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MAJBobby

My Off-Season Primer: Position Group - Secondary

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To Wrap up the Series

***Disclaimer*** I will not put all Names not on the Bills in this thread as it would get to long, I will keep it to a couple names in each tier (as I see them).  This one will be longer because well a lot to talk about in this group combining both S and CB.

 

That wraps up the primers, I Hope you enjoy the read I enjoyed doing them as it eased my transition into the off-season after a tough loss. 

 

After the Franchise Tag Deadline will work my dream Ideal off-season (pre-draft), Right now all about looking at prospects and re-fining what I think about them.

 

Past Writeups

Quarterback

Running Backs

Tight Ends

Wide Receivers

Offensive Line

Specialists

Defensive Ends

Defensive Tackle

Line Backers

 

Currently on Roster: (Positional Spending 7 players at 4.610 Cap) (Ranked 15th in NFL)

Micah Hyde (UFA 2023) – 3.5M against cap if Cut

Jordan Poyer (UFA 2021) - Saves 3.2M against cap if Cut

Tre’Davious White (5th year option 2021) (UFA 2022) – Saves 1.285M against cap if Cut

Taron Johnson (UFA 2022) – Saves 498K against cap if Cut

Siran Neal (UFA 2022) – Saves 588K against cap if Cut

Jaquan Johnson (UFA 2023) – Saves 492K against cap if Cut

Cam Lewis (signed Futures Deal)

 

Expiring Contracts

Levi Wallace (25 yrd old) (2019 AAV 525K) (Market Value 3-6M AAV)

Kevin Johnson (28 yrs old) (2019 AAV 3.0M) (Market Value 3-4M AAV)

Dean Marlow (28 yrs old) (2019 AAV 600K) (Market Value – League Min)

Kurt Coleman (32 yrs old) (2019 AAV 930K) (Market Value – League Min)

 

My Take:

 

Levi Wallace – I must start off by addressing is status he is an EFRA, meaning he is not going anywhere, will get an EFRA qualifying offer initially and be back again on the cheap.  If the Bills look at a LTD for him it is not going to be until Camp.  I know there was people that will say he played better last year I to think there could be an argument made there, but I would have a hard time believing it, pretty much because he became a full-time player this year.  He went from 40.6% of snaps last year to 76.0% of the snaps this year.  Add that to the Tre White effect (meaning teams don’t want to go to White) and he is going to have slight stat regression IMO.  But that said he played very well.  I do wonder about his tackling, and speed at times but I have no reason to believe he will not come back as the No2 CB next year, there will be competition and will get to that in my wrap up, but I am fine with him coming back especially on the EFRA tender.  His numbers:

 

76 tackles, 66 solo, 12 missed tackles, 13.6% missed tackle %, 4 TFL, 0 QB hits, 2 INTs, 9 PD

Coverage Numbers:

Targeted 105 times, 69 Comp, 65.7%, 682 yards, 222 yac, 9.9ypc, 3 TDs, rating 85.5 against

 

Those coverage numbers are the reason I am not ready to do a long-term contract with him yet, and why I would want to see next year on the cheap before deciding to commit or not.

 

Kevin Johnson – The other NO 2 CB.  I think he played his way into the rotation at CB, I also think he showed he can kick inside if needed as well.  I knew he always had talent and that was on display this year what I wanted to see if he can stay healthy, which he did.  Add that to the flexibility of both inside and outside I think Bills would want him back, if not only for competition of Wallace but also insurance and competition for Taron (who I like but his style of play gets him hurt a lot it seems).  His numbers

 

32 Tackles, 23 Solo, 6 missed tackles, 15.8% missed tackle%, Blitzed 6 times with, 1 sack, 5PD, 32.4% of snaps

Coverage Numbers:

44 Targets, 26 Comp, 59.1.%, 301 yards, 103 yac, 11.6 ypc, 0 TD, 79.8 rating against

 

Before thinking that he is better than Wallace, look at the TGT numbers, Wallace TGTed and played A LOT more snaps, however is raw numbers are right in line with how he did when healthy in Houston.  And this is the exact reason I think the Bills will want him back. 

 

Dean Marlow and Kurt Colemen- are well forgettable, and are just guys, there are 100s like them in every draft and UFA period, they won’t and shouldn’t get touched until after the draft, and if more depth is needed at Safety then you can find one.

 

Let me start with the Bills latest All-Pro Tre White, before I get to his game, his personality, love for the game and city is infectious, it is always nice to have an elite player with that infectious personality about him.  On the field he turned himself into one of the top CBs in the game.  His skills are elite, he is great in man and zone, where I don’t like him (much like Gilmore) is in off coverage (though he is better at it than Gilmore IMO).  I think the Bills really should look at him shadowing the top WR, it would open up so much more you can do on Defense is you know Tre is following the Top WR all over the field.  I don’t think they will do that though because of how much Zone we play.  Unlike Gilmore I think Tre is MUCH better in Zone than Gilmore ever was.  He should retire as a Bill and will routinely be talked about in the realm of the leagues top CBs.  His numbers

 

58 Tackles, 48 Solo, 9 missed tackles, 13.4% missed tackle rate, 6 blitzes, 1 Sack, 2FF, 6 INTs, 17 PD, 91.7% snaps

Coverage Numbers:

90 Tgts, 45 Comp, 50%, 626 yards, 248 yac, 13.9 ypc, 0 Tds, 45.0 rating against.

 

This will be interesting to me, as would the Bills do the contract this year or wait until 2021 (5th year option last year of deal).  I think I would like to get him done this year likely before camp breaks.  If I can get him to agree I think the contract would look something like this. 5-year 80M with 49M GTD 16M AAV (highest paid CB in league).

 

Taron Johnson – he is interesting to me.  Although I do like his style of play out of the slot, that same style gets him injured a lot.  I don’t think he is as good as some fans will think, and he could be upgraded, though I would not rush to do it or spend big to so it.  I do think Neal could also fill this spot the issue with Neal is I am not sure how he would hold up against the smaller quicker slots.  His tackling became a problem this year, and that is something that needs to be addresses as well, though he does seem like an effective blitzer from the slot as well.  it is concerning that more than half his yards given up are yards after catch and go in line with his missed tackles.  Also, when QBs needed a play they went after Taron.  I do think even with Neal that we still could upgrade the NB.  Their numbers

 

Taron’s - 50 tackles, 39 Solo, 13 missed tackles, 20.6% missed tackle rate, 2, TFL, 1 QB Hit, 1 Sack, 2 QB Hurries, 47.3%

Coverage Numbers:

49 TGTs, 33 Comp 67.3%, 368 yards, 196 Yac, 11.2 ypc, 1 TD, 96.3% rating against.

 

Siran’s – 27 Tackles, 20 solo, 3 missed tackles, 10% missed tackle %, 2TFL, 1 FF, Blitzed 6 Snaps 16.8% snaps

Coverage Numbers:

19 TGTs, 14 Com, 7.7%, 73 yards, 61 yac, 5.2 ypc, 79.5 rating against

 

Final note on CB, I think based off everything our best three CBs in terms of performance are: White, K. Johnson and Wallace. 

 

To the safeties there is going to be some future roster discussion within this position so going to talk to Poyer and Hyde together here.  I will start with Hyde.  Hyde is the leader of this defense, well at least the secondary.  If he goes down the secondary would be in trouble.  Not only is he the leader he is the steadying voice.  I rarely see him out of position, he makes good plays on the ball.  Not only splash plays in terms of coverage but is an excellent blitzer as well. There is just an ability with him to make plays I have no complaints with him.  The Bills issue though it how they are going to address this position in the future.  Hyde will be 32 when he is up for the new contract.  Poyer has long outplayed his contract.  He is more the Box Safety out of the two.  But also, just like Hyde makes splash plays all over the field.  I would like him to be more effective as a Blitzer, he does it a lot with little get home.  But is a very effective tackler as well.  Poyer will be 30 when it is time for his new contract.  So, looking at them together I only see the ability to sign one of them in the future, or maybe they let both walk when contacts are up.  Reason I say that is when I look at McDs defenses his safeties have always played well.  Both will obviously be back next year but what this do with this position in the future will be interesting to watch, you cannot pay everyone.  Perspective is if BOTH these players hit the market this year, both would likely be in the 13-15M AAV club.  That is the issue in the future in terms of where to pay out the money too.  There numbers:

 

Hyde – 72 tackles, 50 solo, 11 missed tackles, 13.3% missed tackle rate, 1 TFL, 2FF, 1FR, 1 INT, 2 PD, blitzed 11 times, 2 hurries, 3 pressures 1, QB hit, 0 Sacks – 93.4% Snaps

Coverage Numbers:

32 targets, 21 comp, 65.6%, 266 yards, 95 yac, 12.7 ypc, 0 TDs, 78.4 rating against

 

Poyer – 104 tackles, 68 solo, 9 missed tackles, 8.0% missed tackle %, 4 TFL, 3 FF, 3 FR, 2 INT, 3 PD, blitzed 37 times, 2 hurries, 3 pressures, 1 sack – 94.2% snaps

Coverage Numbers:

36 targets, 25 comp, 69.4%, 358 yards, 160 yac, 14.3 ypc, 5 TDs

 

Jaquan Johnson – was not active a lot, only logged 5.0% of defensive stats, however the Bills figured that if they tried to put him on the PS he would have been signed.  I tend to agree with them there.  From the limited time I saw him (Preseason) he plays downhill and is physical.  His coverage skills flashed and had good ball skills, but they needed to be refined but the qualities to be a top end safety are there, especially in the safety friendly McD Defense.  Safetys that can play the run and have the range in coverage are at a premium and why the good ones are getting paid over 10M AAV, and that is why I don’t think he would have made it to this year IF they tried to put him on the PS.  This offseason is going to go a long way in his development, and if he does develop it does make Bills decision in the long term for this position much easier.

 

Possible Trade TGTs (hard to gauge until after SB)

Patrick Peterson

 

UFAs Possible

Tier 1

CB:

Logan Ryan

James Bradberry

Bradley Roby

Jimmy Smith

Chris Harris

 

Safety:

Anthony Harris

Devin McCourty

Justin Simmons

 

Tier 2

CB:

Ross Cockrell

Ronald Darby

Bashaud Breeland

Trae Waynes

Mackensie Alexander

Eli Apple

 

Safety:

Tre Boston

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Karl Joseph

Claton Geathers

 

Draft

Tier 1 (1st and 2nd round grades)

CB

Jeffery Okudah (Ohio State)

Kristian Fulton (LSU)

Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi St)

CJ Henderson (FL)

Trevon Diggs (Alabama)

AJ Terrell (Clemson)

Bryce Hall (Virginia)

Jaylon Johnson (Utah)

Jeff Gladney (TCU)

 

Safety

Isaiah Simmons (Clemson) – not only best LBer (Best Safety) Kid is a STUD

Grant Delpit (LSU)

Xavier McKinney (Alabama)

Hamsah Nasirildeen (FL ST)

 

Tier 2 (3rd-5th round)

CB

Michael Ojemudia (Iowa)

Deommodore Lenoir (Oregon)

Lamar Jackson (Nebraska)

Lavert Hill (Michigan)

Shyheim Carter (Alabama)

Damon Arenette (Ohio State)

Reggie Robinson II (Tulsa)

Darnay Holmes (UCLA)

 

Safety

Ashtyn Davis (Cal)

Antoine Winfield Jr (Minnesota)

Shyheim Carter (Alabama) – can play Safety as well

K’Von Wallace (Clemson)

Brandon Jones (Texas)

Kyle Dugger (Lenoir-Rhyne)

Richie Grant (Central FL)

Antoine Brooks Jr (Maryland)

 

Tier 3 (6th – Priority UFA)

CB

Aaron Robinson (Central Florida)

Mike Hampton (South Florida)

Luq Barcoo (SD St)

Amik Robertson (Louisiana Tech)

Stanford Samuels III (FL St)

Jace Whittaker (AZ)

Levonta Taylor (FL ST)

 

Safety

Essang Bassey (Wake Forest)

Alohi Gilman (ND)

Terell Burgess (Utah)

JR Reed (Georgia)

Geno Stone (Iowa)

Tanner Muse (Clemson)

Julian Blackmon (Utah)

Dwayne Johnson Jr (SD ST)
Jeremy Chinn (S. Illinois)

Jeremiah Dinson (Auburn)

 

Final thinking in this Position group for me would be:

 

I really think we are fine at the Secondary for next year.  I do think you will see a couple 1 year contracts handed out for more depth at CB and Safety.  If they re-sign Kevin Johnson I could see him and Wallace going into a nice battle for the starting CB2.  Cam Lewis and Neal could likely compete in the inside for Tarons spot as well.  With the safety I think I would like a draft pick into the position as well.  It will help come time 2021 when a decision has to be made with Poyer.  I think if you re-sign Poyer (will be over 10M AAV likely closer to 13M) then you will see Bills move on from Hyde in 2023.  If they don’t re-sign Poyer it likely means Johnson or Draft pick made them decide elsewhere.

 

As much as I like Poyer and Hyde, I am moving on from both when their contracts are up.  This is part of Roster Management people hate, but I would not pay either over 12M AAV and part of that reason is McD system and how it is very friendly to safeties.  I would not cut them, but I am also not planning for them, with that said I am using the 3rd or 4th round pick and looking at a Antoine Winfield Jr, a K’Von Wallace.  Get them in the system now and let them grow.  Ideally, I have Jaquan Johnson or the rookie taking over for Poyer in 2021.

Edited by MAJBobby
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I like your break down. 
I think CB 2 is going to be addressed short term with KJ and long term with a draft pick. I do like your thought that if the Bills sign KJ to a longer deal, it could indicate him shifting to safety later on. I agree that I think McDermott’s system needs to right players to fit into it. They don’t necessarily need to be big money name players, but players that possess  the right attitude and talent. I do think this system needs one ‘shut down’ corner. 
What do you think are the chances Poyer holds out? We have already seen his wife on SM asking for him to get paid. For me that is never a good sign. I agree one more year of Poyer and Hyde together would be nice, but I get the sense Poyer might not want to wait for a long deal. Hate to have any negative energy in a very tight defensive group.

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Again can't argue with any of it and agree with it all. You are making this too easy!

 

I will say if we pay one safety it will be Hyde

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6 minutes ago, Reed83HOF said:

Again can't argue with any of it and agree with it all. You are making this too easy!

 

I will say if we pay one safety it will be Hyde

 The only thing that bothers me there is Hyde will be 32 by the time that needs to happen.  One thing I did think about after posting this a bit

 

Is Hyde at 32 might not be looking for that 14AAV deal (his age likely would not allow it).  So if you can convince Poyer for a pay Bump, give him 9M AAV, you could keep both together into their 30s.  The Key is the Contracts, if they want Market Value (in the 12-14M AAV) I can say I would sign either, especially at their current ages when their contract is up

9 minutes ago, atlbillsfan1975 said:

I like your break down. 
I think CB 2 is going to be addressed short term with KJ and long term with a draft pick. I do like your thought that if the Bills sign KJ to a longer deal, it could indicate him shifting to safety later on. I agree that I think McDermott’s system needs to right players to fit into it. They don’t necessarily need to be big money name players, but players that possess  the right attitude and talent. I do think this system needs one ‘shut down’ corner. 
What do you think are the chances Poyer holds out? We have already seen his wife on SM asking for him to get paid. For me that is never a good sign. I agree one more year of Poyer and Hyde together would be nice, but I get the sense Poyer might not want to wait for a long deal. Hate to have any negative energy in a very tight defensive group.

 

I dont think Poyer holds out.  There has been nothing about him that tells me he would do that.  I dont put much stock into a chirping wife.    I actually think the Bills will work with him on an extension, just depends will he take less an 8-9M AAV contract with roughly 50% GTD, NOW, or does he want to break that bank I dont think he resets the Safety Market but I do think in the open Market he gets 12-14 AAV.

Edited by MAJBobby
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Not going to guarantee he's a Bill or anything silly like that, but I will just point out that Buffalo is one of 4 teams to make the trip to Lenoir-Rhyne to check Dugger out. That seems significant.

 

And they didn't scout either of these guys, but I think Amik Robertson and Levonta Taylor are two guys to keep an eye on for us. Taylor now has experience playing a CB/safety hybrid similar to what Hyde sometimes does for us (though this was more of a thing in Green Bay for him) and Robertson just sounds like the type of guy that McDermott would love to coach.

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16 minutes ago, MAJBobby said:

 The only thing that bothers me there is Hyde will be 32 by the time that needs to happen.  One thing I did think about after posting this a bit

 

Is Hyde at 32 might not be looking for that 14AAV deal (his age likely would not allow it).  So if you can convince Poyer for a pay Bump, give him 9M AAV, you could keep both together into their 30s.  The Key is the Contracts, if they want Market Value (in the 12-14M AAV) I can say I would sign either, especially at their current ages when their contract is up.

 

Was simply speaking in terms of which of the 2 is more valuable to the team and be a better Vet leader for the next generation

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Just now, Reed83HOF said:

 

Was simply speaking in terms of which of the 2 is more valuable to the team and be a better Vet leader for the next generation

 

I get it.  I struggle with them because I like both on the team.  Both are getting older and Hyde will be 32 when up for new deal.  I would like Poyer to take a 3 year deal at about 28M (he would never do that I dont think as he didnt cash on his last UFA deal, I think he will want to hit that big money while he still can.  But this is a position group that could be getting flipped out over the next couple of years.

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I appreciate all the hard work you put in on these Primers.  I think you have done an excellent job and really appreciate it.  I am a big Kevin Johnson fan and would love to see him earn the #2 corner spot.  I understand why we may not want to resign two :over 30" safeties at their next contracts, but I am for keeping one for continuityand veteran experience.  Which one, that's the good question.

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I would like to bring in Aqib Talib, I like him in this defense. Great man to man corner but maybe not as great now. Switching to our scheme might be career extending for him. 
 

Love the write up. 
Siran Neal really impressed me I knew he had potential but I had no idea he was so fast on the field. Taron Johnson, I’m no expert but he seemed hot and cold vs the run and the pass. He never jumped off the screen for me. Either way most of our guys are young and no reason to cut bait or bring in more competition. Can never have too many decent to good corners. 

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How much is James Bradburry gonna get in FA? Carolina connection there, and a decent Corner. 

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Just now, whatdrought said:

How much is James Bradburry gonna get in FA? Carolina connection there, and a decent Corner. 

Right now I am thinking 7-10.5 AAV for him will get a better feel during the tampering period from the Probowl to the Combine

Edited by MAJBobby

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2 hours ago, whatdrought said:

How much is James Bradburry gonna get in FA? Carolina connection there, and a decent Corner. 

He’s a good corner. With Kuechly retiring they kinda have to keep him now. Need all the playmakers they can get. 
Could see Xavier Rhodes out in Minnesota coming off a down year for him. I don’t know much about Rhodes other than he’s a “big name” so I have no clue how he could fit here

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When Hyde eventually goes I'm gonna be sad. He's such a damn good player. As for Poyer, I'm good. While he does make some very good plays, he also makes more mistakes than he should for someone you think is gonna make a lot of money. Just my opinion tho. 

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SWEET!! Great job. You've been my favorite off-season poster. Great insight and analysis.  

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Great post @MAJBobby.

 

I love Hyde & Poyer together as a tandem. So if the Bills want to have them continue to play together then I hope they give them contract extensions, instead of waiting for them to become free agents.

 

I do want to see how Jaquon Johnson does in his second season, and I would like to see Kevin Johnson re-signed. I don't anticipate the Bills making any major moves for the secondary during the off season.

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Nice job MAJ B . I myself believe they'll begin working in Johnson next year and then move on from Poyer in 2021. He's been a quality safety and a bargain contract but clearly not going to be worth the payday he'll command afterwards.

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