1. Another foundational piece from the 2017 Bills draft class
The Bills announced yesterday that they agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with soon-to-be free agent linebacker Matt Milano before he hit the open market. The former fifth-round pick has been a key piece of this Bills defense since 2017. During his time in Buffalo, Milano has five interceptions, six sacks, 273 combined tackles, 21 passes defensed and 25 QB hits. Milano, Tre'Davious White and Dion Dawkins are a big part of the core of this roster and are the three remaining picks from the 2017 Draft to receive extensions.
General Manager Brandon Beane was on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast featuring Richard Sherman at the end of February and told them both about his thoughts on Matt Milano's journey as a Buffalo Bill.
"Matt's a great story, similar to Richard [Sherman] being a fifth-round pick Matt was a fifth-round pick," Beane said. "Matt was a converted safety to linebacker and really worked his way up. He didn't start much, was more of just to role-player his first year, then going into the second year really started developing into a matchup linebacker. It has really helped Leslie Frazier, with this defense being able to match up with either a tight end or a running back or things like that. … Nothing but positive things, we really appreciate what Matt's done for us and if things can work out, we'd love to bring him back."
2. ESPN lists two free agents that would be a perfect scheme fit for Buffalo
ESPN Staff Writer Matt Bowen did a deep dive on around 40 of the NFL free agents and found what landing spot would be the best scheme fit for those players. He listed two free agents that he thought would fit with the Bills and they are tight end Jonnu Smith and edge rusher Trey Hendrickson.
Jonnu Smith, TE
Best scheme fit: Bills | 2020 team: Titans | Age: 26
Smith, who caught eight touchdown passes last season in Tennessee, has the dynamic traits to produce in an offense with more throwing volume. And he gets that here in Brian Daboll's system. In addition to upgrading the position in Buffalo, Smith would give quarterback Josh Allen a boost on middle-of-the-field throws, while also occupying safeties to create more one-on-ones for wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
There is seam-stretching ability with Smith, plus the run-after-the-catch traits to tack on numbers in the open field. And given Daboll's ability to scheme players open in one of the NFL's best red zone packages, Smith could emerge as a top target for Allen inside the 10-yard line.
Trey Hendrickson, Edge
Best scheme fit: Bills | 2020 team: Saints | Age: 26
Hendrickson is looking at a multiyear deal after a breakout season with the Saints, where he had a career-high 13.5 sacks. While I don't see scheme-transcendent edge rusher traits here, he has shown the ability to win with speed to power and active hands. Plus, his high-energy play-style would fit the Bills' defensive culture.
The Bengals also make sense for Hendrickson, especially if they let Carl Lawson walk in free agency.
Matt Bowen joined Chris and Steve on One Bills Live on Thursday and brought up two more free-agent fits for the Bills this offseason. On the offensive side of the ball, he mentioned wide receiver Kalif Raymond and on the defensive side, he mentioned defensive tackle Kawann Short.
For the full interview with Matt Bowen on One Bills Live, click here.
3. Jordan Poyer explains his hard-hitting mentality about the game of football
Jordan Poyer's has been a cornerstone on defense for the Bills since joining the team in 2017. Along with teammate Micah Hyde, the two make up one of the top safety tandems around the league. Both Bills safeties play a physical style of football and for Poyer, it's all about his love for the game and his mentality about it. Poyer was a guest on The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday and talked about how he views the game and what makes him such a hard-hitting safety.
"I definitely think that a lot of it is a mentality," Poyer explained. "Having to get another grown man down on the ground, you got to want to do it and we work extremely hard. Our safeties coach, Bobby Babich, works with us extremely hard, Micah and I on the fundamentals of tackling. Having the right angles, our aiming points and there's a million different types of tackles but just being able to get a guy on the ground, it's mentality man. I like to hit, I'm not the biggest guy out on the field but if I'm able to line you up, I'm definitely gonna throw it in there. It's the game I play, and I like to play a scrappy game. I like to get in there, get feisty, get your nose bloody a little bit and that's just again football to me."