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#pounditMonday, October 18, 2021

Articles tagged: Buffalo Bills

Bills GM shares where team’s running backs are lacking

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have used third-round draft picks on running backs the past two years, but neither player has emerged as a clear-cut starter. That is likely one of the reasons the team is not ruling out taking another back in the draft next week.

The Bills currently hold the 30th overall pick in the draft. General manager Brandon Beane was asked on Tuesday about potentially using that on a running back, and he did not dismiss the idea. He said it depends if there is a player they feel can provide the team with something Devin Singletary and Zack Moss can’t.

“What does his skill set have in comparison to what we have on the roster?” Beane said, per Matt Parrino of NewYorkUpstate.com. “Is this player going to do something … I don’t think either one of our backs are home run hitters, so is there an elite trait that this guy has and says, ‘Man, he’s got something we don’t have.’ That’s probably the conversation, versus, ‘OK, are we going to take the same type of back as Devin, are we gonna take the same type of back as Zack? Because even those two guys have different skill sets.”

Singletary averaged 4.4 yards per carry last season. Moss averaged 4.3. Those are solid numbers, but Buffalo ranked near the middle of NFL last year in rushing yards even with Josh Allen racking up 421 yards on the ground. The Bills have become more pass-heavy as Allen has improved, but an explosive back would make their offense that much more dangerous.

Former Clemson star Travis Etienne is one player to watch for Buffalo. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry during his college career and is certainly a home run threat.

NFL admits to costly blown call in Bills-Texans playoff game two seasons later

Bills blindside block

The Buffalo Bills lost to the Houston Texans in the playoffs two seasons ago in part because of a controversial call it overtime. It took more than a year, but the NFL has finally admitted the Bills may have been robbed.

Buffalo and Houston went to overtime tied 19-19 in their 2020 postseason game. The Texans got the ball first, but the Bills stopped them with a three-and-out and had a chance to win the game with a field goal. They were in field goal range after Josh Allen scrambled for four yards on 3rd-and-9 from the Houston 42-yard line, but offensive lineman Cody Ford was called for a blindside block. That backed Buffalo out of field goal range and forced a punt.

The Texans went on to win 22-19. On Friday, the NFL shared a video on Twitter explaining what officials look for with blindside blocks. One of the examples of a clean block that should not have been called was Ford’s block. You can see the play at around the 1:10 mark below:

Had no flag been thrown, Stephen Hauschka would have been able to attempt a game-winning field goal of around 55 yards. That is hardly a chip shot, so there’s no guarantee the Bills would have won. However, the NFL has confirmed that Buffalo at least deserved a shot.

As New Orleans Saints fans could tell you, the blindside block penalty wasn’t the most egregious officiating blunder we have seen in an NFL playoff game. A certain non-call on this pass play still holds that title. That said, it has to sting Bills fans to see the NFL admit the mistake now.

H/T Syracuse.com

Bills planning to talk Josh Allen contract extension after draft

Josh Allen

Josh Allen is still under contract with the Buffalo Bills for a bargain price next season, and they have an option for him in 2022. But the team wants to keep its franchise quarterback for much longer and will start talking about an extension with him this offseason.

ESPN reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques reported during the week that Bills GM Brandon Beane said the team will talk with Allen about an extension. Beane said their talks could come in May or during the summer.

Allen has shown improvement in every season during his pro career, but he took things to another level last season. The 24-year-old passed for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions while leading the Bills to a 13-3 season. He also rushed for 421 yards and eight touchdowns. He led the Bills to the AFC Championship Game.

Many of those who watched Allen play last season believe the young QB is in the early parts of a special career. Even one Bills legend feels that way.

A report in January said the Bills were planning to give Allen a “massive” contract extension. For some context, Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted a year before Allen, got a 10-year, $450 million contract from Kansas City last offseason.

Mitchell Trubisky joins Bills as Josh Allen’s backup

Mitchell Trubisky

The Chicago Bears officially gave up on Mitchell Trubisky after his four underwhelming seasons with the franchise, and the Buffalo Bills are giving the quarterback a fresh start.

Trubisky has agreed to a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler.

That likely means there was no market for Trubisky as a starting quarterback, considering the Bills are already set at the position with Josh Allen. Trubisky will serve as the primary backup behind Allen in 2021.

The Bears chose not to exercise the fifth-year option on Trubisky’s rookie contract after he was benched for his uninspiring play. He lost his starting job last season to Nick Foles but got it back after Foles went down with an injury. Trubisky then played fairly well down the stretch, but it was not well enough to convince the Bears to move forward with him.

Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has a career passer rating of 87.2. He may not have been able to land a starting job for next season, but at least his offseason appears to be going quite well.

Micah Hyde thinks he can sell free agents on Bills

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills aren’t necessarily known as a free agent destination. The city is a bit out of the way, the weather isn’t always great, and the team has historically found little success.

Micah Hyde thinks things are different now, and he said he’s willing to go out and recruit free agent targets with his new sales pitch.

“That’s kind of the pitch I have to free agents,” Hyde told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Yeah, it’s going to snow, but this isn’t the old Buffalo, this is the new Buffalo, this is the Josh Allen Buffalo. We’re winning ballgames, scoring points, and we’re playing well on defense. I’m excited to see what (GM Brandon) Beane and (coach) Sean (McDermott) are able to do with some free agents.”

The Bills are fresh off a season that saw them claim their first playoff win since 1995. While they’ve already fallen short in a bid to land one big-name player, that’s not going to slow their ambitions. Hyde’s sales pitch could help seal the deal, because the veteran sales pitch has been around a while and knows what he’d be selling.

Bills propose huge change to NFL coach hiring process

Buffalo Bills

The NFL head coach hiring process might look a lot different in the future if the Buffalo Bills get their way.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, the Bills have submitted a rules proposal that would prevent teams from interviewing candidates for front office or coaching positions until after the conference championships are played. Teams would not be allowed to hire candidates for these positions until after the Super Bowl.

This would be a huge change. Presently, teams can interview candidates employed by other organizations during the playoffs, while unemployed candidates or college coaches can speak to teams without any restrictions.

There have been questions in the past over whether it’s distracting for coordinators employed by playoff teams to also go through the interview process during the playoffs. The Bills dealt with that to some degree this year, which may have impacted their thinking.

It’s also not clear whether this is something owners are eager to consider. If they do, though, the hiring process is going to radically change in the next few years.

Bills GM shares story of how Stefon Diggs tweet led to trade

Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs was traded to the Buffalo Bills very quickly last March, going from unavailable to moved within a day. It all happened because of a tweet.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane revealed on “The Cris Collinsworth Podcast” that the team wasn’t working to actively acquire Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings until the wide receiver sent a tweet suggesting something was off.

“Stef put a tweet out there,” Beane said. “So we checked with the Vikings, and at that point, it was a different conversation. It wasn’t ‘hell no,’ it was ‘we’re not shopping him, but you know, if you really want him, what would it be?’ That conversation started around four o’clock … around 9:30, 9:45 that night, we got it done.”

You can see the tweet that led to the trade by clicking here. It came entirely without warning, though at the time, Diggs had dropped hints about his dissatisfaction with things before.

Diggs cost the Bills several draft picks, including a first-rounder. After the wide receiver led the league in both receptions and yardage in 2020, that looks well worth it for Buffalo now.

Report: Three teams are favorites for JJ Watt

JJ Watt

J.J. Watt is still considering his free agent destination, but it appears that a handful of teams have positioned themselves as favorites.

ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton reported Wednesday that the Titans, Packers, and Bills have established themselves as the favorites for Watt. Clayton later clarified that other teams remain in the hunt, but are not the favorites.

Watt clearly favors contenders, as the three favorites all reached the postseason in 2020 and two of them played in their conference championship games. There are several other key factors Watt is said to be considering as well.

One thing is certain: you can expect Watt to take his time in making his final decision.

JJ Watt sends Bills fans into frenzy with bizarre tweet

JJ Watt

JJ Watt seems to be really enjoying his first experience with NFL free agency, and even his tweets that seemingly have absolutely nothing to do with football are now creating panic among fans.

On Tuesday, Watt tweeted what seemed like a very basic science lesson.

There’s nothing wrong with a three-time Defensive Player of the Year educating his millions of followers on the structure of a cell, right? Of course, the assumption from many was that Watt was dropping a hint about his free agency.

What hint would that be? No one really knows. One of the more popular theories is that Watt was indicating he could sign with the Bills, as the Mitochondria Research Society is located in Buffalo.

Watt knows anything he tweets is going to wind up under a microscope (pun intended). He already openly said that free agency has been wild, and he sent a hilarious tweet earlier this week about picking his next team.

There is reportedly mutual interest between Watt and the Bills, but he is being pursued by at least a dozen teams. For what it’s worth, his wife seems to have made her top choice known.

JJ Watt reportedly has mutual interest with this AFC contender

JJ Watt

JJ Watt is already considering his options as multiple teams and players recruit him, and we now know of at least one AFC team that has a legitimate shot at signing the star defensive lineman.

The Buffalo Bills are one of a dozen or more teams that have interest in Watt. ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin reported on Wednesday that the interest is mutual.

That is hardly a surprise, as Watt is prioritizing joining a team that has a chance to win the Super Bowl in 2021. Buffalo reached the AFC Championship Game this past season, and Josh Allen firmly established himself as an elite NFL quarterback. The Bills should be right back in the mix next season.

Watt would also be a good fit for Buffalo’s defensive scheme, as they have quality depth up front with Jerry Hughes and former top-10 draft pick Ed Oliver. The Bills rotate a lot of players on their defensive line, which would help keep Watt healthy and fresh. That is something he will likely place an emphasis on at this point in his career.

One of Buffalo’s best players already began recruiting Watt with a great tweet last week, which you can see here. Watt indicated on Wednesday that he is overwhelmed by all the attention he has received, so it may be a while before we have a strong idea of where he is going to end up.