Richie Incognito was the first veteran free agent signing by the Bills this offseason, and according to Rex Ryan further additions on offense are likely on the way.
Buffalo's head coach appeared on a trio of radio stations this week including Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 and was asked about everything from the Incognito signing to the quarterback situation to free agency and the draft. While Ryan did not get into specifics he did confirm that there will be more additions to come on the offensive side of the ball.
When asked specifically about the offensive line in the wake of the Incognito signing Ryan indicated that they still feel they have to address some things up front.
"We feel good about the guys we have on our current roster, but that doesn't mean we're done at that position," said Ryan. "Whether it's a guard, tackle, center, if we think we can help ourselves we're definitely going to explore that. I could definitely see us bringing in another offensive lineman to add to this mix."
The offensive side of the ball is where Buffalo is expected to see the most new faces this offseason, and it's clear offensive line is a priority.
"We have some pieces in place on the outside (wide receiver), but it starts on the offensive line," Ryan said. "We added Incognito, we have a couple of young tackles that I feel really good about and then obviously you've got Eric Wood at center, but we may be bringing in some other pieces as well."
Ryan believes the offensive line needs to set the tone on that side of the ball, so they're trying to upgrade the talent up front across the board.
"When your offensive line is the strength of your offense you're able to dictate to people whether your run the football or protect the quarterback and throw the ball down the field," he said.
As for quarterback, Bills GM Doug Whaley has already stated on multiple occasions that they'll be adding at the position, but Ryan reiterated that EJ Manuel will be given the chance to win the starting job.
"Will EJ Manuel have an opportunity to win the job? I think he will. He'll be given an opportunity certainly and I think he's going to improve under the leadership of Greg Roman the offensive coordinator," Ryan said. "David Lee is one of the best fundamental quarterback coaches there is so I think he's going to improve that way.
"We're in the evaluation stage right now. We have the draft coming up, free agency coming up. So we're looking at all those things. Are there trade possibilities? You look at every possible scenario, from Doug Whaley to our scouts and all our position coaches we're looking at that. We'll be prepared for every scenario out there."
Most are of the opinion that the Bills will add a veteran free agent quarterback and possibly a rookie in the draft, unless some unforeseen trade offer materializes.
Ryan, Whaley and the personnel department have likely put together a list of quarterback targets they'd like to acquire, but until the free agent market actually opens no one knows for sure who will be available aside from veteran Josh McCown, who was released by Tampa Bay Wednesday.
A true open competition at quarterback is probably the most likely scenario in looking at the free agent market and perceived weak quarterback class in the draft. When asked if he'd prefer to have a clear cut starter at quarterback going into training camp Ryan answered in the affirmative, but there's no way for him to predict whether that will happen.
"Well in an ideal world absolutely that's what you'd like to have. Will we be in that situation? I'm not sure," said Ryan. "That's what you would like to have, but if not let the competition (play out). There's always going to be competition, but as far as equal reps and all that, if that's what's best for our team then that's what we'll do."