1. Isaiah McKenzie excited to have Emmanuel Sanders as a teammate again
Isaiah McKenzie was excited to re-sign with the Bills for the 2021 season as a free agent earlier this week. Even though a handful of teams expressed interest in the receiver, McKenzie preferred returning to Buffalo.
"I'm familiar with the system here. I love my teammates," McKenzie said. "The whole crew is coming back, obviously the fan base and there's so much love in Buffalo. So, I told my agent, 'Hey, might as well go back to Buffalo. I like being there anyway.' There's no point of going anywhere else, to start over and Buffalo has something good going on there."
He's also very excited to reunite with former teammate Emmanuel Sanders, who he played with in Denver earlier in his career.
"In Denver he was a great player," said McKenzie of Sanders in an appearance on One Bills Live. "He won a Super Bowl up there. He runs great routes. He's fast. He can catch the ball. He puts it all out there for the team. I just want to see him and (Cole) Beasley work together because they played together in college. I'm looking forward to that."
McKenzie also said that Sanders personality is contagious and knows the veteran receiver will fit right in to their way of doing things at One Bills Drive.
2. ESPN.com on where Bills could add next
ESPN.com did a league-wide breakdown of the free agent signings on each NFL club and also took a look at where they may still look to make roster additions this spring. After praising the signing of free agent WR Emmanuel Sanders, they also speculated on the position where Buffalo may still make a move.
Here was their assessment.
With one of the NFL's best overall rosters, the Bills weren't going to outbid anyone for top talent. But as soon as they got word that New Orleans would release Sanders, they zeroed in on him because of how he'd fit: a complementary outside guy opposite Stefon Diggs while allowing Gabriel Davis to continue to develop.
"His game has held up really well," said an AFC exec. "You're not getting an explosive player, but his savvy and route-running helps him age well. He'll fit right in."
Buffalo was intrigued by a few big-ticket tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz, but prioritized value with Jacob Hollister on a one-year deal. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky talked with the 49ers about a spot, but when his market didn't materialize, Buffalo offered a place to park for a year and reset his value.
Expect Buffalo to add a swing tackle at some point this offseason.
With free agency open for the 2021 season, scroll through to keep track of Buffalo's newest signings. Presented by Imagine Staffing.
3. Bills new defensive end had circuitous route to NFL
A victim of human trafficking as a youth, Buffalo DE Efe Obada has a long and winding journey to the NFL. After moving at age 8 from his native Nigeria to Amsterdam, Efe and his sister were illegally trafficked to London where they were left homeless on the street.
Fortunately social services came to their aid and after transitioning through a series of foster homes, Efe attended college.
It was there that he discovered American football and was convinced by a friend to give it a try. He did so at age 22 playing for the London Warriors of the BAFA National League in England.
Intrigued by his potential, NFL scouts showed interest in the physically gifted player. Signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad in 2015, Obada would not make an NFL regular season roster until 2018 with the Carolina Panthers.
But coming off a career-best 5.5 sack season, Obada may just be starting to tap into his full potential as an NFL defensive end. Potential known all too well by his former and now current defensive line coach Eric Washington in Buffalo.
"I've lost a lot to get here. I've had to sacrifice a lot. I've been through a lot," Obada told Panthers.com. "All the suffering paid off. I want to make those people who believed in me proud. But I know that this is just the beginning."