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Bills Today: National review of what Bills have done in free agency

Posted Mar 15, 2018

Here's the Bills news of note for March 15th.


1 - National reviews of what Buffalo has done in free agency
The Bills were quick to bolster their roster, specifically on the defensive side of the ball, as Wednesday’s free agency frenzy took flight. Here’s how the national media reacted to the handful of moves that the Bills made.

Rafael Bush
The Bills agreed to terms with the safety on a two-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport.

CBS Sports NFL writer, Chris Trapasso, said via Twitter that, “Bills desperately needed depth at safety behind Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. They get that with Rafael Bush, who has plenty of experience.”

Trent Murphy
Buffalo agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the former Washington Redskins defensive end.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport seemed to like the signing. Following the transaction he took to Twitter saying, “Coming off a torn ACL (and recovering nicely), Murphy had 9 sacks in 2016. A high-ceiling signing for Buffalo.”

As part of the network’s coverage, Rapaport had a 30-second video recapping the signing of Murphy.

“The Buffalo Bills, who continue to add to their roster, and this time solidify their pass rush.”

Star Lotulelei
In a move that reunites the defensive tackle with Bills General Manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott, the team agreed to terms with the former Carolina Panther on a five-year deal.

ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter, was the first to report Lotulelei’s intent to sign with Buffalo via Twitter.

NFL Network reporter, Mike Garafolo, also reported the addition on Twitter. Garafolo mentioned that he’s back with McDermott once again.

In 2016, McDermott’s last season as the Panthers defensive coordinator, Lotulelei posted a career-high in sacks with four.

Julian Stanford
The former New York Jets linebacker is staying within the division, as he agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Bills.

The Buffalo Bills PR tweeted a bunch of information about the team’s newest LB. One notable note was that Stanford appeared in all 16 games for the Jets last season.

2 - NFL Network reporters react to Bills new draft capital
The 2018 league year is officially upon us, and that means the Bills now own six picks in the top 100 of this year’s draft. With even better draft capital than before, the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Peter Schrager believe that could put Buffalo in the driver’s seat for a move up the board.

Following Wednesday’s free agency, a ton of quarterbacks quickly found new homes. But Schrager and Garafolo were more enamored with Buffalo’s bounty of draft picks.

“There’s a draft and the Bills have done a good job here of stockpiling picks,” said Schrager. “They now have six of the top 100 draft picks and they moved up from 21 to 12 and with the Cordy Glenn pick now officially they’ll have the 12th and 22nd picks along with a lot of others as well.”

One thing’s for certain, Schrager and Garafolo believe the team holds all the cards to make a strong push for one of this year’s top prospects in the draft.

“It’s almost anti-climactic who they sign at quarterback in free agency. I’m already looking at the draft and at the team with all that firepower that they have to see where they’re going to trade up in the top 10,” said Garafolo. “There are a couple of entry points for them. If they feel they can start to play that game and get up to here, but maybe we can sit a slot lower and not give up as much they can play those teams against one another at the top of the draft. It’s a fascinating dance the Bills will be doing.”

3 - Which Buffalo Bill was a top 10 signing in last year’s free agency?
On Wednesday afternoon, the 2018 NFL free agency period officially began. With a wide variety of deals going down within the past several hours, let’s look at which Bills free agent signing that made the biggest splash in 2017.

NFL.com analyst, Elliot Harrison, had safety Micah Hyde in his top 10 free-agent signings of 2017. The Bills and Hyde agreed to terms on a five-year, $30.5 million contract on Mar. 9, 2017.

Here’s Harrison’s full list of top 10 free-agent signings in 2017: Marquise Goodwin (10), Robert Woods (9), Alshon Jeffery (8), Hyde (7), Patrick Robinson (6), Case Keenum (5), Nick Foles (4), Andrew Whitworth (3), A.J. Bouye (2), and Calais Campbell (1).

This is what Harrison had to say about acquiring Hyde in the offseason following his 2017 campaign.

This was the signing I circled last offseason. Was Micah Hyde the most important move of the offseason? No. Did I agree with the Packers letting him walk? No. Though it sounds like Hyde aggressively explored his options outside of Titletown. Hyde was a Swiss Army Knife for Dom Capers.

So Hyde signed a robust deal in Buffalo, and he was worth every penny. Hyde picked off five balls and deflected eight more, while racking up 82 tackles. Count that up -- it’s nearly 100 plays. Also bear in mind how important turnover diff was to the Bills’ success. (They were plus-nine last year.)

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