Here's the Bills news of note for Feb. 28th.
**1 - Jordan Mills' agent to talk with Bills this week
**Among the Bills more important upcoming free agent decisions is starting right tackle Jordan Mills. Soon to be an unrestricted free agent, Mills, in an appearance on the John Murphy Show, confirmed that his agent will be meeting with the Bills in Indianapolis later this week.
"He's more excited than I am," Mills said. "He's talked to the Bills a couple of times, but he's really going to talk to them at the combine this week. So I'm anticipating a lot of good things coming from the Bills and some other teams."
Mills said it is his preference to re-sign with Buffalo knowing the continuity of Buffalo's offensive line, with the other four starters up front under contract.
"The Bills are in the mix and they know they're in the mix, but it comes down to negotiations with my agent, knowing other things could happen," said Mills. "They really appreciated what I did since I've been here. I talked to (GM Doug) Whaley and I know he's going to make an effort to get me back there.
"At the same time there are other obligations and we had like 24 free agents on the team this year. But I'm pretty sure he wants to get me back there and I know he's going to make the attempt. We're going to know more this week at the combine and when March 9th comes we'll definitely know more. We'll see."
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2 - Mayock says teams should keep swinging for QBIn a national conference call, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock did not paint a pretty picture with respect to the hit rate on quarterbacks drafted in the first round. Excluding the quarterbacks selected the last two years, from 2007-2014, Mayock provided some eye-opening figures regarding the lack of success in finding bona fide franchise caliber quarterbacks.
"In the last 10 years there have been 26 first round QBs drafted," said Mayock. "I'm going to discount the last two years because it's not fair to grade those kids yet. Although like most people I'm kind of bullish on Winston, Mariota and Carson Wentz. But if you look at the last eight years (2007-2014), there have been 21 first round quarterbacks and out of that group there are only four or five franchise quarterbacks. Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and if you want you can put Joe Flacco in there.
"After that there are nine first-round quarterbacks who are not even in the league anymore. Then as far as starting quarterbacks go you've got Bortles, Tannehill and Bradford. Then there are four backups. Teddy Bridgewater, who has been hurt, EJ Manuel, Robert Griffin III and Sanchez. It gives you a pretty good feel for the hit rate of franchise quarterbacks in the first round.
"Now beyond the first round there has been Derek Carr in the second and I'd throw (Jimmy) Garoppolo in there as a potential quality starter in the second, Russell Wilson in the third, Kirk Cousins in the fourth and Andy Dalton in the second. So five potential quality starters outside of the first round. The numbers aren't real good.
"Four franchise guys out of 21, five if you include Flacco. You're looking at about a 20 percent chance of drafting a franchise quarterback with a first-round pick.
"However, my message to NFL teams is you've got to keep swinging. Like Pete Carroll and John Schneider did in Seattle. They signed Matt Flynn and then they drafted Russell Wilson in the third round. By the way they've been doing that for several years, looking for the quarterback. New England the same way. They drafted Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo and last year Jacoby Brissett in the third round."
**3 - ESPN trade predictor includes Kouandjio
**ESPN.com is big on prognostication at this point in the year on the NFL calendar. Free agent predictions, NFL draft predictions and now trade predictions. ESPN.com's Mike Sando put together eight trades he believes should happen based on what a group of NFL clubs need in a year where the free agent market is notably thin.
His final proposed trade on his list of eight was one between the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills, with the Chargers acquiring OT Cyrus Kouandjio and a seventh-rounder in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Here was his proposal in full.
Kouandjio played pretty well for the Bills at left tackle last season when *Cordy Glenn was unavailable. This trade would reunite him with former Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, the Chargers' new head coach. Quite a few other teams could also use help at offensive tackle. The list includes Carolina, Denver and Seattle, who hold additional third-round selections.*
Kouandjio, 23, has made only seven starts in his first three NFL seasons. He's no star, obviously, but finding viable players at the position isn't getting easier. Kouandjio is entering the final year of the four-year deal he signed as a second-round choice in 2014.
We're nitpicking here, but Buffalo doesn't have a seventh-round pick this year to part with, so the proposed compensation here would have to be altered.
Knowing that the Bills already have right tackle Jordan Mills as a free agent and Seantrel Henderson's playing future still isn't completely resolved with respect to his medical condition, you could certainly point to offensive tackle as a positional need for Buffalo. I'd find it difficult to see them subtracting from that position this offseason.