Bills GM Buddy Nix wasn’t naming names prior to the opening of free agency, but he was clear that their focus has been narrowed to a pair of primary targets in the initial wave of open market frenzy.
“In the initial wave of free agency we have a couple, probably two,” Nix told Buffalobills.com in terms of player targets. “I’d say you’ll recognize the names.”
Over the past couple of weeks there have been a lot of players re-signed by their respective clubs and a record-high 21 players were franchised as well. According to Nix however, the Bills have not had to turn to any contingency plans with their free agent approach.
“The guys that we had our eye on to start with are still there,” said Nix late Tuesday morning. “(Pro Personnel Director) Tom Gibbons and the pro department do a great job of letting us know who is probably, 90 percent maybe, that are going to be there. We had to make a choice on a player or two. Sometimes you can’t get everybody you want, but if we can fill a couple of holes it’ll take some pressure off the draft.”
Nix has maintained that Buffalo will be aggressive in pursuing the two specific targets they have in mind. Many outside observers believe a pass rusher and proven wideout to line up opposite Stevie Johnson could be the positions targeted.
Whomever the free agent marks might be for Buffalo, Nix realizes when you participate in the initial wave of free agency there is going to be competition from other clubs. Much like a team must commit to the value of their draft board in April, Buffalo intends to hold to their principles when bidding on a free agent.
“I think the common opinion out there for us is it’s the money, but it’s the value that the player is to us,” said Nix. “How does he fit? How much is he going to do for us? That basis is what you go on and if you get away from that you’re going to make a mistake.
“You can’t go crazy. Most of the overpaying done on free agents is done on the first day or the first week. We have to assess what the value will be for us. What will it do for us? If it will get us over the hump and to the next level it’s worth doing.”
With two primary targets to be pursued by Buffalo when the free agent market opens the Bills know things can move very quickly. But Nix in an interview with team flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday morning hopes to work just as fast.
“We’d like to be out of the business by Friday,” Nix told WGR. “That would be successful. We’ve got a chance to do that. The big splash with us would probably be over in a week.
“I think on some of these guys you do have to strike quickly. If we weren’t interested in some that are available I’d tell you. I’d be off looking at draft workouts, but if we are interested in something we’re going to go after them.”