1 - Buffalo will address free agents after Senior Bowl
While the Bills front office is hard at work at the Senior Bowl this week, they'll soon be addressing their long list of free agents. At that time, they'll make determinations on who they wish to bring back to the roster for the 2018 campaign.
"What we'll do is when we get back from the Senior Bowl, we'll start our free agency meetings. Our pro guys are back working on that. We'll basically have our guys and then we'll see what else is out there at positions and then you've got to evaluate," said Bills General Manager Brandon Beane. "It's just like you're pricing houses: you're looking at comps. This guy is similar to this guy [and] this is what he got paid. To keep him, we have to expect to pay in this range. Is there a better guy [in regards to] fit? You've got to make sure if you get somebody from outside, that he's a culture fit too. Those will all come into play with each free agent that we have, plus anyone we bring in."
This offseason, 18 Bills are scheduled to become free agents. Players that highlight that list are: Preston Brown, E.J. Gaines, and Kyle Williams. At 25-years-old, Brown and Gaines are entering the prime of their careers. However, at 34-years-old, Williams' future is uncertain.
"Well you know, I've spoke highly of Kyle and I'll continue to speak highly of Kyle," said head coach Sean McDermott. "He's done a lot for this organization. He's a great person, a great family man. Those, like the other decisions, will come at some point down the road here as Brandon and I continue to evaluate our situation."
With well over a dozen FAs, Beane and McDermott will continue to make their mark on the Bills roster. Buffalo's GM gave an update on the team's salary cap situation and how that could impact their free agent decision making.
"Yeah, we made some headway this year with the cap to be able to rollover a decent amount of money, which will help. We'll find out closer to [the combine in] Indy what the cap is and that'll tell us [or we'll] have an idea," said Beane. "But you never know until then where it's going to end. But yeah, if we need more cap room, we're not going to just kick the can down the road, but if we need to do something now to help us to get better and compete in 2018, we'll make that move."
2 - LSU's LaCouture has learned from Bills players
The list of Buffalo Bills players from Louisiana State University is rather lengthy. At the Senior Bowl, buffalobills.com caught up with LSU defensive end, Christian LaCouture, to hear about his relationship with a couple Bills players.
LaCouture has a special similarity with Buffalo's cornerback Tre'Davious White. He inherited jersey No. 18 for his senior season from White at LSU. But why is No. 18 notorious down in Death Valley?
The tradition was born in 2003 when quarterback Matt Mauck led the Tigers to their first national title in football since 1958. The person who puts the No. 18 over their pads has a selfless attitude that has become the epitome of being an LSU football player.
"It was very humbling. Obviously, Tre'Davious White represented it very well and he's doing great things in Buffalo," LaCouture told Buffalobills.com at the Senior Bowl. "Having that number in the College Football Hall of Fame, the responsibility it brings on and off the field, you can do all the things on the field, but you have to make sure off the field you're representing LSU the best way you can. For me, I wanted to make sure I did that. I knew it carried a lot of responsibility that I had to live up to."
LaCouture is a DE, so he's familiar with the defensive linemen who has come out of LSU. He looks up to Bills defensive tackle, Kyle Williams, who was drafted by Buffalo in 2006 from LSU.
"I know Kyle pretty well. He's always down there working out and I always stop in and we'll talk," said LaCouture. "He's obviously a guy I always have looked up to. The way he's played the game, the way he's done things. He's obviously had an outstanding career for Buffalo. For me, just to even be half the guy he was would be a successful career for me."
LaCouture just concluded a solid four-year career at LSU. He tallied 151 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, over 10 sacks, eight passes defended, and one forced fumble.
In his senior season, he saw career-highs across the board. He posted 66 tackles, over eight tackles for a loss, six sacks, and five passes defended.
LaCouture isn't a highly-coveted prospect, but he should get selected on day-three of the draft. Though his last year at LSU was mainly spent in a 3-4 defense, he shared which scheme fits him best.
"I think for me, I'm coming off a 3-4 scheme this past year, so I'm a little more comfortable with that," said LaCouture. "I think the biggest think talking to these scouts; they see me in a three-technique in a 4-3, which I love. We played some of that this year as well. For me, I could play both. I see myself as a three-technique in the NFL. Obviously, I can play anywhere, but if I had to pick one it'd be there."
3 - McCoy labeled seventh-best RB in 2017
It was another admirable campaign for Bills running back LeSean McCoy. His work through the air and ground earned him a spot in the top-10 among NFL RBs.
McCoy was Bleacher Report's seventh-best RB in the 2017 season. The top-seven included: Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, Kareem Hunt, Dion Lewis, Alvin Kamara, Devonta Freeman, and McCoy.
Here's what Bleacher Report liked about McCoy's third season in Buffalo.
*LeSean McCoy stood tall as the reliable foundation of the Bills offense. He produced another 1,000-yard season, the sixth of his career, and continued to be equally effective as a receiver. His quick-cutting ability makes him incredibly elusive and a nightmare for defenders to tackle in the open field. He'll be 30 entering next season but doesn't appear to have lost a step. *
McCoy's 1,138 rushing yards ranked fourth in the league this season. He also recorded 59 receptions, which was the most on the Bills. All of that resulted in Shady's sixth Pro Bowl selection of his career.
B/R continued their high praise for McCoy and added a bold comparison.
It's a big statement to make, but McCoy is the NFL's best pure elusive runner since Barry Sanders, and despite his years in the league, there's no sign he's losing any of that capability. He's also Buffalo's most consistent receiver, providing Tyrod Taylor with options in the flat and with a full route tree when he motions to the slot. Few backs in the league are more versatile, and none may be more explosive.
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