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Bills Today | Will the Bills play the Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL season opener?

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1. Will the Bills play the Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL season opener?

A week away from the release of the 2021 NFL regular season schedule, there is already much speculation as to what team will be pitted against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the league's Kickoff Game on Thursday night, Week 1.

NFL.com polled a handful of their league analysts to pick what they feel would be the ideal Kickoff Game matchup. Three of them picked Bills vs. Bucs.

Scott Pioli, Joe Thomas and Charley Casserly all picked Bills vs. Bucs and explained why.

Scott Pioli: I'd like to see the Bucs host the Buffalo Bills in the NFL's Kickoff Game. A matchup against another top team in the NFL, like the Bills, would get the 2021 season started with a bang. The storylines are endless, but more importantly, it would be a great showcase of two teams that should be very good again next season.

Joe Thomas: The NFL has to open the season with Bills Mafia making their way down to Raymond James Stadium. The Bills are the top team on the Bucs' home schedule in 2021, making this clash of two of the most intriguing teams in the league a perfect way to get the season rolling.

Charley Casserly: The best game on paper is Bills at Bucs. Tampa Bay returns all of its starters, while Buffalo retained most of them. There are several storylines that surround both teams heading into the 2021 campaign that I can't wait to see play out.

The 2021 NFL schedule will be released by the league at 8 pm on May 12th.

2. Beane on what a new extension for Josh Allen will likely require

Josh Allen wants to be in Buffalo long term and the Bills want Josh Allen under contract long term, so as GM Brandon Beane stated last month, all invested parties are on the same page on getting a contract extension done for the franchise quarterback.

But there is one issue that could make what would seem to be a relatively straightforward negotiation a bit more complex.

There is still a good deal of uncertainty as to what the 2022 salary cap will be for the league. According to Beane that will require both sides in the contract negotiation to be flexible in how the first year of the new contract will be crafted.

"Until we get into the fall, and see how many people are in these seats - are they half full? Three quarters full? Whatever it is we should definitely be better than in this past year," Beane said during an appearance on 'One Bills Live.' "But that could affect whether the (salary cap) number is $192, or $200 (million). So we're probably going to have to hopefully find a structure, if we're able to reach some type of agreement, where there's some flexibility in next season's cap number for Josh. And that's where hopefully his representatives will work with us understanding the unknown hurdle that we're facing right now."

Ultimately, both sides will have to find a way to make the front end of the contract amenable to the unpredictable path that the league's salary cap figure could take in 2022 and beyond.

"It definitely will be important and the structure won't mess with the APY (average per year), or the guaranteed (money), but it will be important how we structure these first few years to make sure we can be flexible as this cap works its way back to where it should be, hopefully, by 2023, 2024."

3. Greg Rousseau feels comfortable at new weight of 266

In 2019, Bills top pick Greg Rousseau played at 245 pounds and logged 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss for the Miami Hurricanes. He then opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns with COVID and having a younger brother with asthma.

Rousseau, however, did everything but rest on his laurels. The defensive end hit the weight room and adopted a strict dietary regimen to add 20 pounds of lean muscle to his frame.

"I packed it on by just working hard in the weight room, but also eating right," Rousseau said in an appearance on 'One Bills Live' Wednesday. "It's easy to gain weight, but it's hard to gain good weight that will make you a better player. So I made sure I was gaining good weight by being real careful with my nutrition and my diet."

Rousseau weighed in at 266 pounds at his pro day and his 6-7 frame looks more filled out to scouts and coaches.

But how does the new weight feel on him?

"I feel great with the extra weight," Rousseau said. "I felt like I ran well at my pro day. Just the drills I've been doing, the D-line drills, I've been feeling good in my body for sure. So I don't feel like the new weight is going to slow me down at all."

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