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Bills Today | Virtual offseason begins for players on April 20


1. Virtual offseason begins April 20

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed on a virtual offseason program that begins on Monday, April 20. No on-field work can begin until all club facilities reopen, but per the NFL and Tom Pelissero the virtual period will be made up of three straight weeks of team activities via videoconferencing platforms. 

The virtual period will consist of three consecutive weeks of classroom instruction, workouts and non-football educational programs using videoconferencing technology. An extra voluntary veteran camp will be available for new coaches, with the virtual period ending no later than May 15, per Pelissero.

Teams are permitted to send players workout equipment and monitoring devices -- e.g. kettlebells, resistance bands, Apple watches, etc. -- provided the cost for any individual player doesn't exceed $1,500, Pelissero added.

The virtual period will end no later than May 15. If facilities do not reopen during other offseason programs, there will be another virtual option in play.

If club facilities do not reopen during the offseason program, the window for which concludes June 26, there will be a secondary option for teams. Organizations can conduct a mandatory veteran minicamp on a virtual basis, with limits of two hours of classroom time and two hours of workout time, Pelissero reported.

2. How the Bills are setting up their draft board without a first round pick

General manager Brandon Beane was on the Pardon My Take podcast this week to talk about the NFL draft and how he looks at drafting with Tom Brady out of the AFC East. Beane was asked about what their board looks like without a first-round pick this year. The GM explained they know the top targets are probably unreachable, but they need to be ready for prospects to drop.

"Honestly we came up with a list of about 20 guys and said these guys are all going in the first round," Beane said. "Doesn't matter which team. After those 20, we have really focused on the rest because late first [round] into two, you look at a guy like D.K. Metcalf last year, a lot of people had him going high in the first round and he falls to late two."

If a prospect falls, Beane has made it clear he isn't afraid to trade up if it's a player they want and the deal makes sense. When asked about if his draft perspective changes at all because they don't have to prepare to go up against Tom Brady this season Beane explained he has drafted players to face specific players in the past, but this year they are working on building their best team regardless of who they play.

"None of our free agent moves were based off plotting," Beane said. "We are just trying to be the best version we can be. We will see how it shakes out and what quarterback Belichick goes with."

3. Could Buffalo's draft picks be similar to its free agent acquisitions?

Buffalo's biggest move in free agency was a trade with the Vikings to acquire wide receiver Stefon Diggs, but the majority of the additions in free agency were defensive players. Several mock drafts have the Bills selecting a player to add to their defensive depth with the No. 54 pick. Bleacher Report thinks the Bills biggest needs are edge and corner heading into the draft.

Adding a young pass-rusher would be ideal, as Jerry Hughes and free-agent addition Mario Addison are ages 31 and 32, respectively. It also wouldn't hurt to add depth behind recent acquisition Josh Norman, who is 32 and coming off a season in which he lost his starting cornerback job.

The Bills don't have a first-round pick because of the Diggs trade, but they still have their second- and third-round selections (54th and 86th overall).

Potential Early Fit: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

In 2019 Hall played in six games totaling 20 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and four passes defensed.

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