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

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2 minutes ago, blacklabel said:

 

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. 

 

You do a good job here of expounding on my point that there's a lot of guys who be considered leaders before Lawson. 

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Beane has us in a nice spot

 

At this point I would really like to see Ford moved inside so ok with Spain moving on......resign Long who frankly was better then advertised when he played.   Bring back Waddle....to back up Ty N.

 

I am one of those that believe Shaq will NOT get lazy on a new contract and should be brought back.   We should either get another edge rusher in free agency or high in draft to go with them at that positon.....love Johnson pick from this last year.

 

Love the idea of bringing back corner Johnson.

 

Phillips at DT is going to be tricky.....we are actually getting really filled up at that position.  If Jordan Phillips cant play Star's spot I would not want to sink to omuch money nto that spot.....Ed Oliver....Horrible Harry.....Corey Liguet.....all quality players.

 

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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."

 

Outside of that comment about Lawson wanting to get paid (which is fair in football when you might only get one shot at a significant contract) I don't know what makes you think Lawson is someone who would "Get Paid, Get Lazy." Unless I am missing/forgetting something I don't know what else would lead you to believe that Shaq is a bad egg. 

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9 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

 

You do a good job here of expounding on my point that there's a lot of guys who be considered leaders before Lawson. 

 

Yep. The way Joe B says it, it seems like Lawson is a guy with a decent sense of humor. Maybe he's one of those types that can crack a joke and lighten the mood whenever things are getting too heavy or serious. We're not in the locker room so we don't know for sure. But yeah, I don't know that whatever leadership he has would be a big reason to retain him.

 

Now, they may be able to point to him as an example of a guy who was drafted by a different regime, had a rough rookie year with injuries and a system he didn't fit in. Then from there he has to take his lumps as a backup and work his way up after being a big-time player at Clemson. He even admitted he felt down when he heard they signed Murphy, but he followed up with how the culture and the guys in the locker room lifted him up. Then he gets told they aren't going to pick up his fifth-year option. He could've sulked and been like, "What, this team doesn't believe in me?!" but he played pretty well this season and never once did I see any kind of signs of body language from him that would indicate any sort of disgruntledness... he, and most of the team seem very gruntled... probably just the right amount of gruntled. 

 

So maybe they reward him with a decent deal and then they can point to him as an example for other guys who have maybe had a similar career path. 

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Shaq and Phillips play with so much edge and energy. The Bills must have at least one of them back IMO. That swagger is infectious.

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1 hour ago, JR in Pittsburgh said:


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

Nope. Last year and the previous year was about filling out the roster; this year is about targeting specific upgrades at weak positions throughout the roster, with special care being dedicated to the positions that are very important top the defenses scheme and to helping Josh as much as possible. 

 

I gather many fans are use to trying to resign every guy so we don't create another hole that we have to fill through the draft - it isn't like that anymore boys 7 girls. As beane has said a few times, you fill holes on FA and hit BPA in the draft. He also said that you lean on the strengths in the draft class as well.... 

3 minutes ago, Kirby Jackson said:

Shaq and Phillips play with so much edge and energy. The Bills must have at least one of them back IMO. That swagger is infectious.

When you say this, I certainly don't disagree, but if you want to talk about edge and energy that screams more Phillips and he is by far the least likely one we sign. 

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3 hours 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

the word core seems to refer to their importance among our free agents.  These are the only regulars who are free agents, so they comprise the core group of free agents. 

I am not  a d line guru.  Its seems to me the only one of these four players who contributed at their position at an above average level in the league, is Jordan Philipps.  Free agency is asset management, so you can't simply pay any price.  But it is not clear to me that phillips contributions are easily replaced. 

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3 hours ago, BillsMafi$ said:

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

friendly? why would they sign short term deals?

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6 minutes ago, Reed83HOF said:

Nope. Last year and the previous year was about filling out the roster; this year is about targeting specific upgrades at weak positions throughout the roster, with special care being dedicated to the positions that are very important top the defenses scheme and to helping Josh as much as possible. 

 

I gather many fans are use to trying to resign every guy so we don't create another hole that we have to fill through the draft - it isn't like that anymore boys 7 girls. As beane has said a few times, you fill holes on FA and hit BPA in the draft. He also said that you lean on the strengths in the draft class as well.... 

When you say this, I certainly don't disagree, but if you want to talk about edge and energy that screams more Phillips and he is by far the least likely one we sign. 

Yeah, I don’t think Phillips is back. I guess that’s part of the reason that I want Shaq to return. I think Oliver will pick up some of that swagger in year 2 as well. Additionally whoever plays the other LB spot can potentially add that.

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5 minutes ago, Chaos said:

the word core seems to refer to their importance among our free agents.  These are the only regulars who are free agents, so they comprise the core group of free agents. 

I am not  a d line guru.  Its seems to me the only one of these four players who contributed at their position at an above average level in the league, is Jordan Philipps.  Free agency is asset management, so you can't simply pay any price.  But it is not clear to me that phillips contributions are easily replaced. 

When I say Core I as referring a bit more to what Beane said in his presser they want to sign their core guys. Maybe an easier way to explain/state this would be the NY Yankees of the 96-2006 or so

 

Core:

Jeter

Marino

Pettitte

Jorge

 

The rest are role players (some being great players in fact), but can be replaced. You build your rosters out around those 4 players and they are the leadership core; they are the players you ride and die with. The Bills have

 

Core:

Allen - QB

Edmunds - LB

Oliver - DT

Tre - CB

 

and I think:

Dawkins _ LT

Singletary - RB

Hyde - S

 

Notable positions missing core guys = WR & DE

 

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8 minutes ago, John from Riverside said:

Beane has us in a nice spot

 

At this point I would really like to see Ford moved inside so ok with Spain moving on......resign Long who frankly was better then advertised when he played.   Bring back Waddle....to back up Ty N.

 

I am one of those that believe Shaq will NOT get lazy on a new contract and should be brought back.   We should either get another edge rusher in free agency or high in draft to go with them at that positon.....love Johnson pick from this last year.

 

Love the idea of bringing back corner Johnson.

 

Phillips at DT is going to be tricky.....we are actually getting really filled up at that position.  If Jordan Phillips cant play Star's spot I would not want to sink to omuch money nto that spot.....Ed Oliver....Horrible Harry.....Corey Liguet.....all quality players.

 

 

Liguet while not a horrid player seems to be a JAG. I didn't find that he had much more of an impact on the improving run defense. I would love to keep Phillips as I think counting on Henry off an injury is a bit risky and you need depth esp up the middle. 

 

I would get letting Phillips walk as Star is a good run stuffer, Oliver a good pass rusher, and you can understand taking the risk on Henry being depth and then adding a rotational player to round things out. But I think there is a lot of value in having Phillips there too. 

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2 hours 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'.

 

Doesnt have to be a "locker room rah-rah" guy to be a leader.

 

I think Shaq and JPhillips brought a swagger to the DL (and therefore rest of the D) that the other, "classier" guys couldnt bring. Constantly talking trash to the opposing OL, getting in their heads and knocking them off their game.

 

All of the great Defenses on the NFL had both types. The quiet, classy, by-the-book leaders, and the guys who go out like loud, crazed dogs.

 

I'm all for bringing Shaq and JPhillips back because of this.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Kirby Jackson said:

Yeah, I don’t think Phillips is back. I guess that’s part of the reason that I want Shaq to return. I think Oliver will pick up some of that swagger in year 2 as well. Additionally whoever plays the other LB spot can potentially add that.

 

I agree that Oliver will have more swagger next year and the year after - he has the personality for it. 

 

I mean I would keep Shaq over Murphy, but I would rather upgrade over both of them. We do have the space to sign Shaq and big DE and use Shaq over the next 4-5 years to transition Jerry out and bring in a younger replacement.

 

The roster construction this offseason will start to further color in the big pieces on D that fit into McD's idea of importance for his scheme. Do you spend on another impact and sacrifice a little depth or is what you have good enough (if you will)? Do you fill Zo's role completely or just look for a 2 down LB and give more to Edmunds/Milano?

 

On the offensive side, I am curious to see what Beane does in regards giving Josh more weapons and helping him be successful as well - he says not enough.

 

How do you balance that out and be smart with the cap and retain our own guys? None of this is for you to answer, but I am anxious to see how this offseason turns out.

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I think we should stop worrying about the cap. Beane seems to know what he is doing and TV contracts and new CBA are coming soon so cap will most likely see a big increase.

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I like them all but if it were my money being spent, I'd be very concerned about Lawson and Phillips being productive after getting paid their big contracts.  What incentive is as good as the big contract in the business of football?

 

  

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1 hour ago, billsfan89 said:

 

Outside of that comment about Lawson wanting to get paid (which is fair in football when you might only get one shot at a significant contract) I don't know what makes you think Lawson is someone who would "Get Paid, Get Lazy." Unless I am missing/forgetting something I don't know what else would lead you to believe that Shaq is a bad egg. 

 

I did not say he is a bad egg. I think he did a fine job this season and he seems to be a fine person.

 

1) NFL History says big paydays to middle of the pack players who have only 1 good season is more often a mistake than not.

2) He needed a significant slap to wake up. This wasn't just an 'adjusting to the NFL' type of thing and that's by his own admission. 

3) The slap also meant a quicker payday. Is there any other way to motivate him? Whatever motivation of his first years didn't seem to have an impact...certainly not to the degree a payday did.

4) His production can be replaced...if I look at the Bills other options...can he really produce value at a higher contract number that someone closer to what he makes now can't? For example, I'm all for paying Hyde because he has outperformed players as talented and perhaps more talented than he has league wide. 

 

You'll also note that I said candidate. I just wouldn't say the odds are ever in the favor of it happening. I'd say the factors in his initial performance and his improvement put him at a higher risk of performance problems after a new contract. 

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2 hours ago, offyourocker said:


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.

 i went out to arizona last year and climbed around mt. lemon i'll tell you altitude can have a lot to do with it!

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5 hours 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.

 

Yeah, this where you need to know the man, not just the player you see on the field. Since I don’t, I’ll just have to trust the FO. 

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4 hours 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'.

Joe B. Is there every day.   You think he might know who is who on the team and what roles they play.  Maybe he is a vocal leader for the defensive linemen or for the defense, as oppossed to the entire team?

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Honestly, If this team is all about the process. Then let Phillips & Shaq (or sign him & cut Murphy)walk then develop Darryl Johnson to be the rotational guy. With Harry and Oliver we have our 1 tech and 3 tech for a long time. Either decide if you like Liguet or Taylor as they other DT or possibly grab another Vet on the open market. 
 

I’d re-sign Spain & KJ to short term deals .

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6 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."

 

 

...probably DEAD wrong, but even in this era of "Crazy & Crazier Money", I don't see McBeane as the FA "Big Splash-Overpay" type........if I remember an older quote correctly (paraphrased), he said, "we establish a value for a player (FA target) and that's it"......

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1 hour ago, jeremy2020 said:

 

I did not say he is a bad egg. I think he did a fine job this season and he seems to be a fine person.

 

1) NFL History says big paydays to middle of the pack players who have only 1 good season is more often a mistake than not.

2) He needed a significant slap to wake up. This wasn't just an 'adjusting to the NFL' type of thing and that's by his own admission. 

3) The slap also meant a quicker payday. Is there any other way to motivate him? Whatever motivation of his first years didn't seem to have an impact...certainly not to the degree a payday did.

4) His production can be replaced...if I look at the Bills other options...can he really produce value at a higher contract number that someone closer to what he makes now can't? For example, I'm all for paying Hyde because he has outperformed players as talented and perhaps more talented than he has league wide. 

 

You'll also note that I said candidate. I just wouldn't say the odds are ever in the favor of it happening. I'd say the factors in his initial performance and his improvement put him at a higher risk of performance problems after a new contract. 

 

All fair points, I do agree that I would not dramatically overpay for Shaq. But I would be willing to pay retail to keep him (8-9 million aav with a manageable out after 2021.) I think that if you could he would be somewhere around 7 million (Spotrac has him at 7.6 million aav and they are usually accurate + or – 1.5 million on most signings.) I view him as a 3rdDE (who is a starter on running downs) who can grow into a high end starter. I think given what we pay Murphy for far less production I would be more than comfortable cutting Mucphy and giving his cap hit over to Shaq plus maybe a million. 

 

Now if Shaq goes over 9 million aav on the market I do let him walk (I would consider 9 million aav a “Fair Overpay” by NFL Free Agency standards) I think at that point you could take your dollars elsewhere and at worst keep Murphy to be a rotational player and sign Yannick to take the starting role (Either way I would love to have Yannick start opposite Hughes.) 

 

I also am interested to see what Phillips, Spain and Shaq all command on the market. Spotrac estimates that Shaq is 7.6 million aav and Phillips a 6.1 million aav. I would be ecstatic if I could get both with easy outs after 2021 for those numbers even plus one million (Thus a 15.7 million dollar total cap hit with easy outs after 2021 when cap space might be a crunch.) 

 

They don’t have an estimate on Spain but it would be interesting to see what he commands. Given McBeane’s history with roster/cap management I would trust that they value their own properly and sign these players responsibly. 

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Spain has said he wants to come back, and I'd like that to be the case. Keep the O-Line together for continuity, while looking to add another tackle. I  think the Bills would have him back also, but they might let him go to FA to find a fair value for him, but be prepared to match reasonable offers. I think his deal would be one of the more difficult, because he's a vet, who hasn't earned any real big $ in his career (relatively speaking), yet has started plenty of games. The Bills will probably need to make a serious decision on the length of contract they want to sign him to, and then how much for. He will only be 29 come next season, so be in approximately his prime going forward.

 

I think Shaq gets a fair offer - he's actually earned it. After his rookie season was derailed by injury, he's steadily improved. I think there's room for him to get better still.

 

Johnson has done pretty well, and likewise deserves a fair offer. Tbh I don't know how much that might be, but regardless, the guy performed and can play both inside and outside as necessary. Not too old either.

 

I'm not averse at all to getting Phillips back, but as others have pointed out, he's probably the most 'expendable', with the returning Harry.  And he's probably going to be the most expensive, to boot. In fairness, he's done nothing wrong ini the time he's been here, and does bring a deal of energy to the table. He also can make some big plays. There's a lot to like about the guy, except in the Bills case, the likely money he will get from someone else.

 

If we can manage to keep the top 3 (Shaq, Spain and Johnson), I think Beane will have done a good job, and in effect, kept the D (and O-Line) intact. McDermott would no doubt be happy at that too.

 

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