Free Agent Frenzy Begins
Flutie held his own press conference on Friday March 2nd to say he was happy about his time in Buffalo and thanked the fans for their support. He feels his release was a big opportunity for him. He also said he will miss his teammates especially Eric Moulds. Our Take: Flutie will be able to start with the Chargers but by the time that team is a contender he will be long gone.
15 Bills became free agents just over a week ago with Wiley already gone. The Bills are likely to hold on to Alex Van Pelt, as he should sign a deal shortly to return as the number two or number three QB. The club will also probably draft a quarterback or sign a veteran free agent if the price is right. Our Take: It's nice that Van Pelt will return but most of the other free agents will be gone with the possible exception of one of the offensive linemen.
In other free agent news, Ted Washington is finding the going rougher than he thought as there have been rumors regarding his ankle. The one team showing interest was Cincinnati but they didn't want to pay him his price. Steve Christie may be headed to Tennessee and their free agent kicker Al Del Greco is drawing interest from the Bills. Free Safety Marcus Robertson is also interested in the Bills as Coach Williams may raid his former team. The Bills also are interested in bringing in a fullback to play in the west coast offense and Sam Gash's name has surfaced. Sam Rogers has drawn interest from San Diego. Our Take: It is nice to see that the Bills may bring in one or two strategically placed free agents. If they take them from the Titans they will actually know the system better than the players currently on the Bills.
In other news, Rob Johnson quickly restructured his deal after being named the starter taking the league minimum next year and getting the rest in a bonus that will be spread over the last two years of his contract. No years were added to his deal. The move saved the Bills $1.6 Million and put them in striking distance of having enough money to draft players. Our Take: Smart move, not giving Johnson another year, he needs to put up or shut up this year.
The Bills have established a starting quarterback, now they need to establish a feature running back. Antowain Smith has been the subject of many rumors. Early in the week the big rumor was that the Bills were shopping him around the league. Now it appears that Coach Williams may have some interest in making him the number one guy again. Our Take: Williams has scene the best of Smith as he shined in the wild card game two years ago. Smith still has the talent there is a chance the new coaching staff can bring it out in him, but that may be a tall order at this point in his career.
Tom Donahoe answered questions regarding the draft on the Bills official website. He said the biggest needs are defensive line, offensive line, and secondary. He also stated that the Bills would not steer away from an exception athlete at a "non-need" position. Our Take: These are definite need positions for the team. It also appears they will let the offensive linemen that are free agents go. The secondary help is needed for the 4-6 scheme.
The Bills decided to send Josh Roth and Corey Hulsey to NFL Europe this year. They will both play for the Amsterdam Admirals. Our Take: This is a smart move since these two practice squadders from last year need some development and Europe is a good place to get it. With the roster very thin at fullback and guard, they can develop there way into playing time next year.
In one personnel move last week the Bills fired Martin Bayless. He was the Bills Director Of Player Development. No replacement has been named. Our Take: New regime wants their own people.
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