During the offseason free agency sets the stage for the draft, cuts, etc. and it is arguably the most important aspect of the offseason. For the Buffalo Bills last year they brought in multiple players via free agency or trade. It was a very aggressive approach and time will tell if it was the right approach. Lacking the funds to make those “splashy” moves the Bills will look for bargain players that can help them reach the playoffs. They should look at these players:
RT Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals
The 29 year-old was a high pick for the Cincinnati Bengals and is set to hit the free agent market in March. The Bengals invested a first and a second round pick at the tackle position last year, so it’s very unlikely if he returns to Cincinnati. Smith is a very underrated run-blocker and is the perfect fit in Greg Roman’s offense.
At 6-4 330 he can be shaky protecting the passer. However, his ability as a run-blocker makes up for that. When ran behind the Bengals averaged 4.1 yards-per-carry and picked up nearly 400 yards. Nothing can be worse than Seantrel Henderson and Jordan Mills, right?
ILB Demario Davis, New York Jets
Nobody is going to be connected with the Bills more than Demario Davis. First, Rex Ryan drafted him as a third round pick in 2012 and was a starter under Rex. Second, with the Bills defense struggling to grasp Rex Ryan’s complex schemes they could use a veteran who knows the system. Lastly, he is not going back to the New York Jets. They have both stated that they want to move on from each other as Davis struggled in Todd Bowle’s hybrid schemes.
He is a perfect fit for this defense and got Ryan raving about him as a rookie. Although he’s not a great player he flashed everything you want and should contribute in this defense. After a down year for Nigel Bradham and the fact that he’s a free agent could lead to Davis putting on a Bills jersey and playing in Buffalo.
NT Damon Harrison, New York Jets
Another Jets player that’s set to hit the market is the nose tackle Damon Harrison. Harrison was an undrafted player in 2012 with the Jets and exploded in 2013 becoming one of the league’s best run-stuffer. Pro Football Focus has him as the number 1 run-stopper in the 2015 season. If you couldn’t already tell Rex Ryan loves Harrison and would love to have him here in Buffalo.
He would be expensive, yet intriguing. Harrison would man the 0 technique and that would move Marcell Dareus all along the line at the 3 technique or the 5 technique where he would thrive. Dareus would not have to take as many double teams and could focus on rushing the passer more efficiently.
S Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers
This is a longshot. However, Eric Weddle is a really good fit for this defense. After a season of safety play ravaged by injury and poor play by Corey Graham, the Bills should be looking for an answer there. Eric is one of the smartest in the game and shows tremendous leadership and that happens to be what the Bills are looking for. Weddle is that rangy ball-hawking safety that is vital for Rex Ryan’s scheme.