Here's the Bills news of note for March 24th.
**1 - Taylor makes list of free agency winners
**It's a bit of a specific list, but NFL.com's Adam Schein put together a rundown of the biggest winners in free agency, including some, like Taylor, who stayed with the clubs they played for in 2016, even if he never really became a free agent.
In any event, Buffalo's quarterback checked in at number nine on the list of free agent winners. Here was Schein's reasoning for putting Taylor on the list.
9) Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
I was so thrilled for Taylor when the Bills and his agent found a way to rework his deal to keep him in lovely Western New York. Taylor has been a good quarterback -- completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 6,058 yards, a 94.2 passer rating and a TD-to-INT ratio of 37:12 in two seasons as the Bills starter -- and a legit leader. I think he can elevate his game even more now that former coach Rex Ryan is gone and discipline will be restored in Buffalo -- the team won't be penalized like it was last year, when it racked up 127 penalties costing a total of 960 yards. Sean McDermott is a worker, and it goes noted he rightly wantedTaylor back. Taylor won't have to worry about being used as a pawn in a mind-numbing and unfair game between Ryan and GM Doug Whaley.
Taylor didn't need a change of scenery. He needed a chance to grow in Buffalo. And he will, right away.
2 - Lawson tabbed as Bills 2017 breakout playerAs we get closer and closer to players reporting for the start of the voluntary offseason conditioning program prognosticators are trying to forecast the players slated to have breakout seasons for their respective teams. For the Bills that player was Shaq Lawson.
Lawson was tabbed by Bleacher Report as the breakout player for Buffalo in 2017. Here’s why they feel the former first-round pick should make a major impact this fall.
(As a rookie shoulder surgery) put Lawson on short-term injured reserve and he returned late in the year.
When he did the Bills quickly saw what they were missing, and received a taste of what was to come. Lawson was eased back in while given limited snaps over his 10 games in 2016, rising above the 50-percent snap plateau in a game just twice. But he took advantage of those sparse opportunities while not at full health, finishing with two sacks and 12 pressures.
That production could surge if Lawson gets even a moderate increase in playing time. He shined throughout his college career at Clemson with 20 sacks over three seasons.
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**3 - Poyer set to go after kidney injury last year
**It was a brutal and illegal hit. Last season in Week 6, Bills safety Jordan Poyer, then with the Browns, was the victim of an illegal peel back block on a punt return against Tennessee. Poyer was covering the punt with his teammates, when Titans RB Antonio Andrews cleaned him out with an illegal blind side hit.
Poyer was on the ground for several minutes. After being examined by team athletic trainers he was able to walk off under his own power, but was in obvious pain. It was later discovered at the hospital that he had suffered a lacerated kidney as a result of the hit and would miss the rest of the 2016.
"It was a pretty scary situation," Poyer admitted. "We all know when we lace our cleats up on Sunday what could happen out there on the football field. It's a bang-bang play. He just kind of caught me in a position where maybe I should have had my head on a swivel. Bang-bang play and it happens in the game of football, but initially I just thought I lost my breath. But I was able to get up and walk away from it and come back."
Andrews was not fined by the league for the illegal hit that kept Poyer in the hospital for two nights because they ruled Andrews did not lead with his helmet on the play.
The good news is Poyer is fully healthy and ready to prepare for the upcoming 2017 season with Buffalo.
"Now I'm standing here fully healthy and ready to go play football," said Poyer.