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Buffalo Rumblings - All Posts Buffalo Bills news, notes, discussions, opinions and analysis. 24/7/365 since 4/7/2007.
Q&A: Instagram Live on Bills’ RBs, WRs, and a whole lot moreby Matt Warren on June 2, 2020 at 2:41 pm
We took questions live on Instagram Monday night. This week, it’s a special super-sized episode of Buffalo Rumblings Q&A! We took questions on Instagram Live for 45 minutes pertaining to the Bills’ running back rotation, wide receiver position, red helmets, COVID-19, and a whole lot more. Folks were even able to ask follow-ups because of the live exchange. To have your Bills questions answered on the next podcast, you can call 24/7 and leave your questions at 716-508-0405, email us at BuffaloRumblings@SBnation.com, tweet us at @RumblingsQandA, send us Facebook or Instagram messages, or leave your comments in the show notes article on the website. Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Blitzed Bills, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, Circling the Wagons, and the Nick and Nolan Show: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podbean | iHeartRadio | TuneIn | Megaphone Ask Alexa or Google Home to play the Buffalo Rumblings podcast! Editor’s note: If you’re viewing this article on Apple News, the embedded audio will be removed. Click through to the site in your browser or listen on iTunes.
Buffalo Bills free agents still on the marketby nickbat on June 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Former Bills still looking for their next opportunity With virtual team activities underway, some former Buffalo Bills are still waiting for their phone to ring and their next team invite to come aboard. Some may be waiting for quite some time as the normal rash of bumps and bruises or worse that test a team’s depth won’t happen until in-person drills start. Below is a list of 2019 Bills who remain free agents: Maurice Alexander - Linebacker Julian Stanford - Linebacker LaAdrian Waddle - Tackle Kurt Coleman - Safety Corey Liuget - Defensive Tackle All of these players saw the field for the Bills in 2020 except Waddle who tore his quad muscle in the offseason. Alexander and Stanford were both reserves behind Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds, and Lorenzo Alexander with Maurice Alexander also being a core special teamer. Liuget was a midseason signing after the loss of Harrison Phillips to injury and although was fine in spot duty, he didn’t have a place in the d-line rotation after the signings of Vernon Butler and Quinton Jefferson. Coleman was arguably the most consistent contributor often getting reps at the safety spot any time either Jordan Poyer or Micah Hyde weren’t on the field. However, with the team gaining more tenure across the board under defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazer and Coleman turning 32 this summer, it may have been a case of age and need both working against him in 2020.
2019 Best Bang For the Dollar Bills: Dawson Knoxby Matt Warren on June 2, 2020 at 12:15 pm
Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images A rookie tight end turned heads in 2019. Every team relies on rookie deals and cheaper veterans to round out their roster. When they overperform, the team overperforms. The Buffalo Bills are no exception and during the 2019 season they had a solid group of overperforming players. Coming in at number seven on our countdown of these overachievers is tight end Dawson Knox. After an injury to Tyler Kroft, Knox took full advantage of the void to play his way into a starting role. He started 11 games and played in 15 in 2019, sitting out the regular-season finale. He played more than 60% of Buffalo’s snaps, doubling up the next tight ends on the roster, to place third among all the offensive skill positions behind only John Brown and Cole Beasley. He also played more than 18% of the special teams reps. Despite all the playing time and several highlight-reel plays, Knox only caught 28 passes for 388 yards and two TDs. That’s barely ahead of Isaiah McKenzie and good for fourth, third, and third on the team, respectively. His 56% catch rate was the lowest on the team of anyone with more than 18 targets and he had seven drops according to Rotoworld. (That’s more than one-third of the entire team’s yearly total.) All-in-all, Knox was tied for the 74th-highest cap hit among NFL tight ends at $700,545. For comparison, Buffalo’s other tight ends Lee Smith ($3.5 million) and Tyler Kroft ($5.1 million) made considerably more than Knox. Tommy Sweeney made roughly $519,000 and Jason Croom was just under $400,000. The league’s highest cap hit at tight end in 2019 was Jimmy Graham at just under $12.7 million. Top Ten Bang for the Dollar Bills, 2019 10. G Quinton Spain ($2.5 million)9. WR Isaiah McKenzie ($645,000)8. QB Josh Allen ($4.8 million)7. TE Dawson Knox ($700,545)6. Coming Thursday
Buffalo Bills 2010s All-Decade team: Running backby Dan Lavoie on June 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images Which runner defined the decade for the Bills? Over the course of a decade that started with a 4-12 season and ended with two playoff runs, one consistent theme for the Buffalo Bills was a strong rushing attack. The Bills had three different running backs reach 3,000 rushing yards during the decade, and two of them had over 5,000 yards from scrimmage. Who defines greatness for the last decade of Bills running backs? Read and cast your vote! Fred Jackson Jackson played five seasons with the Bills at the start of the decade, until the team cut him and he played one more year with the Seattle Seahawks. The man clawed his way to a starting job again and again, fighting off two first-round picks to reach his spot. He was an all-purpose back, equally dangerous running, catching, or pass protecting. He ties for the touchdown lead, comes second in rushing yards, and ranks first in yards from scrimmage—and that’s while playing his whole career sharing the spotlight with others. Overall stat line: 854 carries for 3,713 yards (4.35 YPC), 25 TDs. 217 catches for 1,762 yards (5.9 Y/Tgt), 5 TDs. C.J. Spiller Spiller is the efficiency king of this group, thanks in part to his Pro Bowl 2012 season, when he ran for six yards per carry—one of the best efficiency marks in league history. Originally a first-rounder, Spiller took time to become a starter for the Bills and only had two years as the lead back in a timeshare with Jackson. After his rookie contract was played out, Spiller played a couple more seasons with the New Orleans Saints. Overall stat line: 668 carries for 3,321 yards (4.97 YPC), 12 TDs. 158 catches for 1,195 yards (5.9 Y/Tgt), 6 TDs. LeSean McCoy McCoy was the star of the decade, originally joining the Bills through a shocking trade after establishing himself as one of the best backs in the league. He made three Pro Bowls for the Bills, and in his best season, totaled 1,623 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns. In his fourth and final year with the team, injuries and a terrible offense conspired to give him the worst season of his career. The Bills released McCoy ahead of his age-31 season after drafting rookie Devin Singletary and signing Frank Gore. Overall stat line: 885 carries for 3,814 yards (4.31 YPC), 25 TDs. 175 catches for 1,334 yards (5.8 Y/Tgt), 5 TDs. Place your vote: who was the best running back of the past decade? Editor’s note: If you’re on a mobile device, you may need to leave your news app and head directly to the site to vote in the poll.
91 players in 91 days: C/G Spencer Longby Sean Murphy on June 2, 2020 at 11:05 am
Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images The status of Buffalo’s top interior o-line reserve is one of the more interesting topics on the roster Prior to the 2019 season, the Buffalo Bills made a concerted effort to improve their offensive line. Of the eight men to start as an offensive lineman, only one—left tackle Dion Dawkins—remained with the team in 2019. The Bills spent in excess of $78 million on a total of six players, five of whom remain with the team heading into 2020. While the Bills spent big on their starting offensive line group, they didn’t hold back in shoring up the reserves, either, as they committed significant dollars to backup offensive linemen as well. With the salary-cap flexibility general manager Brandon Beane has engineered, it was a welcome sight that the Bills could stockpile some depth in case of injury. In today’s edition of “91 players in 91 days,” we profile one of those reserve offensive lineman—a versatile veteran who could find himself on the roster again or even serving as trade bait this summer. Name: Spencer LongNumber: 61Position: C/GHeight/Weight: 6’5”, 318 lbs. Age: 29 )30 on 11/8/2020)Experience/Draft: 7; selected in the third round (No. 78 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft by WashingtonCollege: NebraskaAcquired: Signed as free agent with Buffalo on 2/12/19 Financial situation (per Spotrac): Long signed a three-year contract with the Bills that essentially amounted to a one-year deal with two club options for the team. In total, the contract is worth $12.6 million, with $1.2 million guaranteed. The Bills exercised the option for 2020 this winter, meaning that Long carries a $3.125 million cap hit if he makes the roster, and the Bills are on the hook for a $700,000 dead-cap charge if he’s released or traded. 2019 Recap: Long was a costly insurance policy for the Bills last year. While many speculated that his contract paid him to be a starter, he was beaten out by Quinton Spain and Jon Feliciano for the starting jobs at left and right guard. The Bills list him as a hybrid center/guard, but he was never going to be the starter at center once the team signed Mitch Morse. Long played significant offensive snaps in three games—twice he entered when Morse left with an injury (Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans and Week 12 against the Denver Broncos), and once he played when the team had its playoff positioning wrapped up (Week 17 against the New York Jets). In all, Long totaled 174 offensive snaps and 54 special teams snaps. Positional outlook: The Bills are in an enviable position, as they return their entire starting offensive line from last season. They also return many key reserves, Long included, and they’ve added some more competition, as well. The interior offensive line group includes Long, Morse, Feliciano, Spain, Ike Boettger, Marquel Harrell, and Evan Boehm. Darryl Williams and Ryan Bates are primarily tackles, but they can kick inside to play guard, as well. 2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report here. 2020 Season outlook: Long is a great insurance policy to have, as he has plenty of starting experience (44 starts from 2015-2018) at multiple positions, which the team obviously values. However, with the dearth of offensive line talent throughout the league and the glut of talent the Bills have, it’s possible that Beane parlays Long’s talent into some draft capital, which he’s done with reserve offensive linemen in each of the last two offseasons. My guess is that Long is on the roster as a “swing guard” come September, but I wouldn’t rule out a trade, either.