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Cover 1's Top Free Agent Fits for the Bills


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32 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

It kinda' speaks to your thread about how people aren't fully appreciating having a Josh Allen.

 

Some fans are so concerned with patching "on paper" holes that they don't really care if that means putting another ton of hard miles on Josh Allen.

 

The main objective of an organization with a truly elite young QB should be to make sure you do everything you can to maximize his ability.

 

They've tried the "other" approach for the last 3 seasons and it's only buried them in cap debt.

 

Probably time to try to put an offense around Allen that can score 35 points per game and at the same time get cap healthier and much younger on defense.

 

Maybe that means they are on a 2 year re-tool instead of running it back to a re-match with the Chiefs next season...........but then again maybe they do the right thing and STILL surprise and play better than expected on defense and finally break thru.

 

I don't think either of them are suggesting we ignore the WR position.

 

On the contrary, I think this list speaks to that. We'll only have a small amount of money to spend. And rather than spend that small amount of money on the type of WR we'd be able to afford in the market to be our #2 - pick up bargain bin guys to fill as many of the 4 starting holes and many depth roles on Defense as they can.

 

Then spend our #1 Draft Pick and maybe other draft picks on guys to help Josh out. There's a way better chance to find impact at that position in Round 1 than it would be to spend what little money we have on what that could get us in the veteran FA market.

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1 hour ago, BillsFanForever19 said:

 

I don't think either of them are suggesting we ignore the WR position.

 

On the contrary, I think this list speaks to that. We'll only have a small amount of money to spend. And rather than spend that small amount of money on the type of WR we'd be able to afford in the market to be our #2 - pick up bargain bin guys to fill as many of the 4 starting holes and many depth roles on Defense as they can.

 

Then spend our #1 Draft Pick and maybe other draft picks on guys to help Josh out. There's a way better chance to find impact at that position in Round 1 than it would be to spend what little money we have on what that could get us in the veteran FA market.

 

 

There is a long distance between not treating boundary WR like it's the clear #1 need and "ignoring" it.

 

I know that some people look at the draft.........decide what the order they think the players will fall and which needs will be filled.........and THEN figure out how they want to address free agency based on that.

 

That's not the order the system works in though.

 

The reality is that the Bills could pass on signing one of the WR's that are available in FA...........and then get to the draft and 6 WR's go before their pick and the next boundary WR on their board has a late second round grade.    That's kinda' like what happened last year.   Kincaid was the pivot and he's nice but what they pivoted from is still what they need.

 

I'd rather have a high ceiling veteran free agent in place and then have a top WR option end up at pick #28 than to risk not getting one at all because I wanted to try to patch holes on defense first.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

I'd rather have a high ceiling veteran free agent in place and then have a top WR option end up at pick #28 than to risk not getting one at all because I wanted to try to patch holes on defense first.

 

For sure, that's ideal... but given our cap situation what do you spend on that top WR option? And, no, I'm not a "let's fix the D first because we have Josh Allen" guy. It's criminal how we've ignored boundary receivers with high upsides.

But how much would you spend this season given where we are at and the holes on D?

 

And question 2: Do you sign the "safe" guy with a history of production but without the really high upside? Or do you sign the high-upside guy without the production? We don't have the $20 million to do both.

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29 minutes ago, Nephilim17 said:

For sure, that's ideal... but given our cap situation what do you spend on that top WR option? And, no, I'm not a "let's fix the D first because we have Josh Allen" guy. It's criminal how we've ignored boundary receivers with high upsides.

But how much would you spend this season given where we are at and the holes on D?

 

And question 2: Do you sign the "safe" guy with a history of production but without the really high upside? Or do you sign the high-upside guy without the production? We don't have the $20 million to do both.

 

 

Guys like Mooney, Samuel, Brown and Reynolds are the high ceiling veteran market the Bills could potentially shop in and use void years to fit that player in with a very low initial cap hit.

 

Regarding "the holes on D"......... while I'd like to address DT in the first 6 weeks of free agency.......I can address those all after the draft if need be.  

 

 

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7 hours ago, BillsFanForever19 said:

Guys like Noah Brown and Josh Reynolds are inexpensive veterans who have done some good things and have some upside coming here and playing with Josh.

 

But they aren't going to be WR2. Or come close to the cost of Gabe Davis. They'd be replacing guys like Sherfield and Harty and surely, couldn't provide less. 

Why bring in any of these guys? What do they bring but a waste of limited cap $.  Could they out outperform the nothing we got from Harty, Sherfield, and Isabella?  Sure they could, but so could a 4th or 5th rd draft pick.  Shorter is already here and is aleady a cost-controlled option.  

 

I'd much rather have Diggs, a top draft pick, and Shakir as the top 3. and then let Shorter, Hamler and another draft pick fight it out for the 4th and 5th slots.  Long-term we'd be much better off if Shorter and/or another similar draft pick emerge as a threat just like 5th rd pick Shakir did last year.  I just don't see how adding another 1-year castoff makes us better.  We need to fix the D Line and safety depth before wasting FA $ on a 4th or 5th WR.

Edited by GASabresIUFan
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7 hours ago, BADOLBILZ said:

Maybe that means they are on a 2 year re-tool instead of running it back to a re-match with the Chiefs next season...........but then again maybe they do the right thing and STILL surprise and play better than expected on defense and finally break thru.

 

 

They played most of this season with Tyrel Dodson starting at linebacker and a revolving door of characters coming in and out of the secondary and they were a top 10 defense. They need some pieces there but beyond one safety they are not pieces I think they should be dedicating a lot of $$s to. 

 

My plan is make a safety your 1 first wave of free agency move - but don't pay top of the market there will be 8-10 serviceable vet starters out there. And I'd try again in the June market for a vet pass rusher with the money I'd save by cutting the corpse of Von Miller's career. I don't think the Bills will do that though, Von will likely be here, so safety would be my only reasonably sized contract. They will need some lower value Dline depth pieces but I'm talking contracts of the level that they don't get comp pick formula consideration (not saying the comp pick formula should be be all and end all by the way, that is just a proxy for the value level I'm talking in terms of those backups.

 

If I was making a second move in the initial free agency wave it would be a vet receiver. DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds, maybe Kendrick Bourne. Someone in that sort of tier. 

 

I'd probably pass on the vet route though and be trying to get two viable receivers from the draft though. Ideally I want someone with #1 receiver ceiling early and then someone late with some inside/outside flex who can be what Gabe was his first two years here and be your first guy in off the bench who knows all three spots. 

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4 hours ago, GASabresIUFan said:

Why bring in any of these guys? What do they bring but a waste of limited cap $.  Could they out outperform the nothing we got from Harty, Sherfield, and Isabella?  Sure they could, but so could a 4th or 5th rd draft pick.  Shorter is already here and is aleady a cost-controlled option.  

 

I'd much rather have Diggs, a top draft pick, and Shakir as the top 3. and then let Shorter, Hamler and another draft pick fight it out for the 4th and 5th slots.  Long-term we'd be much better off if Shorter and/or another similar draft pick emerge as a threat just like 5th rd pick Shakir did last year.  I just don't see how adding another 1-year castoff makes us better.  We need to fix the D Line and safety depth before wasting FA $ on a 4th or 5th WR.

 

This is my preference too  - get two guys in the draft who are going to be here for 4 years minimum with Josh rather than 1/2 year vet guy. But that does sort of depend how they really  feel about Diggs in the building. If they think the production drop 2nd half of the year was a case of him being a bit banged up, Josh and he just failing to connect on 3/4 deep balls (between Stef dropping a couple and Josh missing him on a couple of potential big home runs) and teams really keying in on him with Gabe's struggles then I'd go to the two rookie route. If, however, their honest view is there are signs of the beginning of the decline with Stef then I think I'd want another vet option in the building. 

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22 hours ago, BearNorth said:

Hoping that we can get two or even three quality starters out of this years draft. 

 

Perhaps Kincaid and Torrence have opened McD's eyes to the fact that rookies can play in this league.

 

 

 

 

McD has a solid history of playing rookies who earn it. Including some who didn't (hey, Cody Ford)  

 

Milano, Edmunds, Oliver, Rousseau, White, Allen, Benford, Araiza would have been a starter, Spencer Brown, Gabe Davis, Knox, etc. 

 

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So glad to see WR's NOT at the top of the list which is the correct answer.  They should use a day 1 or 2 pick on WR, maybe another on day 3 and get a vet or two for depth and special teams at WR.

 

I assume they will sign one or two moderate contracts on the DL because they are so short numbers there.  Hopefully they can identify a safety at a good deal like they did with Poyer 7 years ago.

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2 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

This is my preference too  - get two guys in the draft who are going to be here for 4 years minimum with Josh rather than 1/2 year vet guy. But that does sort of depend how they really  feel about Diggs in the building. If they think the production drop 2nd half of the year was a case of him being a bit banged up, Josh and he just failing to connect on 3/4 deep balls (between Stef dropping a couple and Josh missing him on a couple of potential big home runs) and teams really keying in on him with Gabe's struggles then I'd go to the two rookie route. If, however, their honest view is there are signs of the beginning of the decline with Stef then I think I'd want another vet option in the building. 

Diggs’ contract means he is here for the next two years minimum, probably 3.  
 

Also, WR is one of few positions that a rookie has a chance to really shine.  We don’t need some 4th string vet because he’s been around.  We need better WR talent and that talent at a price we can afford now and in the future.  

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7 hours ago, GASabresIUFan said:

Why bring in any of these guys? What do they bring but a waste of limited cap $.  Could they out outperform the nothing we got from Harty, Sherfield, and Isabella?  Sure they could, but so could a 4th or 5th rd draft pick.  Shorter is already here and is aleady a cost-controlled option.  

 

I'd much rather have Diggs, a top draft pick, and Shakir as the top 3. and then let Shorter, Hamler and another draft pick fight it out for the 4th and 5th slots.  Long-term we'd be much better off if Shorter and/or another similar draft pick emerge as a threat just like 5th rd pick Shakir did last year.  I just don't see how adding another 1-year castoff makes us better.  We need to fix the D Line and safety depth before wasting FA $ on a 4th or 5th WR.

You’re assuming a top draft pick is going to come in and instantly be a very good player. Even top draft picks are a 50-50 shot. So if that player doesn’t perform year 1 you’re ok with a potentially declining diggs, shakir and a bunch of guys that could offer nothing? Everyone agrees we need a top young wr but you can’t bank on that. They will need to bring in at least 1 vet with a decent floor. 

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On 2/22/2024 at 3:59 AM, BillsFanForever19 said:

 

Anthony's Top Bills Targets:

 

1.) DE Jonathan Greenard - Houston Texans

2.) DT Sheldon Rankins - Houston Texans

3.) DT Daquan Jones - Buffalo Bills

4.) S Jeremy Chinn - Carolina Panthers

5.) WR Noah Brown - Houston Texans

6.) S Brandon Jones - Miami Dolphins

7.) DT A'Shawn Robinson - New York Giants 

8.) DT Malcolm Roach - New Orleans Saints

 

Erik's Top Bills Targets:

 

1.) DT Daquan Jones - Buffalo Bills

2.) DT Malcolm Roach - New Orleans Saints 

3.) S Alohi Gilman - LA Chargers

4.) WR Josh Reynolds - Detroit Lions

5.) DE Tyquan Lewis - Indianapolis Colts

6.) S Brandon Jones - Miami Dolphins

7.) WR Noah Brown - Houston Texans

8.) DT Austin Johnson - LA Chargers

 

Interesting to me to see them share half of their lists. Great breakdown of some realistic fits for us when it comes to money and scheme.

There are some good, solid players on that list that can help. But I only see maybe 3 that we can sign with the cap situation.   

 

 

 

8 hours ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

Guys like Mooney, Samuel, Brown and Reynolds are the high ceiling veteran market the Bills could potentially shop in and use void years to fit that player in with a very low initial cap hit.

 

Regarding "the holes on D"......... while I'd like to address DT in the first 6 weeks of free agency.......I can address those all after the draft if need be.  

 

 

I would like to see what Samuel would to with Josh throwing to him.

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34 minutes ago, GASabresIUFan said:

Diggs’ contract means he is here for the next two years minimum, probably 3.  
 

Also, WR is one of few positions that a rookie has a chance to really shine.  We don’t need some 4th string vet because he’s been around.  We need better WR talent and that talent at a price we can afford now and in the future.  

 

I think Diggs is definitely here one year, possible two. But it isn't necessarily about how long Diggs is here... it is just about if you think there is a bit a decline in Diggs then leaving yourself this coming year with only him and a load of young guys who haven't played much is a risk. 

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It will be really challenging for Beane to fill the roster for this season, particularly on defense, with the limited cap space that will be available to sign free agents.  

 

At DE and DT, the Bills have the following free agents: Epenesa, Floyd, Ford, Jones, Lawson, Phillips, Settle and Joseph.  One would think that between the draft and free agency, the Bills will need to fill at least six spots on the D-lline.  At safety, the Bills will need to replace Hyde and Rapp, and at LB, Dodson and Matakevich.

 

As a result, I expect the draft for the Bills to be heavily focused on defense, but we will need to sign a significant number of free agents as well to fill all of the holes.  I think this means that the Bills will need to open more cap space than maybe some are projecting at this point.  It appears that the defensive roster will undergo a significant re-making this offseason.

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12 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

I think Diggs is definitely here one year, possible two. But it isn't necessarily about how long Diggs is here... it is just about if you think there is a bit a decline in Diggs then leaving yourself this coming year with only him and a load of young guys who haven't played much is a risk. 

 

As we learned with Harry and Sherfield that signing a vet, even one who produced elsewhere, is no guarantee of success.  Any vet we can afford likely has an injury history, a flaw in his game (like drops), or his skills are already in decline.  Like a rookie, the new vet also has to learn our system. 
 

Even a declining Diggs is still better than 80-90% of the other receivers in the NFL.  What numbers would you assign to a “declining” Diggs? 75-80 catches 950-1000 yards 6TDs?  
 

We get someone who can stretch the field a little, there is going to be a lot less pressure on Diggs.  Don’t forget Kincaid and Shakir should continue to get better.  Diggs is already not alone.  Add those numbers above  to improved numbers for Kincaid and Shakir and my guess is the offense will already be better and more balanced.  I think Kincaid can get to 900-1000 yards next season.
 

Because we already have Shakir, Diggs and Kincaid the early draftee doesn’t have to be Chase, Jefferson or Nacua to make a significant impact.  He just needs to make Josh’s life a little easier by giving him a solid 4th option to throw the ball to.  I’m thinking GB’s Reed or Doubs type impact.  We get any of the top 10 receivers in this draft they should be able to give us that type of impact.
 

Don’t forget that we still have Shorter who management likes.  He is a tall receiver with decent speed.  After a lost rookie season due to injury, I’m looking forward to seeing his progress.  


Now add Beane’s spotty track record with FA receivers and limited cap space, I’d rather take the chance on a bunch of kids.  I keep referencing GB, as their top 4 WRs and top 2 TEs were all 1st and 2nd year players and that didn’t hold them back at all.  
 

 

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2 minutes ago, GASabresIUFan said:

 

As we learned with Harry and Sherfield that signing a vet, even one who produced elsewhere, is no guarantee of success.  Any vet we can afford likely has an injury history, a flaw in his game (like drops), or his skills are already in decline.  Like a rookie, the new vet also has to learn our system. 
 

Even a declining Diggs is still better than 80-90% of the other receivers in the NFL.  What numbers would you assign to a “declining” Diggs? 75-80 catches 950-1000 yards 6TDs?  
 

We get someone who can stretch the field a little, there is going to be a lot less pressure on Diggs.  Don’t forget Kincaid and Shakir should continue to get better.  Diggs is already not alone.  Add those numbers above  to improved numbers for Kincaid and Shakir and my guess is the offense will already be better and more balanced.  I think Kincaid can get to 900-1000 yards next season.
 

Because we already have Shakir, Diggs and Kincaid the early draftee doesn’t have to be Chase, Jefferson or Nacua to make a significant impact.  He just needs to make Josh’s life a little easier by giving him a solid 4th option to throw the ball to.  I’m thinking GB’s Reed or Doubs type impact.  We get any of the top 10 receivers in this draft they should be able to give us that type of impact.
 

Don’t forget that we still have Shorter who management likes.  He is a tall receiver with decent speed.  After a lost rookie season due to injury, I’m looking forward to seeing his progress.  


Now add Beane’s spotty track record with FA receivers and limited cap space, I’d rather take the chance on a bunch of kids.  I keep referencing GB, as their top 4 WRs and top 2 TEs were all 1st and 2nd year players and that didn’t hold them back at all.  
 

 

 

On the Green Bay example, the difference is they were not in a place where the playoffs were a must this year. It was much more a "see what we have" season. It worked out but they could afford to take a flier a bit more. My point is if Stef is still at or close to his best standard then even if your early draft pick rookie takes some time to come along and only breaks out second half of the year you are fine for Diggs to carry the burden until then with the underneath guys helping out. But if they think there is real decline you better have a vet in there who has some real experience of being an outside receiver. 

 

My first preference is the same as yours - draft two. But I think there is a world where I flip to "you need a baseline in here" in terms of a vet. 

 

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22 hours ago, SoonerBillsFan said:

How WR isn't #1 on everyone's list is crazy.

Did you see the DL we have signed for next season? It's Ed Oliver, Eli Ankou, Kamerin Cline, Von Miller, Greg Roussea and Kingsley Jonathan. 2 definite starters, 1 question mark and a bunch of PS/bottom of the roster guys. Which to me a lot less than our WRs are. 

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28 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

On the Green Bay example, the difference is they were not in a place where the playoffs were a must this year. It was much more a "see what we have" season. It worked out but they could afford to take a flier a bit more. My point is if Stef is still at or close to his best standard then even if your early draft pick rookie takes some time to come along and only breaks out second half of the year you are fine for Diggs to carry the burden until then with the underneath guys helping out. But if they think there is real decline you better have a vet in there who has some real experience of being an outside receiver. 

 

My first preference is the same as yours - draft two. But I think there is a world where I flip to "you need a baseline in here" in terms of a vet. 

 

We have vets, their names are Diggs, Shakir, and Kincaid.  Yes, the last 2 are young, but they have already proven themselves.  We had a vet in the 2nd boundary last year in Davis and what good did that do us?

 

Did you know that Davis was the 4th most productive (yards-wise) of the FA wide receivers?  https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/all/wide-receiver/   Which of the available FA that we can afford could give us Davis-level production?  I look through this list and I see Mooney, Reynolds, Peoples-Jones, and others and I'm like meh!  I just don't see how any of those guys are truly an upgrade over Davis.  No more band-aids.

 

Because of the cap situation, Beane is going to have to take some risk in letting a few kids play.  I'd rather a rookie start as our 4th receiving option vs starting a kid on the DL or safety.

 

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11 minutes ago, GASabresIUFan said:

We have vets, their names are Diggs, Shakir, and Kincaid.  Yes, the last 2 are young, but they have already proven themselves.  We had a vet in the 2nd boundary last year in Davis and what good did that do us?

 

Did you know that Davis was the 4th most productive (yards-wise) of the FA wide receivers?  https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/all/wide-receiver/   Which of the available FA that we can afford could give us Davis-level production?  I look through this list and I see Mooney, Reynolds, Peoples-Jones, and others and I'm like meh!  I just don't see how any of those guys are truly an upgrade over Davis.  No more band-aids.

 

 

I am not talking about looking to free agency for an upgrade to Davis. I don't think you will find one for a price the Bills can go to. Shakir and Kincaid are slot guys. I'm talking about if you think Diggs is still an elite option or close to it outside then you can fly with 2 or 3 guys (2 picks plus possibly Shorter) who have never played a down of NFL football. If you think there is a decline in Diggs game then it is probably wise to at least have another veteran option who can offer you something early in the season while you phase some young guys in. I don't expect that guy to be an upgrade on Gabe. Not at all. I expect that guy to be an upgrade on Sherfield or the year before on Kumerow. Your long term #2 (and hopefully long term #1) has to be the drafted guy. But if you have a somewhat diminished #1 and a #2 that takes some time to get up to speed your passing game is going to suffer in the short term. You would need someone else to pick up some slack.

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