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Last year the Bills showed no hesitation whatsoever in delving into the free agent market. In fact, I believe they signed their first free agent at midnight of the first day. The other two free agents they inked were signed by noon the next day. At the latest. The Bills knew who they wanted, and they made sure they got them.
The offensive linemen signed turned out to be pretty productive for the Bills, but some still question the amount they were signed for. Giving up such large chunks of money for what many labeled “mediocre” linemen was not what Bills fans expected from their team who was sporting one of the largest salary cap margins going into the free agent season.
This year, I really have no idea what to expect. I have said on our show that I believe the Bills will pursue Ernest Wilford from the Jaguars. He’s a tall, strong, decent wide receiver who can help in the red zone as a possession guy. Another free agent I’d like to see the Bills pursue is Alge Crumpler, formerly starting TE for the Falcons. This guy was a pro bowler not too long ago, and with the Bills sorely lacking at the tight end position, seems like Crumpler could make an impact right away, which wis what you want from a free agent singing.
The Bills tend to build through the draft but I would expect them to go after the two players mentioned above, as well as perhaps a veteran DL, LB, and maybe even QB. (Depending on what they are trying to do with JP Losman.)
There are some current Bills players who might test the free agent market. Among the Bills with no contracts are Anthony Hargrove, Michael Gaines, Sam Aiken, Mario Haggan, Ryan Neufeld, Josh Stamer, and then restricted free agents Jim Leonhard and Jason Jefferson. Not a lot of big names. They will probably re-sign a lot of these guys. There are a few players who, due to injury, didn’t really get to play at all last season – which was their first as a Bill – including Jason Whittle, Jason Webster, and Al Wallace. The least likely to return might be Anthony Hargrove, due to his off-field issues.
It’s open season starting this Friday, February 29th! We’ll see who our new Bills will be.