1. ESPN analyst sees free agent TE as fit for Bills
ESPN co-host of the NFL Matchup show and NFL analyst Matt Bowen has what he feels would be a solid fit for the Bills in free agency. In a recent tweet, Bowen explained why he believes the Bills should pursue Tennessee free agent tight end Jonnu Smith when the market opens in a couple of weeks.
TE Jonnu Smith — Dynamic traits at the position. Red zone production. Seam stretcher + run after the catch ability. Could the Bills make a move here? Upgrades the position. Middle of the field target for QB Josh Allen. And Daboll would scheme him open in the low red zone.
Despite playing in a run-heavy attack in Tennessee, Smith had career-highs in receptions (41), receiving yards (448) and touchdowns (8) for the Titans last season.
Bills GM Brandon Beane did express a need to improve the production at the tight end position heading into next season.
"We'd love to have a guy like what we just faced in Kansas City – they don't come very often," said Beane in late January. "But that's what we want. We've got some guys here we want to continue to develop and see what happens. Obviously if there's ways to add competition, whether that's in free agency or the draft, we would do that as well."
2. Jon Feliciano wins team's Ed Block Courage Award
He's set to become an unrestricted free agent, but guard Jon Feliciano scooped up some important hardware for his efforts during the 2020 season.
The veteran guard announced on Wednesday that he was the Bills recipient of the Ed Block Courage award. One player from each NFL team is voted by their teammates to be honored for their courage and inspiration throughout the season. The recipients stand as role models for their ability to overcome adversity while also serving their respective community.
A day before Bills training camp opened this past summer, Feliciano suffered a torn pectoral muscle during a weight training session and was forced to undergo surgery. He missed the first seven games of the regular season, but made a return to the starting lineup in Week 8 and never exited the lineup.
He started the last nine games of the regular season and all three postseason games for Buffalo manning the guard and center positions during that span.
Throughout the year the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation hosts several fundraisers, including the prestigious Ed Block Courage Awards and has enjoyed a partnership with the NFL for 43 years. By partnering teams with child abuse/at-risk youth facilities (known as Courage Houses) in their regions, the goal is to maintain the support network to assist the Courage Houses with fundraising and awareness.
3. Breer reports on Bills rule change proposal
SI.com's Albert Breer reported on a rules change proposal that will be submitted by the Bills to be reviewed at the upcoming owner's meetings at the end of March. Per Breer, the Bills are submitting a proposal that bars interviews for front office or coaching positions until after the league's conference championship games and bars hirings until after the Super Bowl.
As Breer noted, five assistant coaches from the four conference finalist teams were interviewed for head coaching positions. Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier were among that group.
Buffalo's Assistant GM Joe Schoen was also interviewed for a general manager position.
Pushing off the interview period until after the conference championship games would leave a full week for any assistants still coaching to conduct interviews for head coaching positions or other promotions, still giving them a full week plus to prepare for the Super Bowl.
It also stands to reason that it would create a more level playing field for assistants looking to become head coaches. All of those assistants in the conference championship games who interviewed for promotional positions did not ultimately land jobs in part because other coaches who interviewed were available to get started in their new roles right away since their seasons had already concluded.
Owners meetings will be conducted virtually beginning March 30th.