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

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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!

Edited by tcampbell104
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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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I like his predilections and hope it plays out as such.

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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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I am certainly not a salary cap expert but I would prefer the general an be shorter contracts for more money per year on the expensive dudes( Lawson/Phillips) and be willing to to go longer on others. If we are guaranteeing 30 million to Lawson I would prefer it be for 3 years all in then over 5 years with lots of money coming later.

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When you sign Shaq who does it send the message to that they will take care of the old regime if you buy in? 
 

it’s down to Hughes and....? 

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Shaq scares me due to commitment questions once he's paid ..Phillips is the one I'd let go for sure if the price isn't right.

He's a very good rotational piece but his production numbers aren't as impactful as his play an overpay wud be a huge mistake .

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Both Lawson and Phillips want to get paid.  With Harrison Phillips coming back from injury next season, and that apparent fact that Jordan leaves something to be desired in run defense, makes paying Lawson over Phillips pretty logical.

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I hope we re sign Phillips cuz he gets a lot of sacks.  Shaw is a nice player too.  You can't dump everybody.

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11 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."

Agree!  Let him go!

 

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8 hours ago, MJS said:

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.

 

I like Johnson and Wallace is a ERFA so he is back if Bills want.  

Spain is solid and has had good availability last three years; if asks for reasonable terms keep him.

Would be good with either of Lawson or Phillips if their contracts were structured incentive based with good base.

I think Phillips is a a leader on the field and teams need high energy players even if they do not bring lunch pails.

 

The game however is 0 sum unless you do deficit spending and Bills will need to pay their top players and keep players they want so players may need to choose between a team which is desperate and will pay more and the Bills.   Hughes was a player who we got because he could not get enough snaps behind two very good players on a team which did not rotate line so much.  Those players got paid well but they got more miles on them due to it.  Spain especially should know difference between playing in a good locker room and bad one.

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I always fear the guy who pretty much gets productive at the end of his rookie deal. Shaq

 

I sometimes fear the prove it 1yr contract guys. Phillips

 

Cut Star, Murphy and get a guy with consistent production for 2 of their salaries.

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Before we approach Shaq and Phillips ... my preference is pull forward Tre White and even Poyer and lock those down ... then see what's left in terms of FA money  .... those guys have showed from day 1 of their contracts unlike Shaq ... I love Phillips alot with his attitude (still can't believe he we cut by Dolphins)and play ... so if had to coin flip between the two .. I'll take Phillips.  I see comments about Horrible Harry coming back and again he's a fan favorite (illegitimate son of Kyle Williams), but he's not Phillips in the middle.

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21 hours ago, blacklabel said:

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."

 

Wouldn't Shaq be the only player still here from the previous regime?  Not sure how much the locker room would actualy benefit from this message.

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