The Buffalo Bills have 20 unrestricted free agents who will test their free will next week. These players include Tremaine Edmunds and Jordan Poyer. Given that both players should attract a lot of interest, it’s entirely possible that the Bills will get some back-to-back draft picks in 2024.
Compensatory picks are awarded to teams that have a net loss of compensatory free agents. Simply put, Buffalo will have to lose more players than they gain under free agency. And when it comes to signing free agents, there’s a loophole the Billies can exploit this season to ensure that underdogs like Edmunds and Poyer get compensatory picks next season.
If the Bills sign any players who were released this offseason, their addition will not count towards the compensatory selection formula. With a lot of talented players being unleashed in the league due to restrictions, Buffalo could meet many of their needs in his own way.
Here are some of the players we think Billy should go after free will, and some the team should avoid.
The Bills are unlikely to have enough room to single out Tremaine Edmunds after a year of his career in 2022. Since there are currently no legal options in their roster, Wagner makes sense as an ideal stopgap for 1-2 seasons. Wagner was all over the Rams last season and finished the year with 140 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 10 QBs and six sacks.
The Wagner deal won’t be worth what Edmunds is expected to earn per season, but there is a market for the midfielder. The Seahawks, Cowboys and Chargers are all reportedly interested in the veteran.
If the teams go to war over Wagner, Eric Kendricks will be the perfect consolation prize.
Kendricks, 31, was recently released by the Vikings after a season in which he recorded 137 total tackles (8 TFLs), two quarterback hits, six defensive passes, one sack and one defensive tackle. Kendricks is still playing at a high level and could be the perfect bridge for a younger midfielder in the future.
One interesting fact about Kendricks is that Bill Parcells called the linebacker his favorite player in the past. Bills general manager Brandon Bean is, according to Bob Glauber, “the guy from Bill Parcell” and uses the former head coach as a mouthpiece. If the team loses Edmunds as a free agent, Bean can be sure that Kendix will be a great interim in this position.
Marcus Mariota’s days as an NFL starter are over. The former No. 2 overall had plenty of opportunities to show he could be a starter in the league, but he ultimately fell short. Mariota, however, could have been a solid #2 QB.
Brandon Bean has shown that the team appreciates the solid presence of veterans as the team’s No. 2 QB, as evidenced by Mitch Trubisky and Case Keenum, who have served in that role for the past two seasons.
Keenum’s return is possible, but 29-year-old Mariota has more athleticism than Buffalo’s No. 2 QB since 2022. Last season in Atlanta, Mariota scored a career-high 438 yards and finished with 19 touchdowns and 9 interceptions one season ago.
Thielen is on the decline in his career, but he could be a reliable No. 3 or No. 4 receiver on Buffalo’s offense. A season ago, the veteran caught 70 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns. Thielen may not have the splitting ability he once had, but he is still great at finding space against a zone defense and can play both inside and outside.
Playing for Buffalo could also be at the top of Thielen’s list. This will reunite him with one of his best friends, Stephon Diggs. It was also reported that Thielen wants to join the opposition with the best quarterback. Buffalo certainly checks these fields.
James Robinson was never able to find a foothold with the Jets after the New Yorkers traded for a running back. He finished with 85 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown in four games with the Jets.
His struggles in New York could see him sign an available one-year deal elsewhere in an attempt to regain his worth before he becomes a free agent in 2024. This would probably be the perfect scenario for the Bills as they look to complement James Cook. .
Robinson is only 24 and has shown he can play effectively in the league. He rushed for over 1,000 yards as a rookie and ran for over 1,800 yards in his first two seasons in the league. He also hit the end zone 18 times in that span of time, catching 80 passes for 566 yards.
Kenny Golladay had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons from 2018 to 2019 with the Detroit Lions. This helped the recipient cash in on a 4-year, $72 million contract with the New York Giants in 2021. It would be generous to say that Galladay’s tenure with the Giants was disastrous.
In his first season, he caught 37 passes for 521 yards and never got a touchdown in 14 starts. It was hoped that he would recover last season when Brian Daball took over the role of head coach, but the results were even worse. Holladay caught just six passes for 81 yards and one touchdown in 12 games (4 starts).
Holladay definitely needs a fresh start, but Buffalo is unlikely to be that destination.
Buffalo may be looking for a second tight end this offseason, but Cameron Braith is out of the picture. Braith, 31, is ending a season shortened by injury when he caught just 20 passes for 174 yards in 11 games (1 start). A season ago, Braith suffered a concussion and a neck injury. Injuries could see Braith retire in the offseason.
While Braith was ultimately undecided about what would happen next, Buffalo would be better off adding another tight end to their roster through the draft. This year’s tight end is one of the deepest in recent memory.
Chosen by Robbie Anderson
There was a time when Robbie Anderson Chosen, formerly known as Robbie Anderson and Robbie Anderson, would be the perfect addition to the wide Buffalo reception area. From 2017 to 2020, Anderson has recorded receiving at least 750 yards. This included one season in which he topped 1,000 receiving yards (2020).
However, Anderson is not as good as of late. He passed for over 500 receiving yards in 2021, and last season between the Panthers and the Cardinals, he had just 282 receiving yards.
For now, it’s best to leave Anderson unselected by looking at other veterans or adding through the draft.
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