Posts Tagged ‘2014 Offseason’

Has the Buffalo Bills’ Mike Williams Experiment Already Failed?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
It looks as though Mike Williams' run with the Buffalo Bills might not last long after he was inactive Sunday. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj — USA Today Sports)

It looks as though Mike Williams’ run with the Buffalo Bills might not last long after he was inactive Sunday. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

When the Buffalo Bills traded a sixth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for wide receiver Mike Williams in April, it looked as though the Bills were getting a bargain. A 6’2”, 212-pound pass-catcher who had at least 63 receptions and 771 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons, Williams brought the size and experience Buffalo needed in its receiving corps.

Six months later, the trade hasn’t merited much value for the Bills.

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Scouting the Bills Veteran Additions: What Chris Williams Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Free-agent addition Chris Williams could be the Buffalo Bills’ starting left guard in 2014. (Photo: Kyle Terada — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Production at the left guard position was among the most inconsistent on the Buffalo Bills last season.

The team failed to adequately replace Andy Levitre, a four-year starter who left for the Tennessee Titans as an unrestricted free agent. The Bills initially entrusted the position to Colin Brown, who performed poorly and was released in Week 7 despite starting the first five games of the season. The performance of Doug Legursky, who replaced Brown as the starter in Week 6 after coming back from an injury, was only marginally better.

The Bills made improving at left guard—and the offensive line as a whole—a high priority this offseason by not only utilizing three draft picks on linemen, but also by signing veteran free agent Chris Williams.

Williams has started 54 games over the course of his seven-year career and was the only St. Louis Rams offensive lineman to start all 16 of the team’s games in 2013.

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Scouting the Veteran Additions: What Brandon Spikes Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Brandon Spikes could be a much-needed presence in the middle of a run defense that has consistently struggled. (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The Buffalo Bills have finished among the NFL’s bottom five in run defense in every season since 2009. As part of their effort to stop that trend, the Bills agreed to terms with former New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, who has been rated by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) as the NFL’s No. 1 inside linebacker in run defense in each of the past two seasons, on a one-year deal.

A large factor in the Bills’ inability to stop the run has been their inconsistent play from the linebacker position. Spikes, along with Keith Rivers and two draft picks, were added this offseason to provide consistent play at a position group that has been lacking stability in recent years.

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Scouting the Veteran Additions: What Bryce Brown Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The Buffalo Bills made running back a priority by trading a 2015 draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Bryce Brown. (Photo: Howard Smith — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Despite having an excellent running back tandem in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, the Bills have question marks at the position beyond the 2014 season. Both Spiller and Jackson can become free agents at the end of the 2014 season. Jackson will be 34 years old at season’s end and Spiller might command more money than the Bills will have the appetite to pay for a running back on his second contract

That made the need to address the running back position a priority this offseason because in all likelihood, either Jackson and/or Spiller will not be on the team beyond this season.

After they utilized six of their 29 predraft visits on running backs, the Bills tried to trade back up into the second round of the draft to select Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com. After the San Francisco 49ers struck a deal to move up and take Hyde off the board, the Bills struck a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire Bryce Brown—a player Buffalo had been negotiating to land for a year-and-a-half, according to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News—in exchange for a conditional 2015 fourth-round draft pick.

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Scouting the Veteran Additions: What Keith Rivers Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Keith Rivers hasn’t lived up to expectations in the NFL, but he gives the Bills a solid starter at strongside linebacker. (Photo: Tim Heitman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

As part of an overhaul to the Buffalo Bills’ linebacker depth chart that included two free agent signings and two draft picks, Keith Rivers signed a two-year, $4 million contract to help improve a position at which the Bills have had very little consistency in recent years.

While Rivers has not lived up to the billing of his selection as a top-10 draft pick, he is a useful player who can bring stability to the defense on a modest contract.

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