1 - Yates calls WR market compelling for Buffalo The air attack is an area the Bills likely could address this offseason, considering the team ranked 31st with an average of 176.6 passing yards per game in 2017. One way to achieve this is by bolstering the wide receiving corps in free agency, which officially opens on Mar. 14, at 4 pm.
ESPN NFL Insider, Field Yates, feels there are some intriguing names on this year’s WR market. He joined the Howard Simon show on Bills flagship station, WGR Sportsradio 550, to talk about some receivers who could wind up in Buffalo.
“There are some interesting names in the free agent market at wide receiver. It just comes down to how much you’re willing to pay. There are some guys who could be making a lot of money in free agency,” said Yates. “Like Paul Richardson’s a nice player for the Seattle Seahawks. How much is he going to make on the open market? The answer could be that he could get way up there. Five, six, seven million [dollars] per season.”
Richardson, at 25-years-old, is coming off a career-year. In 16 games (13 starts), he reeled in 44 receptions for 703 yards and six touchdowns. The 6-0, 175-pound WR would be a great vertical threat for the Bills.
Some other striking soon-to-be free agent receivers are: Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, and Terrelle Pryor. That trio of wide outs are all well under 30-years-old.
In his first four seasons (2014-2017) with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Lee recorded 171 receptions for 2,166 yards and eight TDs. The 26-year-old’s calculated market value is an average annual salary of $7.5 million, according to spotrac.
For Robinson, he’s arguably the most interesting receiver on the free agent market. He shined in his Pro Bowl season in 2015, putting up 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 TDs. Robinson did suffer a season-ending ACL injury in Week One of 2017, but with proven success he’s estimated to have an average annual salary of $13.6 million, per spotrac.
Another receiver who will receive a lot of attention from teams is Pryor. He’s played six seasons (2011-2017) in the league, but only about three of those were at WR. In 2016, his first year as a full-time receiver, he posted 77 receptions for 1,007 yards and four TDs.
In 2017, Pryor signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Washington Redskins. He’ll hit the open market on Wednesday and should bring in a similar figure annually.
“Marqise Lee from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The other former second-round pick from that same draft class, Allen Robinson, could be available,” said Yates. “Terrelle Pryor is another available name. You see a lot of the physical traits that you like. It’ll be a compelling market right now this offseason for the Buffalo Bills.”
2 - Jordan Poyer jacked about addition of Vontae Davis On Feb. 26, 2018, the Bills signed cornerback Vontae Davis before the official free agency period kicked off. It’s safe to say his fellow teammate, safety Jordan Poyer, is pumped about the addition of the 29-year-old CB.
“Oh, man, that’s a great signing. He’s a veteran. He’ll be the oldest guy in the room,” Poyer shared with the Buffalo News. “He’s been to the Pro Bowl before. I’m really excited to meet him and to play alongside him. I think he’s going to be a big help in our secondary.”
As a two-time Pro Bowler (2014,2015), Davis has proven he’s more than capable of defending the boundaries. In his first Pro Bowl season (2014), he tallied 58 tackles, 27 passes defended, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. Then in 2015, he backed it up with 48 tackles, 16 PDs, and four INTs.
From skimming over the statistics, it’s evident that Davis has been flawless on the field. However, Poyer feels the relationship the team’s secondary forms off the field is equally important.
“For our secondary, I think the brotherhood is just as important as the skill set,” said Poyer. “When everybody’s hanging out off the field, cracking jokes, jelling, that’s just as important because you’ve got to be able to communicate on Sundays, when it’s loud, when you’re in the middle of the fire.
“I’m really excited about building a relationship with Vontae. We’ve been texting, and we’re planning on meeting up sometime and talking some X’s and O’s.”
3 - Bills secondary among best in INTs & PBUs The Buffalo Bills secondary put together a spectacular season in 2017. Even though a majority of the defense’s back end were first-year Bills, they still managed to be disruptive and get their hands on the ball.
Buffalo’s secondary combined for 52 pass breakups and interceptions this past season, according to Pro Football Focus. That was tied for the second-best mark in the league. The top-five teams were: the Los Angeles Chargers (58), Buffalo Bills (52), Philadelphia Eagles (52), Washington Redskins (52), and the Los Angeles Rams (50).
As far as defending passes goes, Tre’Davious White was remarkable in his rookie year. He posted 18 PBUs, which led all rookies in the league during the regular season.
Picking off passes was another area where Buffalo’s secondary excelled a season ago. The team tallied 18 INTs in 2017, ranking sixth in the league.
Bills defensive players who intercepted opposing quarterbacks include: Micah Hyde (5), Jordan Poyer (5), White (4), E.J. Gaines (1), Shareece Wright (1), Trae Elston (1), and Matt Milano (1).
With five picks a piece, Hyde and Poyer led the Bills shutdown secondary. Their combined 10 INTs was more than any safety duo in the league.
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