As the 2018 season winds down, fans begin to think about which players have expiring contracts at season’s end. Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams are two such players, revered by the fan base.
So questions have begun as to whether either or both of them could return in 2019. We take our best stab at that question as well as what the releases of Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes mean going forward and identifying offensive talent.
Remember you can always send your questions to me @ChrisBrownBills
1 – From @jbach127: Given the excellent defensive play this year do you think #Bills can get one more year out of Kyle and Zo? (Assuming those 2 want to play another year) Clearly, they still have it and amazing role models for these younger players.
CB: I think the team would definitely be interested in bringing them back for another season. I believe that Lorenzo would like to continue playing. Kyle might need more time to think about things, much like he did last year.
You’re right though, both players can still contribute and produce, and their value in the locker room is immeasurable. So my guess is the team would be in favor of bringing them back into the fold. Then it’s up to the players to decide where their career goes after 2018 comes to a close.
2 – From @mclennon99: Chris...Do you think the departures of Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes will tighten the receiving corps since they're all younger guys no older than 24 as well as their rookie QB who is only 22?
CB: I don’t think they’re worried about making the group a tighter one per se. If that is a byproduct of what has taken place, that’s fine. But those moves were made because Benjamin wasn’t producing, nor was he doing the things to improve on that lack of production as evidenced by game tape.
There’s no disputing that there is a youth movement going on here over the final quarter of the season, but the Bills brass knows they’ll need a proven veteran in that group for next season. A go-to type player that delivers the goods every week, who Josh Allen can target 8-12 times a game.
They’ll likely have to pay for such a player, but they’ve got money to spend and GM Brandon Beane has already stated publicly that they need to surround Allen with more talent.
So while the young WR group is interesting to evaluate, Buffalo’s front office is all too aware that they need to add a proven stud or two.
3 – From @jimmyreu81: Chris..Do you know if other teams were interested in the 2 guys we signed off the practice squad yesterday? I'm wondering if that prompted the moves..
CB: I supposed that’s possible, but unlikely. CB Denzel Rice was called up for a specific purpose. I believe he’ll play at least a rotational role at nickel corner in place of Taron Johnson, who underwent shoulder surgery this week.
Rice actually has more NFL regular season experience than CB Ryan Lewis, who has been on the roster most of the year but hasn’t played much. Rice also has experience at nickel corner, so there figure to be coverage packages that include him and/or Rafael Bush as the nickel.
As for Mike Love, I’m anticipating a role on special teams if he’s active.
In my opinion these were moves that were more about need at the nickel and evaluation for players who have worked hard on the practice squad all season.
4 – From @Scorpio_1st: Hey Chris, With Benjamin's release, do you have any concerns with the direction of our front office? It seems McBeane is having a hard time identifying offensive talent & making the Offense more or equal priority as the Def.
CB: I think the claim that the front office can’t identify offensive talent is off the mark. People tend to remember the moves that don’t work and forget the ones that do.
Yes, Benjamin was a swing and a miss, but there are some good additions that have been made. Chief among them is Josh Allen, who looks promising. Zay Jones is panning out well now. Dion Dawkins is an emerging left tackle.
Free agent adds like Chris Ivory and Robert Foster (undrafted free agent) have been solid contributors. Isaiah McKenzie was a solid waiver claim, and Matt Barkley proved to be a pretty good middle of the season QB addition, when there’s not much available that time of year.
5 – From @ajohnson2693: Is Zay Jones now a viable fantasy receiver?
CB: If you’re in a PPR format I would say yes. He’s essentially the team’s number one WR now with Benjamin gone. He has consistently logged one of the highest playtime percentages all season at his position. So at this point in the season if you’re looking to add someone, and you’re in a PPR, pull the trigger.