After a disappointing 8-8 season the Buffalo Bills will once again look to retool in the offseason with hopes of ending the league’s longest playoff drought at 16 years. That starts with retaining the players that did well enough to get them a contract extension with the team. Like Jerry Hughes last year, they have to find a way to retain a few of the Bills’ important pieces who proved to be contributors in the 2015 season. Here are the free agents that are most important for the Bills to retain, in my opinion.
UFA OG Richie Incognito
Ah, it’s been awhile since Erik Pears has popped into Bills fans mind as being one of the worst guards they have ever seen (although John Miller has been close). That’s all thanks to Richie Incognito, who was signed to a one-year deal last offseason. Incognito has been phenomenal for the Bills, and his importance is heightened considering the recent struggles at both guard positions over the past several seasns. Most of his career has been overshadowed by “Bully-gate” in Miami. He has always been an above-average guard most of his career. Incognito and should be top priorities for the Bills heading into the offseason. There will definitely be a big market for the veteran’s services in free agency, but the team needs to find a way to retain Incognito this offseason.
UFA OT Cordy Glenn
After a sub-par 2014 season (it was later revealed that he had his kidney removed) Cordy Glenn thrived in Greg Roman’s schemes and much like Richie Incognito he has done excellent in the run game. While he can be inconsistent in pass protection at times, but his 24 total quarterback pressures surrendered ranked sixth-best among tackles. Glenn and Incognito have solidified the left side of the offensive line for quarterback Tyrod Taylor. His value is probably around 10 million a year.
RFA SS Bacarri Rambo
Bacarri Rambo is a restricted free agent, meaning that the team will have to place a draft pick tender on him, and if another team signs him, they’d forfeit that draft pick to the Bills. Despite numerous injuries throughout the Bills’ safety group, Rambo emerged as a bright spot, especially as the year went on. Known for his infamous Rambo: First Blood II game where he picked off Aaron Rodgers not once, but twice, as the Bills upset the Green Bay Packers to move into playoff position. Since then, he has been a solid depth player and reliable starter when need be. The most logical thing to do would be signing him to a restricted free agent tender.
RFA WR Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan has been a solid number 3 and 4 guy at the wide receiver position. This might be surprising because of the plethora of draft picks spent on wide receivers these last few draft, but after the 2016 season only Sammy Watkins is locked up long term. They need to add depth and resigning their own is a good start. It would also be smart to get Hogan on the tender.
RFA DL Stefan Charles
Last but not least my man Stefan Charles. Despite not playing all that much, when he does, he has been good for this team. After losing two defensive-line players to injuries the Bills looked to Charles and Corbin Bryant to step-up and they did in their own ways. Stefan Charles used his hands to creatively rush the passer and Bryant was a versatile run-stopper. Resigning both of them would be a good idea, but Charles pass-rushing abilities make him more important