see his stuff on IG sometimes. Seems like it's mostly song lyrics and him with new clothes/chains, or it's Bills/football related. 

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3 hours ago, jeremy2020 said:

Lawson scares me. His comments and history here make me feel like he's a candidate for "Gets Paid, gets lazy."


i hear you there.  I remember he released a video in the offseason where he was climbing a hill or some small mountain somewhere out west.  And he was very winded.  I thought to myself, why would a young guy that plays as one of the best athletes in this country struggle that much.  I feel he leaves some on the table.

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58 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

 

I'm not sure what criteria you use for a 'team leader'. I'd say Hughes, Alexander and Hyde would be team leaders before him. I'd probably also put Milano, Edmunds, and Poyer ahead of him in that regard. I'd debate whether White and Lotulelei are ahead of him as well. I'm not sure how far down you go and still call someone a 'team leader'. 

 

In short, if he goes, I don't think the Bills lose any 'leadership'.

 

From everything I've read, Milano is more of a quiet dude, leads by example. Edmunds is a captain so he has to push himself into a leadership role. 

 

Veteran guys like Alexander, Lotulelei, Hughes, etc. are probably seen as OG's in the locker room. Not all of them have the C on their jersey, but they're known in the locker room as guys who can get messages from the players to the coaches and vice versa.  They act as kind of a bridge between the two. When you hear the media claim, "This coach has lost the locker room!" it basically means the OG guys have checked out. Communication breaks down, guys lose faith in the coaches, become skeptical of the culture, etc. I've heard Pat McAfee talk about this stuff a lot on his podcasts, pretty interesting. 

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I'm fine without Lawson or Phillips. I'd bring back Johnson and Wallace though. I'd also bring back Spain until we have a clear upgrade.

Edited by MJS
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1 hour ago, PIZ said:

Sign Shaq. Put a C on his jersey. If he is the real deal, he won't want to let his teammates down.

You’d make a guy who wasn’t even a starter last year - and barring injury wouldn’t be in 2020 - a captain?  WOW!  I don’t understand why you’d want to do that.  

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