The Bills are possible the worst team we’ve seen in a very long time. Are they salvageable? Is anything salvageable in this world? Well… I guess that question for another time, but maybe I can save the Bills.
What can the Bills do to rebuild? They’re the worst team in football and not especially young. Well obviously, you’ve got to do a few things; give up your value, and target players with low value with their team.
There are some players that are clear cheap targets.
LeVeon Bell, Jameis Winston, Josh Gordon, Randall Cobb.
There are values that have use around the league. McCoy, Allen, Kelvin (maybe?), Williams, Hughes, Alexander, and Hyde.
First thing I would do it call the Bucs to see what it would take to get Winston. Winston is a young QB with franchise QB upside, but has had plenty of problems in his career, we’ve also see Fitzpatrick essentially take the job from him. The Bucs could also use a CB to help their defense. Would Vonte Davis unretired if he got moved to a diff team? Would be unretired and get moved if the Bills tried to reclaim his money with litigation? Try to move Davis and Allen to the Bucs for Jameis and a 4th. Allen is divisive. I personally am not a believer or at least he’s developmental. The Bills are going to destroy him by throwing him out there every week. He could grow under a veteran leader like Fitzpatrick. Where as Jameis is not going to sit happy on the bench. The Bills clearly like Allen to draft him so high but maybe they like Winston more.
So in Winston the Bills get a QB that can help them get a few more wins, but also has the chance to be their QB for years to come and they get a 4th out of the deal. It’s not great value for the 10th overall pick, in Allen, but Winston was the 1st just a few years back, but his 5th year option is 20M but the Bills have the money to pay him where the market for Winston may not be deep.
Next call the Bills for Gordon. They claim they’re gonna get something substantial for him today, but that’s a smoke screen. They’ve already said they’re going to release him. So what is anyone really going to give up. Bejamin will give them a big red zone target an opposite type of receiver that Cleveland has with Landry. He’s not great, but he causes mismatches. Gordon may never be a useable player again, but it’s worth the homerun swing by the Bills. If Benjamin doesn’t get it done, send them a low pick.
Now the Bills have an explosive WR to pair with Winston (hopefully).
Next call is to GB to see what Cobb costs. Would they take Alexander and a 5th. First of all, this is probably the 1st pick in the 5th round. So fine. And Alexander is a solid veteran LB to add to that GB D. The Packers have good LBs but Alexander would definitely have a role. I’m not too worried about the weapons around Rodgers, especially with the versatility of Montgomery. They were shopping Cobb and this may be the best offer they’ll get. Cobb is an UFA and it seems the pack aren’t going to resign him. Would the Bills pay? Why not?
Now Winston has two exciting options.
Let’s call the Steelers. How out are they on Bell? Would they take Micah Hyde and a 4th to send Bell to NFL Siberia? You’d think Bell would cost more, but you’re wrong… clearly, he’s not going to play until he gets paid. The Bills will pay him. At his age and workload, not a lot of teams have the need for him and the money. Hyde can be very good safety depth and a return man for the Steelers. He could really help round out the team. The Steelers are at the point now where they won’t get proper use out of their RBs if they keep both Bell and Connor.
The Bills now have possibly the top RB in football. Unfortunately, his career is headed the wrong direction (don’t get me wrong, he’s still great for a few years), but he’d be great paired with all these new weapons to bring the Bills back to relevance as we see the Patriots aging out of Brady and the Jets having possibly the next great QB.
Ok, that’s all the people to target cheap, now how about selling the rest of your guys with value. One thing I’d focus on is OL.
First major piece they have to trade is Shady McCoy. I think the 49ers would have a lot of interest, Jerrick McKinnon is a poor man’s Shady. So why not replace him with Shady. He’d be fantastic in that offense and give Jimmy G a great weapon. For McCoy the 49ers would give up Joshua Garret a young project high upside guard, Matt Breida, and a 4th round pick. Not only is Garrett a high upside player he’s also a smart and high character player.
For Jerry Hughes, how great would he look with the Saints? Let’s send him to NO for 4th round pick in 2018 Rick Leonard. He’s only 21, needs work but has huge upside. He’s a converted DE and was a 4 star recruit and Maryland defensive player of the year in high school. The Saints would throw in a 4th as well.
And lastly Kyle Williams to the Colts for Haeg an OT and Nyheim Hines. These are both late round picks, and Williams can affect a defense, but he is nearing the end of his career. But the biggest hole in the Colts is the D line. Williams can help the Colts push to the playoffs in that close division.
Haeg is another o-line project but unlike the other linemen they brought in, he can play RT right away for the Bills. He has more limited upside but he has the versatility to move all over the line as the other players develop. Hines will be a real nice piece out of the backfield, a nice change from Bell who already has expressed concern over his workload.
This does give the Bills a redundancy with both Breida and Hines. I’d shop Breida for defensive help or a late draft pick.
It’s safe to assume that not all of these deals would happen. But I think they values here are good. Sadly, deals don’t happen much in the NFL. So I wonder if ANY would happen but oh well. The Bills aren’t going to improve by doing what they’re doing.
The Bills D takes a big loss in this. I mean, this D would be historically bad! However, theoretically the QB, RB, WR are all set for a while if you pay them. Also, the OL has useable pieces and hopefully at least 2 of the 3 you brought in will have nice careers. The team has gotten significantly younger and they net a 4th
So in the next offseason I’d use all the assets to finish the oline and bring in D help. Drafting Nick Bosa will help that D a lot and be a nice building block,