Here's the Bills news of note for June 1st.
**1 - TE Barnidge holding out for chance to start
**He paid the Bills a free agent visit a month ago. The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Denver Broncos are also interested, but free agent TE Gary Barnidge is taking his time in choosing his next NFL landing spot.
In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio over the weekend, Barnidge explained why.
"Of course, I would love to be the [number] one guy," Barnidge said. "I've showed the last two years, with multiple different quarterbacks, I was still able to produce without one single guy, whether it be injuries or just things not working out. I've shown I've been able to produce with multiple guys throwing the ball. But I don't think that's an issue, but if they want me to come in and help mentor, I've got no problem doing that, either."
Looking at the rosters of the three teams interested, Charles Clay is the clear number one tight end in Buffalo. Denver has young players like Virgil Green and Jeff Heuermann at the top of their tight end depth chart. Jacksonville traded Julius Thomas to Miami, but still has Marcedes Lewis and signed Mychal Rivera away from Oakland in free agency.
Barnidge's comment seems to be describing Denver's current situation the most, with no proven starter at the position and no defined starting quarterback. Does that mean his preference is the Broncos? We'll see.
But knowing a starting job is what he's after, Denver appears to be the most likely place for that to happen of the three teams interested in him.
2 - McCoy predicted as 2017 rushing title champLeSean McCoy had an impressive 2016 campaign from an individual standpoint. He finished sixth in the league in rushing with almost 1,300 yards and was fourth in rushing touchdowns with 13. McCoy also led the league in rushing average for backs with more than 150 carries last season (5.41).
So it's not surprising that in an NFL.com poll where they asked a handful of their writers, McCoy was picked by two of them as the 2017 rushing title leader knowing no NFL back has repeated as rushing champ since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2007.
NFL.com's Alex Gelhar and Bucky Brooks both picked McCoy as their rushing title winner for this fall.
Shady will be the focal point of a Buffalo offense that is now being run by Rick Dennison, who did remarkable things as the offensive coordinator for Arian Foster back in Houston. *
When taking a stab at projecting the rushing leader, my thought process is to find a talented back in a solid offense who should see a high number of touches. McCoy checks all those boxes and has thrived in a brand new offense before: Shady led the league in rushing in 2013, his first year with Chip Kelly.
Shady McCoy will lead the NFL in rushing. The Buffalo Billswill continue to be a ground-and-pound team. Even though a new coaching staff is coming over, Rick Dennison is bringing in a zone-based system that has really helped running backs flourish. McCoy is a perfect fit in the I-formation and should have a lot of success behind a big offensive line. Plus, defensive-minded head coach Sean McDermott wants to make sure the offense controls the ball and keeps the defense off the field. *-Bucky Brooks*
Other picks included David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Adrian Peterson and Jordan Howard.
3 - Castillo paints future picture for DawkinsBills offensive line coach, Juan Castillo was known to be a fan of Temple OL Dion Dawkins heading into the 2017 NFL draft. When the Bills were able to trade up and make him a second-round pick, Buffalo's line coach was ecstatic.
Castillo's enthusiasm hasn't been tempered one bit as Dawkins has taken quickly to the NFL game. Even though some draft prognosticators projected Dawkins to guard in the NFL, from what Castillo has seen, Dawkins could be a four-position player up front.
"I think the future lies wherever we need him," said Castillo in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. "I think he can play four positions. He can play left tackle, right tackle, left guard or right guard. Really it amounts to where we're going to need him. He's a great addition. He can play left tackle if something happens to Cordy (Glenn). There's a lot of competition with him and Jordan (Mills) on the right side. We're happy to have him. People get hurt during the season and now we have a capable player."
Through the course of OTA practices with Cordy Glen still rehabbing, Dawkins has been lining up at left tackle with the starting unit.