Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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No More McCown; QB picks Browns over Bills

The Josh McCown derby is officially over, and the Buffalo Bills are without the veteran quarterback that they so coveted. The Cleveland Browns announced on Friday night that they had agreed to a free agent contract with McCown, spurning the Bills' offer.

The Bills started the courtship process of the 12-year veteran quarterback last week ahead of the 2015 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. After his two-day visit in Buffalo, he met with both the Chicago Bears and New York Jets at the Combine, and then traveled to Cleveland this week to meet with the Browns.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the 35-year old McCown signed a three-year contract with the Browns to compete with Johnny Manziel for the starting quarterback job. He was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the month after accruing a 1-10 record in 2014. In his career, McCown thrown for 61 touchdowns to 59 interceptions.

The Bills still only have two quarterbacks on the roster: former first-round pick EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel. The official start of the NFL Free Agency Period is set for March 10 at 4 pm.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Report: Bills in contract talks with QB McCown

A week after the Buffalo Bills initially brought the apple of their free agent quarterback eye in for a visit, it appears the two sides are entering the next phase of a potential partnership. According to one report, free agent quarterback Josh McCown and the Bills are getting a bit more serious.

Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News reported Thursday morning that the Bills and McCown have started to discuss the financial aspect of a potential contract, and if all goes well, a deal could be struck as soon as Friday. The free agent quarterback was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the month, and has since visited with the Bills, Chicago Bears, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.

In one season with Tampa Bay, McCown went 1-10 as a starter and passed for 2,206 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He signed as a free agent with the Buccaneers after a successful season as Jay Cutler's backup in Chicago. When Cutler was injured, McCown threw for 1,829 yards and 13 touchdowns to just one interception in eight games of work.

The 35-year old McCown will be entering the 13th year of his career.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Buscaglia: NFL Mock Draft #1

As the NFL offseason starts to shift into its next gear, the rumors circulating around the 2015 NFL Draft are only just beginning.

Unlike most years, the Buffalo Bills do not have a first round pick and will have to wait patientily -- pending a trade up in the order -- until the evening of Friday, May 1 to make their first selection. Holding the 50th overall selection, how might the 49 picks before them pan out?

Here is the first of many looks at a mock draft. Of course, please remember that this mock draft, and all mock drafts, are for entertainment purposes only.

Round 1
1) - QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
- He is the best quarterback available in this draft. As long as the off-the-field stuff checks out, he should be the first player selected on April 30.

2) - DE Leonard Williams, USC
- Ken Whisenhunt has a certain type of quarterback that he likes, and Zach Mettenberger is that guy. Instead, Leonard Williams enters and tries to live up to his weighty expectations established throughout the year.

3) - DE/OLB Dante Fowler, Florida
- Speed, size and a local appeal make this a home run pick for Gus Bradley and David Caldwell.

4) - WR Kevin White, West Virginia
- The most impressive wide receiver from the NFL Combine has the tape to match. The Raiders need a big time target for Derek Carr.

5) **TRADE (from WSH) - QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Jimmy Haslem does what Jimmy Haslem wants, and no GM in his own building will stop him.

Cleveland gets: 5th overall, 69th overall, 5th round pick
Washington gets: 12th overall, 19th overall, 43rd overall

6) - DE/OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska
- After losing out on Mariota, the Jets settle in on Geno Smith in 2015 and try to revamp the defense as much as possible.

7) - DE/OLB Shane Ray, Missouri
- The Bears are switching to a 3-4 base defense, which means they need some personnel that suits it. Ray will help out from the outside linebacker spot when they are in traditional looks.

8) - DE/OLB Bud Dupree, Kentucky
- Speed kills, and the Falcons need a pass rusher. Dupree has risen quite a bit.

9) - DT Danny Shelton, Washington
- The Giants do need an offensive tackle but can't pass up the value of Shelton here, in hopes he can form a powerful tandem with Jonathan Hankins.

10) - OT La'El Collins, LSU
- The Rams have a perpetual problem on the offensive line, so they add yet another one to the mix.

11) - WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
- A bit of a luxury pick here, but the Vikings do need a top target for the ever-improving Teddy Bridgewater.

12) (from CLE) - S Landon Collins, Alabama

13) - DE/OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson

14) - OT/G Brandon Scherff, Iowa
- The Dolphins could go with a wide receiver, but they still have some glaring weaknesses on the interior of the offensive line. Scherff can start inside, immediately.

15) - WR DeVante Parker, Louisville

16) - CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State

17) - OT T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh
- There were some thoughts of taking a running back here, but drafting Clemmings can move D.J. Fluker inside as a mauling, power-run guard.

18) - WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
- The lack of talent at the wide receiver position in Kansas City must be addressed this offseason. They can't depend solely on tight end Travis Kelce and the aging Dwayne Bowe.

19) (from BUF via CLE) - OT Ereck Flowers, Miami (FL)

20) - CB Jalen Collins, LSU

21) - DT Malcom Brown, Texas

22) - OT Andrus Peat, Stanford

23) - DT Eddie Goldman, Florida State
- Regardless of who the Lions re-sign of their defensive tackle group, they are likely going to need another starter in there for 2015. Goldman fits that mold.

24) - DE/OLB Eli Harold, Virginia

25) - OT D.J. Humphries, Florida

26) - HB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
- The first running back of the draft goes, and he breaks the first-round running back curse. If Justin Forsett doesn't re-sign, the Ravens will need to look to youth for their running needs. Wide receiver was also a consideration here.

27) - DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA

28) - C Cameron Erving, Florida State

29) - ILB Denzel Perryman, Miami (FL)

30) - DE/OLB Danielle Hunter, LSU
- A young player with explosive athleticism. He could rise even higher than this as a pass rusher.

31) - WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

32) - WR Devin Funchess, Michigan
- Devin Funchess could be Bill Belichick's newest toy. He could become the move tight end the Patriots have been searching for to pair with Rob Gronkowski, and he has some wide receiver versatility.

Round 2

33) - OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M

34) - G A.J. Cann, South Carolina

35) - DE Mario Edwards, Florida State
- Edwards is a big body and he can move. If he ever hits his potential, the Raiders could have a young and feared pass-rushing group with him and Khalil Mack.

36) - OT Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State

37) - CB Byron Jones, Connecticut

38) - CB Marcus Peters, Washington

39) - NT Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma

40) - OLB Shaq Thompson, Washington
- The Giants will probably look at Thompson as a swiss army knife option that they can play at either safety, linebacker or in rushing the passer. Just because he didn't meet expectations at the NFL Combine, don't expect teams to jump ship on him and his versatility.

41) - CB Ronald Darby, Florida State

42) - HB Todd Gurley, Georgia

43) (from CLE) - DE Arik Armstead, Oregon

44) - HB Jay Ajayi, Boise State
- The Saints featured a power run game quite a bit last season with Mark Ingram. Now that he's a free agent, the Saints could look to the draft to address the position, and Ajayi can provide that power mentality they're looking for. Not only that, he can be a three-down player and not force Pierre Thomas or anyone else on to the field.

45) - G Laken Tomlinson, Duke

46) - TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota
- Vance McDonald has been a disappointment and Vernon Davis really struggled to be a big piece of the offense last year. They could start grooming his replacement in the athletic Maxx Williams.

47) - WR Devin Smith, Ohio State

48) - HB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

49) - ILB Bernardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

50) - HB Tevin Coleman, Indiana
- The two other names considered at this slot were Oregon offensive lineman Jake Fisher and Miami (FL) tight end Clive Walford, but neither could provide the potential impact that Tevin Coleman might be able to do in his first season in the league. Despite the running back position being a deep one, the Bills won't hesitate to select someone that fits their running style, and Coleman is exactly that. He's falling a bit at the moment due to an injury, but he has all the potential to be an every down running back for whatever team he plays for.

Round 3

81) - TE Nick O'Leary, Florida State
- To spare you from having to scroll through 30 more names this early in the draft process, we'll skip straight to the Bills pick at 81st overall. The Bills are said to be in the market to add multiple tight ends, and not many offer the kind of package that Greg Roman and Rex Ryan may want than Nick O'Leary. As a tight end, he is limited athletically which means he will never stack up with the Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham's of the world. But what he does offer is an every down presence, one of the most consistent tight end targets in college football over the last three years and an incredible presence in the red zone. O'Leary is as smart at beating a defense as they come, and he shows up in clutch times. With a hard-nosed type of playing style, Rex Ryan will surely love what O'Leary brings to the table.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Sources: Bills are not in pursuit of QB Bradford

Since the offseason started and head coach Rex Ryan was hired, the Buffalo Bills have made it their mission to find a quarterback to compete with former first-round pick EJ Manuel for the starting job. Although one report indicates that the Bills may be in pursuit of one quarterback, sources to WGR Sports Radio 550 refute that notion.

A Yahoo! Sports report from Tuesday afternoon that the Bills were in pursuit of St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford via trade, but sources to WGR says that the notion is not real and the Bills are not currently attempting to acquire the quarterback.

Bradford is entering the final year of his contract with the Rams, and the team has publicly stated their allegiance to him as recent as last week at the NFL Combine. reported last week that Bradford's agent had received permission to seek a trade.

Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News initially refuted the Yahoo! Sports report.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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LIVE at the NFL Combine: Day 4

Who's ready for some quarterbacks? Everyone's favorite day at the NFL Combine is here, with the offensive skill players taking center stage at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Follow all the action throughout the four days at the Combine right here with the live blog. You'll find the latest tidbits of news, player interviews and results from Indianapolis.

4:02 - Things are winding down here in Indianapolis, which brings us to the end of yet another journey in Indianapolis. The media availability is finished, but the NFL Combine will continue for the next two days with more workouts on the field. Thanks to all for following along over the last four days.... more draft content coming up soon!

2:52 - The running backs are the next group up for workouts and the talented group saw a couple of standouts in the 40-yard dash. Perhaps the most impressive, Florida State runner Karlos Williams posted an unofficial time of 4.48. It's even more impressive when you see that he is 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds. Some of the other top names and how they ran:

Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin: 4.52
Jay Ajayi, Boise State: 4.57
Ameer Abdullah: 4.61
Duke Johnson: 4.55
T.J. Yeldon, Alabama: 4.65
Mike Davis, South Carolina: 4.61
Buck Allen, USC: 4.53

1:45 - Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota put on a show in the throwing drills on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both players showed an effortless arm strength and fantastic accuracy in throwing to wide receivers that they never have before. They confirmed what was already known: they are the top two quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft, and it isn't even close. As for some others, Baylor's Bryce Petty had some flashes but that has never been his issue. Alabama's Blake Sims, Auburn's Nick Marshall and Oregon State's Sean Mannion left a lot to be desired.

12:34 - West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White just threw down the gauntlet at the NFL Combine. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound White posted unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.35 and 4.36. To go along with all the buzz he was building even before the week in Indianapolis, White could wind up being a top five pick. Impressive.

11:48 - The second group of quarterbacks just finished up the 40-yard dash, and the winner of the day was Oregon's Marcus Mariota. He was expected to run very well, and the likely top-10 pick did not disappoint with a 4.52 40-yard dash. Alabama's Blake Sims impressed with a 4.58, while Florida State's Jameis Winston clocked in with a 4.97. Don't get too carried away, though. The 40-yard dash isn't really a huge predictor of success for the position. The throwing drills are next.

11:26 - The first group of quarterbacks are through their workouts, and it was a mostly lackluster showing for the group. Duke's Anthony Boone had a rough day with his accuracy, as did East Carolina's Shane Carden. The ball came off Brandon Bridge's arm nicely, but his footwork clearly has some ways to go which puts him purely on "project" status. The second group has both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. Stay tuned.

10:45 - Dorial Green-Beckham is one of the most interesting stories at the NFL Combine this year, and his results on the field have been extravagant. At 6-foot-5 and 237-pounds, teams have been following DGB to see just how well he would run on Saturday, and he has yet to disappoint. The Missouri wideout ran a 4.49 40-yard dash, and looked as smooth as one can in the gauntlet drill. He's got his demons off the field, which will impact his draft stock more than anything. But on the field, he's been a monster.

9:32 - With the Buffalo Bills being charter members of the 'Need a QB Club,' odds are they have a heightened interest to how the quarterbacks will perform in the on-field workouts. Some of the players from the first group were flying in the 40-yard dash. UCLA's Brett Hundley and Nevada's Cody Fajardo each hit the 4.63 mark which are the best of the day. Meanwhile the super-intriguing, late round option that is Brandon Bridge of South Alabama posted a time of 4.72. Marcus Mariota will be running with the second group.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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LIVE at the NFL Combine: Day 3

The 2015 NFL Combine is halfway to completion, but that isn't before we enter the next phase of the annual event. After all the talk, finally, the on-field workouts will start up at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday.

Follow all the action throughout the four days at the Combine right here with the live blog. You'll find the latest tidbits of news, player interviews and results from Indianapolis.

3:25 - The Jameis Winston press conference just happened. Some of the bigger talking points from the interview:

- Winston brought up, several times, that his biggest goal is to earn the trust of everyone in the NFL. He wants to be a face of the franchise, and knows that's what he must do to be the person and player that he wants to be.
- The quarterback said nothing was wrong with his shoulder, and that he intends on throwing at the NFL Combine on Saturday during workouts.
- He stressed on numerous occasions that this was the first time he's had an offseason to focus solely on playing quarterback. To this point in his life, his spring and summer was always dominated by baseball.
- Recently a picture has made the rounds on the Internet of Winston throwing the ball without a shirt on, and some wondered if his weight ballooned in the offseason. The ever-confident Winston addressed the issue head on: "A lot of people thought I was fat. I look good and I know it!"

2:08 - The workouts of the tight ends are now done for the day, and to be fair, it was quite an underwhelming day. Of the top tight ends available, there weren't any standouts. In fact, it was a bit of a slow group with the players at the top of the list. Minnesota's Maxx Williams ran an 4.78, Florida State's Nick O'Leary clocked in with a 4.93 and Miami's Clive Walford had a 4.79. Even the gauntlet drill -- an exercise that tests a player's hands, athleticism, and location skills -- most that participated dropped at least one pass. The two standouts in that drill were O'Leary and Williams, possessing very natural hands and movement skills.

1:20 - The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the foremost authorities on implementing analytics into their organization, and have even used it in player evaluation. Jaguars GM David Caldwell offered up a smart, well-thought out answer as to how they utilize analytics in the roster building process.

"I think it's important to say hey, it's a good tool. It's a great tool for us. You're not going to use everything... it doesn't translate for every situation, every player. But, for us, it's a good tool. It's a good system of checks and balances. And this whole industry, what we do personnel wise, coaching wise is we have scouts that look at players but a good checks and balances, let's have the position coaches look at players, let's have our GM look at players. Ok, what do the analytics show about this specific player? What are the probabilities of this player, at this size, making it in the NFL? And then there are going to be situations where you maybe ignore that, and you're going to go with what the coaches feel, what the scouts feel. And then there's going to be situations where you say 'Hey, we're going to look at Denard Robinson in the fifth round because his speed-size score shows that he could be a pretty good running back.' That would be a good example of it working. And maybe our coaches, our personnel may have said, 'you know what, I don't know if we have enough time to have this guy work out.' We're in the fifth round, the probability of fifth rounders making and starting in the NFL is not great, so, let's take a kid that's great that has dynamic speed and good size, and we feel like that we can get him bigger and be a running back. So it's a tool. It's not going to dictate decisions, but it's going to help us go to the right decision."

12:15 - An appropriate update from the NFL Combine during the lunch hour. This might be the best thing you see all day:

11:40 - All those Bills fans that were holding out hope in a trade for St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford won't like this:

Bradford isn't going anywhere, folks.

11:00 - A helpful reminder, since he did not come through the media room like the rest of the quarterbacks on Thursday, Florida State's Jameis Winston will be the main attraction in the media center on Friday. Reporters will likely bring up any and all of his transgressions off the field, which will make how he handles it a must-see interview.

10:43 - As the offensive linemen continue to go through their drills, the first standout of the workouts has identified himself. Oregon offensive lineman Jake Fisher displayed good footwork and athleticism through the work on the field. He also flew through the 10-yard split of the 40-yard dash, which is the most important for that position. Fisher posted a time of 1.78 after 10 yards, which was the best of any in the first group. He's an intriguing prospect that played tackle at Oregon, but some have projected him to guard. With feet like that, he'll probably get a shot at tackle out of the gate in his NFL career.

9:59 - The on-field workouts have started and former Bills head coach Doug Marrone is front and center. Enjoy!
Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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The Essentials: What we learned from Bills GM Doug Whaley at the Combine

Each year at the NFL Combine, the Buffalo Bills will bring the two key decision makers around for the local media to interview and explore all the hot topics that surround the offseason. On Wednesday, head coach Rex Ryan was the first to go and chatted about quarterbacks more than anything.

However, often times, the most significant interview is with the general manager of the team -- and no exception was made when Doug Whaley spoke with the media on Thursday.

What were the biggest takeaways from the 11-minute conversation? The need-to-know information:

1) Jerry Hughe$$$ close to being signed?
- The Bills and impending free agent defensive end Jerry Hughes have been in constant communication while in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine. The Bills sent a proposal to Hughes' representatives, and they sent a counter-proposal right back. For Buffalo, Jim Overdorf, Russ Brandon and Kevin Meganck are heading up the efforts for the soon-to-be free agents, allowing Whaley to concentrate during the day on the actual event that brought the team to Indianapolis. Compared to some of the other comments shared by Whaley on Thursday, it made him seem downright optimistic about the idea of the defensive end re-signing. For the first time, Whaley cast some shade on the idea of using the franchise tag on Hughes:
"We're trying to avoid that because we're trying to get him long-term for sure and keep everybody on the same page so they felt like hey, we got a good deal, and we say as the Buffalo Bills we got a good deal."

Hughes appears to be the priority for the Bills at the moment, and for good reason. Stay tuned.

2) Safe travels Spiller, Spikes, and Searcy
- While he didn't come right out and say the three aforementioned impending free agents would be going on their merry way, it certainly sounded like a departure was entirely possible. On Spiller, Whaley used the terms "close the gap," and "work to be done" when asked if that gap was significant. If you read between the lines, Spiller likely has the case of thinking his value is far higher than what the team does. If that doesn't come back, he'll be off to the land of free agency. Searcy, while a valuable contributor on defense, may fall victim to another contract the Bills signed off on last year. Whaley said, "Searcy is going to be a little challenging because we have paid Aaron Williams, and there's some money tied up in that position and Searcy may probably garner starting money at safety." A versatile player, he'll likely garner some interest on the open market. As far as the linebacker Spikes goes, he's likely as good as gone. Whaley:
"I just talked to him today and the new staff sees a different role than maybe he does. I told him, go out there and see if you can get a team to see you the way you see yourself, if not, then come back and we can talk."

With Kiko Alonso, Nigel Bradham, Preston Brown and Ty Powell on the roster, the Bills are likely to move on from Spikes.

3) Deep RB class, but that doesn't mean they'll wait on one
- Ask 10 different decision makers in the NFL, and most — if not all — will tell you that the running back class in 2015 is a very, very strong one. Being a decision maker in the NFL, Doug Whaley agrees with that statement and said he's excited about the depth at running back. With so many that could have an impact, and early, might the Bills be more inclined to wait on drafting one?
"People may say that, but I'm a firm believer of if you want that guy and that's your guy, get him, especially in the draft because you don't know if he's going to fall to you. If you're committed to that guy, and you take him in the second, he may not get to you in the third. I don't want to say 'Aw, I should have.'"

We saw Whaley do that with Sammy Watkins in 2014, despite a wide receiver draft class that was one of the strongest the draft has seen. Those hoping that the Bills will veer away from running back at 50th overall might want to divert their eyes from this quote. It's a very, very real possibility.

4) Is Josh McCown a viable starting option?
- The McCown mentions continued Thursday with the Bills GM, but for the second straight day, the Bills didn't exactly fawn over the free agent quarterback. Now, both Whaley and Rex Ryan have to be careful in how they answer a question about a free agent because it could be seen as losing leverage, but, neither went out of their way to endorse McCown as a viable starting option in the NFL. Whaley's quote on Thursday to that very question was somewhat notable: "He can come in and compete with EJ and whoever else we bring in to be the starter." The Bills need to do something at the quarterback position, but they're also staying away from going over the moon about that player publicly just in case they flop. It's smart business, but a bit jarring when initially heard.

5) Dareus becomes high priority very, very soon
- The Buffalo Bills know what they have in Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, so they aren't going to monkey around with him potentially becoming a free agent. Only signed through the 2015 season, the Bills will immediately shift their attention to Dareus once things start to slow down over the next month or two.
"After we get done with all the unrestricted and everything we do this offseason, then we'll starting broaching that subject." - Doug Whaley

Whaley was then asked if he considered an extension for Dareus to be a high priority, to which he succinctly replied, "Yes, yes." The defensive tackle is officially in the on deck circle, and despite all the off-the-field concerns, he is going to get paid a substantial amount of money.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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LIVE at the NFL Combine: Day 2

Welcome back for Day 2 at the NFL Combine!

On Day 1 we heard from Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan... a lot, Josh McCown took over the news cycle, and some of the top tight ends came through the media room. For the second act, Indianapolis surely has a doozy of a day lined up.

Follow all the action throughout the four days at the Combine right here with the live blog. You'll find the latest tidbits of news, player interviews and results from Lucas Oil Stadium.

5:44 - That will do it from the media room at Lucas Oil Stadium. As it turns out, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston did not come through the media room... but he will on Friday. It will undoubtedly be the biggest interview this year. Winston, plus the first day of on-field workouts will start up here in Indinapolis. Talk to you all in the morning.

5:36 - Before we put a wrap on Day 2 of the NFL Combine, first is one of the better interviews that took place on the day. Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson, a likely Day Three pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, showed that Bills running back Anthony Dixon isn't the only Mississippi State alum with a quirky personality. Robinson was asked about his running style. His response? "Beast Mode 2... coming soon." His face lit up when asked about Dixon, saying that they were pretty close. Keep an eye on Robinson in the draft if the Bills decide to wait on a running back. He has the physical, bruising style that will likely appeal to both Rex Ryan and Greg Roman.

4:03 - Apologies for the wait, but Bills GM Doug Whaley just held court with the Buffalo media and dropped juicy little nuggets all throughout the 11-minute talk. A few highlights before a longer post heads your way...

- Say goodbye to linebacker Brandon Spikes, unless he's willing to sign for low money and a backup role.
- The Bills are in constant communication with the representation for free-agent-to-be Jerry Hughes. He seems to be the priority at the moment.
- There is a bit of a gap between C.J. Spiller and the Bills in the contract negotations.

More to come.

2:02 - If you've listened to WGR at all over the past few weeks, you'll have heard the name Brandon Bridge at least a time or two. A Canadian-born football prospect from just outside Toronto, Bridge decided to go to the United States to play football. A raw quarterback prospect in every sense of the word, the South Alabama graduate has the arm strength and speed that teams drool over. With such a weak class, some team could fall in love with his potential and he could end up going a lot earlier than many are thinking he will. Keep an eye on Bridge, who some fans affectionately named 'Air Canada' in his time at college.

1:01 - One of the late round quarterbacks the Bills could be interested in bringing in is Duke's Anthony Boone, who just spoke to the media here at Lucas Oil Stadium. Boone called former Bills quarterback Thad Lewis his "big brother." Lewis has been helping him throughout the whole draft process and giving him a little insight on the business side of things as well. Lewis also attended Duke University, and is playing the role of mentor to the 6-foot, 233-pound Boone.

12:31 - Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley spoke with the media not too long ago and revealed that former Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett did not follow Doug Marrone to Jacksonville. Bradley and Hackett knew one another when both were on the Tampa Bay staff under Jon Gruden. Bradley reached out to Hackett and the rest is history.

11:33 - Doug Marrone has been spotted in Indianapolis. The former Bills head coach was weaving his way through the common area past some media types and stopped to chat with some reporters. Marrone declined any interviews, unfortunately.

11:08 - As long as C.J. Spiller moves on from the Bills -- which at this point is the safe bet -- the franchise will be in the market for another running back that has the potential to start. That position very well could be a target early on in the 2015 NFL Draft for the Bills, and it's a good year to need one according to many. Not only do draft experts feel that way, but so does Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider who said as much during his interview at the Combine. In addition to all the quarterbacks and wide receivers speaking with the media today, most of the running back prospects will be made available for interviews. To whet your appetite, here are the measurements of some of the better names available:
10:28 - A helpful reminder, Bills GM Doug Whaley will meet with the local media today. The questions surrounding the quarterback position are obvious, but equally as important is the negotiations with Jerry Hughes, Da'Norris Searcy, and how he's going to address almost every other position on the offensive side of the ball. That will be happening at some point in the afternoon.

10:00 - Less than 24 hours after the Sam Bradford trade permission report came out from Jason LaCanfora of, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch -- the Rams beat writer for the paper -- essentially slammed the door shut. His lead paragraph in the story regarding the report:
"To be clear, Sam Bradford isn't demanding a trade. And the Rams aren't interested in trading Bradford.​"
Well, so much for that idea. It was kind of, sort of fun while it lasted.

9:36 - Here's to hoping you all recharged your batteries and are ready for the press conference to end all 2015 NFL Combine press conferences. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the favorite to be the top overall pick at this point in the draft process, will speak to the media at some point in the day. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be rethinking their love for Winston, seeing as how he measured in a quarter-of-an-inch less than his billed height of 6-foot-4. Excuse the immense sarcasm, but that bit of news was actually a hot take-inducing machine to start off the morning here in Indianapolis. But really, today is going to be an interesting day and a big part of it has to do with how Winston handles the media. Stay tuned.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Finding a quarterback is the priority to Bills’ Ryan

It's one of the most simple concepts in all of professional sports, but also doubles as one of the toughest tasks to complete. The easiest way to sustained success in the National Football League is by finding a long-term, franchise level quarterback.

"It's a lot easier said than done," said Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

Since EJ Manuel was benched after Week Four of the 2014 season, the Bills have been on a steady road to even more uncertainty at the quarterback position. Kyle Orton retired, Doug Marrone opted out and Manuel is left in limbo.

When Ryan was hired and subsequently introduced, he made no guarantees to the incumbent quarterback on the roster. The only promise was that Manuel would get a chance to compete.

Just to be safe, Ryan has made it a practice to talking up Manuel without committing to him.

"Obviously, this league's proven when you've got a great quarterback, it's rare that you don't go to the playoffs with a great quarterback," the head coach said Wednesday at the 2015 NFL Combine. "It would be nice to get somebody like that. I'm not saying that we have that situation right now. I'm excited about EJ Manuel, though. He's a young man that has some potential. We'll see how that pans out."

Hellbent to not rest on their laurels at the position, the Bills have been active in their search of competition for the former first-round pick. Earlier in the week, the franchise hosted unrestricted free agent Josh McCown on an official visit.

It was the first act to McCown's flurry of activity that continued on Wednesday. The 35-year old also met with the Chicago Bears and New York Jets.

"It was a great visit," Ryan said, but wouldn't commit to McCown being a viable starting option. "Well, we'll see. We're not going to tip our hand one way or the other on what our thoughts are, but it's safe to say that obviously we're interested in him, that's why we brought him in."

Perhaps the reason that such a push for McCown exists is the less than stellar draft class at quarterback, combined with lackluster options in free agency when it begins on March 10.

Outside of Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the 2015 quarterback class has been universally branded as a weak one that lacks any other immediate starting options.

"Just like anybody else, you hear one thing about, 'Oh, maybe it's not a very deep class or whatever.' But there's always guys that you'll get excited about, whether it's at the end of the draft or the beginning of the draft," Ryan said.

Due to the lack of depth, free agency is the likeliest option for the Bills to add a "significant" piece to their roster. Whether it's Josh McCown, Mark Sanchez, Jake Locker or someone else, the Bills will need to add a piece.

At least that's how Rex Ryan wants it to play out.

"I think in an ideal world, you'd have a veteran quarterback with a young quarterback, I don't think there's any doubt about that, whether it's a young guy starting, a veteran backup, or vice versa, but you know, we'll see how it shakes out. I know we're going to try to upgrade that position, if you will, or add to that position, certainly, any means necessary. So we'll see. Right now we know we feel good about EJ, but obviously we've got to add to that as well."

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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LIVE at the NFL Combine: Day 1

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2015 NFL Combine

The National Football League has descended upon its Midwest hub for the week, with all the big decision makers in one place trying to find the next big thing in the draft. The Buffalo Bills and the rest of the league are all together in downtown Indianapolis to poke, prod and interview the best of the best from the college ranks.

Follow all the action throughout the four days at the NFL Combine right here with a live blog. You'll find the latest tidbits of news, player interviews and results from Lucas Oil Stadium.

5:49 - The media room has closed down for the day, as will the NFL Combine coverage for Wednesday. Coming up tomorrow, Bills GM Doug Whaley will address the local media at some time in the afternoon. Be sure to check back in bright and early on Thursday for all the latest from Indianapolis!

5:10 - And just as we thought the day was wrapping up, Josh McCown found his way into another mention. According to Jason LaCanfora of, McCown is high in demand and also the key to the "quarterback carousel" of the offseason. LaCanfora reported that the free agent quarterback has interest from even more teams than the three he has already visited with, which include the Bills, Bears and Jets. LaCanfora wrote this on the Bills and McCown:
"In the end, I wouldn't be surprised if the Bills -- who got the first look at McCown -- end up putting something in front of him that makes the most sense, with only EJ Manuel as competition right now, and a few decent pieces on offense and a top-notch defense already in place."

Just rename February 18 to Josh McCown Day.

4:25 - A few of the names at tight end that the Bills may consider just came through the media room. At this point, the top player at the position to many is Minnesota TE Maxx Williams. The redshirt sophomore is still two months away from being legal to consume alcohol in the United States, but offers a high upside for a team looking for an athletic option. He's also the son of 10-year NFL veteran and former New York Giants offensive lineman Brian Williams. In addition to Williams, Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary and Oklahoma quarterback-turned-tight end Blake Bell spoke with the media. Williams is currently projected to go in the second round, while O'Leary could go in the third-to-fourth round, and Bell is more of a late round project at this point.

3:10 - Thank goodness. It's been so long since the latest update on Josh McCown that many were starting to worry. The next mention of the hottest (only) name on the free agent market at the moment comes from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:

So if you're keeping track at home, McCown has met with the Bills, Bears and Jets in the past week.

2:34 - It's been quiet on the Josh McCown front for a few hours now, but, another name has popped up that the Bills could have some interest in. Former first overall pick and current St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has permission to look elsewhere, but the odds seem stacked against the idea:

What is the compensation to the Rams' liking? That will be the million-dollar question. However, if a team does successfully trade for Bradford, they will owe him $12.985 million in cash. Due to his signing bonus from the beginning of his contract, the quarterback will also count $16.58 million against the cap. Bradford is signed for only one more season.

2:28 - The first player of significance just came through the media room, as South Carolina guard A.J. Cann fielded questions from the media. A three-year starter at South Carolina, Cann pointed to his high character as to why he would be successful in the professional ranks. At this point, Cann is viewed as one of the top guards available, and if the Bills are in need of a guard, could be in the discussion for Buffalo at 50th overall.

12:51 - The Rex Ryan Show officially happened in Indianapolis. One of the darlings of the national media, a huge crowd surrounded the podium here at Lucas Oil Stadium to see the Bills head coach and hear what he had to say. He's still going through national interviews at the moment, and will meet with the local media at some point in the next hour. We'll have a full post with quotes from Ryan in both the national and local setting, but here are some tidbits from his 12-minute conversation with reporters from all over the country:

- Right off the bat, he was asked what it was like to see the Patriots win the Super Bowl. Ryan called it "terrible."
- Ryan and the Bills are going to continue to look into bulking up the offensive line, specifically at tackle and guard, even after already adding Richie Incognito.
- They felt good about Incognito off the field and expect him to be a good teammate this season.
- Finding a quarterback is a priority, but it's much easier said than done.
- Ryan refused to answer questions about either Mark Sanchez or Darrelle Revis. Both players will likely be free agents on March 10.
- Stephon Gilmore has a lot of upside, but "he's pretty darn good" now according to Ryan.

Much more to come in a bit. Stay tuned.

11:15 - The Josh McCown fire refuses to be extinguished in Indianapolis. According to Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune, the meeting between the Bears and the free agent quarterback has officially wrapped up. McCown will now meet with another team, according to the report. If the Bills want him as their quarterback, they're going to have to woo him, it seems.

10:54 - The Bills ties are just rolling in on the first day of the NFL Combine. This time, San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke spoke to the media and offered up some thoughts on new Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Baalke called Roman a "heck of a coach," and 2014 went poorly on offense due to injuries, battles and other extraneous factors. Baalke said it wasn't the coaches fault, and they were there late into the night daily trying to find a fix. Baalke also went on to call any other coach he was asked about a "heck of a coach."

10:35 - JOSH MCCOWN ALERT -- We've got our first mention of the man that visited the Bills earlier this week, and it comes from his former head coach Lovie Smith. The current head man in Tampa Bay said they released McCown this offseason because the Buccaneers are just looking for a fresh start, but that McCown was great in the locker room. According to Vaughn McClure of, McCown is currently visiting with the Chicago Bears.

Smith also gave a ringing endorsement for Mike Glennon, saying something along the lines of 'he's the only quarterback on our roster.' Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, you're on the clock.

10:00 - And we're off! The first interview of the four-day stretch is here, with Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers kicking things off. Bills head coach Rex Ryan will address the national media around 12:15 today, and then he'll be speaking with the local media shortly thereafter. It's his first NFL Combine as the Bills' head coach, and his press conference is usually one of the most attended by reporters. Stay tuned, it should be a hoot.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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5 things to watch at the 2015 NFL Combine

It's that time of year once again.

The league offices move to the Midwest and Indianapolis becomes the hub for NFL activity for a full week starting today. Like every year before it, the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine is set to begin and the intrigue is as high as ever.

For the Buffalo Bills, there it will have a bit of a new car scent with how they approach the event. The franchise comes to Indianapolis with a new head coach, and an almost-entirely new team of assistant coaches along with him.

What are some of the main story lines to monitor? Here are a few:

1) Rex's Bills debut to the rest of the league
- Rex Ryan shook some hands as the new head coach of the Bills during the Senior Bowl in January, but the week in Indianapolis will be regarded as his unveiling to most the rest of the league and national media as the head man in Buffalo. It's also the start of the process for Ryan in trying to pick up the ball in western New York and running with it, in the attempt to build a playoff team within his first 12 months on campus. As opposed to previous years with Chan Gailey or Doug Marrone at the helm, expect to see and hear a lot of Rex Ryan. With his larger than life personality, he'll likely be doing a whole lot more than just the usual press conference and local media scrum that Bills head coaches are committed to. From an event perspective, the relationships he and GM Doug Whaley makes and the judgments they have on some of these players will ultimately help decide who the team will use their six picks on.

2) Is the next face of the Bills in Indianapolis?
- One thing has been made clear by the new coaching staff of the Bills: nothing is set in stone at quarterback. That much was made certain by the most recent news, with the Bills playing host to free agent quarterback Josh McCown to kick off the week. Expect the Bills to not only address the position in free agency in an attempt to find competition for EJ Manuel, but also through adding a young arm of some sort. Is the future of the Bills at quarterback in Indianapolis? With the lack of talent at the position, it's unlikely. However, there are some intriguing late-round options the Bills could work with on a project basis in the hopes that they find some gold amongst all the stones. Expect to hear and read a lot from players that will be drafted on the third and final day of the draft.

3) Talented running backs a plenty
- With so much uncertainty at the quarterback position in Buffalo, it's no wonder why Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Greg Roman are preaching the benefits of having an overwhelming run game on that side of the ball. C.J. Spiller is likely to move on from the Bills, which leaves the team with an aging Fred Jackson, a disappointing Bryce Brown and special teams extraordinaire Anthony Dixon as their three options at running back. It would be a quite a shock if the Bills did not add some youth to this position at some point in the draft — and there will be no shortage of options available to them throughout the rounds. Whether it be Indiana's Tevin Coleman or Alabama's T.J. Yeldon in the second round, Minnesota's David Cobb or South Carolina's Mike Davis in the third round, or someone like Mississippi State's Josh Robinson and Louisville's Michael Dyer on the third day of the draft, the Bills will likely add someone. Finding the right personality fit for the team and offense that pairs with the talent is just as big a task as any, because whomever they bring in will have a chance to play an immediately significant role with the team.

4) The undercurrent: talks with Jerry Hughes' representation
- Just like it was a few years ago with wide receiver Stevie Johnson, one of the biggest story lines from a Bills perspective is how much progress is made with free-agent-to-be and defensive end Jerry Hughes. The defender has back-to-back 10-sack seasons to his name, and the week in Indianapolis will serve as a very important one for he and his agent. While not technically allowed by the league, the worst-kept secret of Indianapolis is that agents of players will be out-and-about at night, gauging interest from teams about their client's that could become available. That will help set the realistic market for Hughes in how much he can get on the open market, at which point the Bills will see where they stack up.

5) Jameis Winston's highly anticipated press conference
- Every year, there is at least one press conference to rule all the others. The entire media contingent inside the media room at Lucas Oil Stadium will surround one stage just to see how that young player will react. Usually, there is some scrutiny involved with the player for off-the-field story lines. Over the past seven years, the biggest press conferences have been Michael Sam, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Manti Te'o and Johnny Manziel. This year, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will be the must-see 15 minutes of the NFL Combine. How will he respond to repeated questions from the media about his off-the-field history and alleged activity? Upon watching how he has conducted interviews at Florida State in a fun and personable manner, it would be hard to expect him to do anything differently while on the stage in Indianapolis. However, many will want to see how he does on the big stage and in the pressure-cooker that is the NFL spotlight. The off-field concerns are legitimate and should not be trivialized, and Winston should not treat them lightly when brought up by the onlooking media.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Report: McCown visits Bills, leaves without contract

The 2015 offseason was earmarked as the time for the Buffalo Bills to make enough improvements on the offensive side of the ball to compete for a playoff spot in the upcoming regular season. With Kyle Orton choosing retirement, and with the jury still out on former first-round pick EJ Manuel, the Bills attempted to address the quarterback position before free agency even began.

Josh McCown, most recently the starter of 11 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014 and subsequently released, is in Buffalo visiting with the franchise. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, McCown and the Bills were trying to come to terms on a contract that would make him the newest quarterback in Buffalo.

The visit did not progress to that point, however, as Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News reported. McCown apparently left Buffalo on Monday without a contract signed and has more visits planned.

McCown was released by the Buccaneers last week only one year into a two-year contract that totaled $10 million. Last season in Tampa Bay, the 35-year old quarterback threw for 2,206 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while amassing a starting record of 1-10.

Since he was released rather than having an expiring contract, teams are allowed to talk with, and potentially sign McCown ahead of the start of the new league year in March.

He was signed by the Buccaneers and first-year head coach Lovie Smith after having a watershed season in his career with Chicago in 2013. Serving as the backup to Jay Cutler, McCown started five games down the stretch of that season and put together a 3-2 record.

In eight total appearances, McCown had thrown for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns, only one interception, and posted a career high in completion percentage (66.5-percent).

If the Bills are successful in signing McCown, he would serve as the immediate competition for Manuel to be the starting quarterback of the franchise in 2015. Manuel was benched four games into his second year in favor of Kyle Orton, but new head coach Rex Ryan has repeatedly said that the young quarterback would have a chance to compete for the job.

Over his 12-year career, McCown has played for the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers in addition to both the Bears and Buccaneers. His career touchdown-to-interception ratio is 61 to 59.

The Bills confirmed that McCown made a visit on Monday morning. Unrestricted free agency officially opens up on March 10, 2015 at 4 pm.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Rex Ryan thinks Bills' Gilmore can become elite CB

In terms of popular opinion from the fan base, perhaps no other player on the Buffalo Bills roster has created more of a schism than cornerback Stephon Gilmore. While many will argue that Gilmore has gotten progressively better over his first three seasons in the league, there has been a contingent of people that view the cornerback as closer to a first-round bust.

Just don't count new Bills head coach Rex Ryan on the same list as the group that think the latter of the two aforementioned viewpoints.

"Gilmore is going to be one of the elite… corners in this league. I believe that," Ryan told WGR Sports Radio 550 Thursday morning. "Where people miss it sometimes is, how many balls get caught on him? They don't complete passes on him."

Compared to perceived top cornerbacks around the league, Ryan is right in his praise. According to, Gilmore allowed only 43 receptions for 516 yards and five touchdowns.

For the sake of comparison, New England's Darrelle Revis allowed 44 receptions for 582 yards and four touchdowns, Seattle's Richard Sherman gave up 36 receptions for 479 yards and one touchdown, while Indianapolis cornerback Vontae Davis surrendered 41 receptions for 444 yards and no touchdowns in 2014.

That puts Gilmore right in the same realm as some of the top players at his position in the league, but he still lacks a certain killer instinct that his new head coach wants to see more of.

"Now, he might not get all the interceptions... [but] they're not completing balls on him," Ryan said. "And so to me, he has got that kind of ability. We've got to catch the ball a little bit, sometimes go up and get more picks and things. But this guy's an elite guy, there's no question about it."

The former first-round pick has six interceptions over his first three seasons. Unless the Bills add another top flight cornerback in free agency, Gilmore will be the top player on the roster entrusted with the responsibility to follow an opponent's top receiver all over the field.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Bills' Ryan: At QB, we're looking at every scenario out there

Since he was hired in January, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan has had a steady stream of people asking him about one topic in particular. It doesn't matter if it's the media, people in the grocery store or anyone he may encounter, the question on the minds of many is simple:

What's going to happen with the quarterback position in 2015?

"They have as good of an idea picking that as I do right now," Ryan joked during his Thursday appearance on The Howard Simon Show on WGR Sports Radio 550. "We are in the evaluating stages. So, we're looking. You mentioned it: we've got the draft coming up, free agency is coming up. You're looking at all those type of things. Are there some scenarios out there, are there trade possibilities? You look at every possible scenario there is. From Doug Whaley all the way to our scouts, all our positional coaches... we're looking at that. Believe me, we'll be prepared for every scenario out there."

The only two quarterbacks that remain on the roster for the Bills from the Doug Marrone era are Jeff Tuel, and of course, former first-round pick EJ Manuel. Near the end of the season, there was some thought that there could be a trade market for quarterbacks that fell out of favor with their current teams.

However, for Washington's Robert Griffin III, Chicago's Jay Cutler, and St. Louis starter Sam Bradford — the three names most bandied about — the rumors have since died down. The free agent crop, led by former Rex Ryan first-round pick Mark Sanchez, Jake Locker, and the recently released Josh McCown leaves much to be desired, as does the quarterback group available for the 2015 NFL Draft past the top two prospects.

However, the Bills must do something to ensure that the offense is capable of playing at a high enough level to help an imposing defense, and to get the team back to the postseason. Without many inspiring options available, Ryan again confirmed that Manuel will have a chance to get his job back.

"Will EJ Manuel have an opportunity to win a job? I believe he will," said the Bills head coach. "He'll be given an opportunity certainly. I think he's gonna improve. I think he'll improve a great deal under the leadership, obviously with Greg Roman being our offensive coordinator. David Lee, in my opinion, is one of the best fundamental quarterback coaches that there is, so I think he's going to improve that way."

Just like the last time he spoke publicly, though, Ryan said he wants one thing from Manuel to improve in a big way. It's a part of the young quarterback's game that was basically coached out of him following his initial season with the Bills.

"The one thing I think that we need to embrace, he needs to embrace also, is the fact that he can move," he said. "Use your legs. Sometimes when it's not there, use your legs. Learn how to protect yourself by getting out of bounds, sliding and things like that."

The Bills and the rest of the NFL will have to wait until at least March 10 — the start of unrestricted free agency — to potentially find some competition for EJ Manuel.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Bills' Dareus appears in court, trial date set

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus had a spring to forget after a pair of run-ins with the law. An alleged car racing incident occurred in May of 2014 in the Town of Hamburg, and Dareus started the legal process in western New York on Tuesday morning.

Dareus appeared in front of a judge at the Hamburg Town Court, which brought on the next step in the case against him. The defensive tackle will appear at a non-jury trial starting on May 19 to face all the charges. The case will initially resume on May 12 for pre-trial motions.

Dareus is facing charges for reckless endangerment, reckless driving, unlawful speeding contest and leaving the scene of an accident.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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2015 NFL Combine official invitation list

The Buffalo Bills and the rest of the National Football League will be on hand in Indianapolis next week for the annual Scouting Combine. With just a week before the league moves to Indiana for a seven-day stretch, the event officially released the invitation list for the players.

Here is that list in full, separated by position:

Bryan Bennett, SE Louisiana
Anthony Boone, Duke
Brandon Bridge, South Alabama
Shane Carden, East Carolina
Cody Fajardo, Nevada
Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
Connor Halliday, Washington State
Brett Hundley, UCLA
Jerry Lovelocke, Prairie View A&M
Sean Mannion, Oregon State
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Nick Marshall, Auburn
Bryce Petty, Baylor
Blake Sims, Alabama
Jameis Winston, Florida State

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Jay Ajayi, Boise State
Buck Allen, USC
Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn
Dominique Brown, Louisville
Malcolm Brown, Texas
BJ Catalon, TCU
David Cobb, Minnesota
Tevin Coleman, Indiana
John Crockett, North Dakota State
Mike Davis, South Carolina
Michael Dyer, Louisville
Jahwan Edwards, Ball State
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
Todd Gurley, Georgia
Dee Hart, Colorado State
Braylon Heard, Kentucky
Kenny Hilliard, LSU
Joey Iosefa, Hawaii
David Johnson, Northern Iowa
Gus Johnson, Stephen F. Austin
Duke Johnson, Miami (FL)
Matt Jones, Florida
Jeremy Langford, Michigan State
Terrence Magee, LSU
Marcus Murphy, Missouri
Thomas Rawls, Central Michigan
Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
Ross Scheuerman, Lafayette
Tyler Varga, Yale
Karlos Williams, Florida State
Trey Williams, Texas A&M
TJ Yeldon, Alabama
Zach Zenner, South Dakota State

Mike Burton, Rutgers
Jalston Fowler, Alabama

Wide Receiver
Nelson Agholor, USC
Mario Alford, West Virginia
Dres Anderson, Utah
Kenny Bell, Nebraska
Da'Ron Brown, Northern Illinois
Kaelin Clay, Utah
Sammie Coates, Auburn
Chris Conley, Georgia
Amari Cooper, Alabama
Jamison Crowder, Duke
Davaris Daniels, Notre Dame
Devante Davis, UNLV
Geremy Davis, Connecticut
Titus Davis, Central Michigan
Stefon Diggs, Maryland
Phillip Dorsett, Miami (FL)
Devin Funchess, Michigan
Antwan Goodley, Baylor
Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri
Rashad Greene, Florida State
Rannell Hall, Central Florida
Justin Hardy, East Carolina
Josh Harper, Fresno State
Chris Jones, Alabama
Dez Lewis, Central Arkansas
Tony Lippett, Michigan State
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
Deon Long, Maryland
Tello Luckett, Harding
Vince Mayle, Washington State
Tre McBride, William & Mary
Ty Montgomery, Stanford
Keith Mumphery, Michigan State
JJ Nelson, UAB
Devante Parker, Louisville
Breshad Perriman, Central Florida
Ezell Ruffin, San Diego State
Deandre Smelter, Georgia Tech
Devin Smith, Ohio State
Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
Darren Waller, Georgia Tech
DeAndrew White, Alabama
Kevin White, West Virginia
Cam Worthy, East Carolina

Tight End
Busta Anderson, South Carolina
Blake Bell, Oklahoma
EJ Bibbs, Iowa State
Nick Boyle, Delaware
Gerard Christian, Louisville
Cameron Clear, Texas A&M
AJ Derby, Arkansas
Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State
Jesse James, Penn State
Ben Koyack, Notre Dame
Tyler Kroft, Rutgers
Nick O'Leary, Florida State
Mycole Pruitt, Southern Illinois
Wes Saxton, South Alabama
Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts
Randall Telfer, USC
Eric Tomlinson, UTEP
Clive Walford, Miami (FL)
Maxx Williams, Minnesota

Offensive Tackle
Al Bond, Memphis
Brett Boyko, UNLV
Jamon Brown, Louisville
TJ Clemmings, Pittsburgh
Takoby Cofield, Duke
La'el Collins, LSU
Rob Crisp, NC State
Andrew Donnal, Iowa
Jamil Douglas, Arizona State
Cameron Erving, Florida State
Tayo Fabuluje, TCU
Jake Fisher, Oregon
Ereck Flowers, Miami (FL)
Laurence Gibson, Virginia Tech
Chaz Green, Florida
Chad Hamilton, Coastal Carolina
Bobby Hart, Florida State
Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin
Sean Hickey, Syracuse
DJ Humphries, Florida
Ali Marpet, Hobart
Darrian Miller, Kentucky
Mitch Morse, Missouri
Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
Andrus Peat, Stanford
Terry Poole, San Diego State
Jeremiah Poutasi, Utah
Corey Robinson, South Carolina
Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State
Brandon Scherff, Iowa
Austin Shepherd, Alabama
Donovan Smith, Penn State
Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma
Daryl Williams, Oklahoma

Offensive Guard
Trent Brown, Florida
AJ Cann, South Carolina
Jon Feliciano, Miami (FL)
Mark Glowinski, West Virginia
Jarvis Harrison, Texas A&M
Tre Jackson, Florida State
Arie Kouandjio, Alabama
Josue Matias, Florida State
John Miller, Louisville
Robert Myers, Tennessee State
Adam Shead, Oklahoma
Laken Tomlinson, Duke

Reese Dismukes, Auburn
BJ Finney, Kansas State
Andy Gallik, Boston College
Max Garcia, Florida
Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
Greg Mancz, Toledo

Defensive End
Henry Anderson, Stanford
Arik Armstead, Oregon
Tavaris Barnes, Clemson
Vic Beasley, Clemson
Anthony Chickillo, Miami (FL)
Frank Clark, Michigan
Corey Crawford, Clemson
Tyeler Davison, Fresno State
Ryan Delaire, Towson
BJ Dubose, Louisville
Mario Edwards, Florida State
Kyle Emanuel, North Dakota State
Trey Flowers, Arkansas
Dante Fowler, Florida
Markus Golden, Missouri
Randy Gregory, Nebraska
Marcus Hardison, Arizona State
Eli Harold, Virginia
Zack Hodges, Harvard
Danielle Hunter, LSU
Martin Ifedi, Memphis
Owa Odighizuwa, UCLA
Nate Orchard, Utah
Shane Ray, Missouri
Cedric Reed, Texas
Ryan Russell, Purdue
Preston Smith, Mississippi State
Za'Darius Smith, Kentucky
Lynden Trail, Norfolk State
Davis Tull, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Zack Wagenmann, Montana

Defensive Tackle
Mike Bennett, Ohio State
Angelo Blackson, Auburn
Malcom Brown, Texas
Xavier Cooper, Washington State
Christian Covington, Rice
Carl Davis, Iowa
Eddie Goldman, Florida State
Grady Jarrett, Clemson
Derrick Lott, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Joey Mbu, Houston
Ellis McCarthy, UCLA
Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Southern Mississippi
Leon Orr, Florida
Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
Darius Philon, Arkansas
Bobby Richardson, Indiana
JT Surratt, South Carolina
Louis Trinca-Pasat, Iowa
LT Walton, Central Michigan
Leonard Williams, USC
Gabe Wright, Auburn

Inside Linebacker
Stephone Anthony, Clemson
Aaron Davis, Colorado State
PJ Dawson, TCU
Trey Depriest, Alabama
Bryce Hager, Baylor
Ben Heeney, Kansas
Amarlo Herrera, Georgia
Jordan Hicks, Texas
Mike Hull, Penn State
AJ Johnson, Tennessee
Taiwan Jones, Michigan State
Eric Kendricks, UCLA
Bernardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
Denzel Perryman, Miami (FL)
HP Pullard, USC
Damien Wilson, Minnesota
Ramik Wilson, Georgia

Outside Linebacker
Kwon Alexander, LSU
Neiron Ball, Florida
Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, Maryland
Xzavier Dickson, Alabama
Bud Dupree, Kentucky
Alani Fua, BYU
Geneo Grissom, Oklahoma
Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington
Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville
Mark Nzeocha, Wyoming
Edmond Robinson, Newberry
Jake Ryan, Michigan
Martrell Spaight, Arkansas
JR Tavai, USC
Shaq Thompson, Washington
Max Valles, Virginia
Tony Washington, Oregon

Alex Carter, Stanford
DC Celiscar, Western Michigan
Justin Coleman, Tennessee
Jalen Collins, LSU
Ronald Darby, Florida State
Quandre Diggs, Texas
Lorenzo Doss, Tulane
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
Charles Gaines, Louisville
Jacoby Glenn, Central Florida
Doran Grant, Ohio State
Ladarius Gunter, Miami (FL)
Troy Hill, Oregon
AJ Jefferson, UCLA
Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
Byron Jones, Connecticut
Craig Mager, Texas State
Bobby McCain, Memphis
Steven Nelson, Oregon State
Garry Peters, Clemson
Marcus Peters, Washington
Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)
Eric Rowe, Utah
Josh Shaw, USC
Jacorey Shepherd, Kansas
D'Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic
Tye Smith, Towson
Damian Swann, Georgia
Trae Waynes, Michigan State
Kevin White, TCU
PJ Williams, Florida State
Julian Wilson, Oklahoma

Adrian Amos, Penn State
Detrick Bonner, Virginia Tech
Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern
Landon COllins, Alabama
Justin Cox, Mississippi State
Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State
Durell Eskridge, Syracuse
Clayton Geathers, Central Florida
Chris Hackett, TCU
Anthony Harris, Virginia
Gerod Holliman, Louisville
Kyshoen Jarrett, Virginia Tech
Dean Marlowe, James Madison
Tevin McDonald, Eastern Washington
Cody Prewitt, Mississippi
Damarious Randall, Arizona State
Jordan Richards, Stanford
James Sample, Louisville
Derron Smith, Fresno State
Jaquiski Tartt, Samford
Jermaine Whitehead, Auburn

Kyle Brindza, Notre Dame
Sam Ficken, Penn State
Josh Lambo, Texas A&M
Justin Manton, Louisiana-Monroe
Jared Roberts, Colorado State

Will Baumann, NC State
Kyle Christy, Florida
Will Johnson, Texas State
Kyle Loomis, Portland State
Trevor Pardula, Kansas
Bradley Pinion, Clemson
Spencer Roth, Baylor

Long Snapper
Joe Cardona, U.S. Naval Academy

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia
 (8) Comments


Bills owner Pegula issues statement on Incognito signing

The Buffalo Bills made plenty of headlines over the weekend with the acquisition of Richie Incognito, the offensive guard at the heart of a bullying scandal with the Miami Dolphins in 2013. The team signed Incognito to a one-year deal worth a reported $2.25 million.

The offensive lineman sat out for the entire 2014 season due to his off-the-field transgressions, but the Bills agreed to give him a second chance. Team owner Terry Pegula issued a statement in regards to the transaction:

"I personally met with Richie, along with Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan and Kim regarding an opportunity to earn a spot on the Buffalo Bills roster. Obviously, we all discussed Richie's past experience in the NCAA and NFL. We are convinced that Richie is prepared to move forward and has and will continue to take the necessary steps to improve himself as a person and a teammate. Following discussion with the rest of the coaching staff, we as an organization will provide him with the opportunity to do so."

Incognito is 31 years old and likely slots in as an immediate starter on the offensive line.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Draft names to watch: QB Sean Mannion

Each week on, a position will be featured with a handful of names to ponder as that week progresses. By the time the 2015 NFL Draft comes around in May, followers of the series will have an enhanced look at some of the players the Buffalo Bills may be interested in.

To wrap up the quarterbacks, here's a look at a bigger quarterback prospect that some are keeping a close eye on:

Sean Mannion, Oregon State

Age: 22

Height: 6053

Weight: 220

2014: 12 games, 282-of-453 (62.3%), 3,164 yards, 15 TD, 8 INT
2013: 13 games, 400-of-603 (66.3%), 4,662 yards, 37 TD, 15 INT
2012: 10 games, 200-of-310 (64.5%), 2,446 yards, 15 TD, 13 INT
2011: 12 games, 305-of-473 (64.5%), 3,328 yards, 16 TD, 18 INT

Where he may project: Day 3 (Rounds 4-6)

The lowdown
- A four-year starter for Oregon State, Sean Mannion kicked off his college career with a lot of potential that some even extrapolated to his professional prospects. Unfortunately for Mannion, he never truly realized that potential at the college level. It's not hard to see why so many liked the Oregon State quarterback from the outset. He stands tall in a collected manner back in the pocket, with an NFL-caliber frame. His arm strength is hard to ignore and he even is a good touch thrower. As many know, however, the NFL is all about how quarterbacks do under duress in the pocket, and unfortunately for Mannion, he was rendered useless all too often when things broke down around him. His accuracy in intermediate to deep areas of the field are lacking at times when his receivers have a step, and he's even shown the tendency to lock on to a target. However, he does have the tools to work with to try and develop a long-term backup. Might he get to the level of starting some point in his career? Perhaps, but he isn't there yet — which is a trend with the majority of the 2015 quarterback class.

Previous Installments:
Shane Carden, East Carolina
Brandon Bridge, South Alabama
Brett Hundley, UCLA
Blake Sims, Alabama

Running Back
T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
Mike Davis, South Carolina
Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
Karlos Williams, Florida State

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photos courtesy of The Associated Press
 (9) Comments


Update: Bills officially sign Richie Incognito

The Buffalo Bills needed to significantly upgrade the offensive line in the 2015 offseason to help a hopeful bullying rushing attack next season. They seemed to have found a brash, physical guard to help the ailing unit.

The Bills and free agent guard Richie Incognito not only met for a physical, but that the meeting was a mere formality. The offensive lineman agreed to contract terms with the franchise officially on Saturday and it was announced by the team that evening. The 31-year old Incognito hasn't played a down in the National Football League since the halfway point of the 2013 season.

Scandal surrounded the former Miami Dolphins player for his role in the bullying of then teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito was later released by the Dolphins, and went through the 2014 season without being signed to a team.

According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, Incognito was said to be a "high priority target" for new Bills head coach Rex Ryan. To this point in his career, the guard has played nine seasons in the NFL in three separate destinations. The Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and even the Buffalo Bills for three games in 2009, all employed Incognito at one point or another.

Incognito joins Chris Williams, Kraig Urbik, Cyrus Kouandjio and Cyril Richardson as the interior offensive linemen that could figure into the starting discussion at guard in 2015. The Bills have yet to make any announcement in regards to Incognito.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Draft names to watch: QB Blake Sims

Each week on, a position will be featured with a handful of names to ponder as that week progresses. By the time the 2015 NFL Draft comes around in May, followers of the series will have an enhanced look at some of the players the Buffalo Bills may be interested in.

This week, the spotlight is on the position that many deem to be the most important in today's NFL, and certainly one of the best ways to win and maintain winning ways. You guessed it, this week, quarterback's are front and center.

Blake Sims, Alabama

Age: 23

Height: 5115

Weight: 212

2014: 14 games, 252-of-391 (64.5%), 3,487 yards, 28 TD, 10 INT — 350 rushing yards, 7 TD
2013: 8 games, 18-of-29 (62.1%), 167 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT — 61 yards rushing
2012: [Running Back] 10 games, 30 rushes, 187 yards, 2 TD
2011: [Running Back] 5 games, 22 rushes, 107 yards, 0 TD

Where he may project: Day 3 (Rounds 6-7)

The lowdown
- The success of Russell Wilson at the professional level has opened the minds of some to draft eligible quarterbacks that don't have the prototypical height. Alabama's Blake Sims certainly fits into that category, but that's right about where it ends for him in the comparisons to the Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback. In his only year of starting for the Crimson Tide, Sims successfully steered Lane Kiffin's offense into the College Football Playoff. His professional prospects are a bit more unclear. There are times where you see Sims do a lot of things a team would want out of a developmental quarterback prospect. He moves around the pocket well enough with his mobility, effectively uses a pump fake and has quite a bit of arm strength to fit a ball into tight windows. However, his accuracy was concerning, specifically in short passes from time to time. There is also the question about how much influence Lane Kiffin had on where Sims would throw the ball. Was he just a product of Kiffin's innovative offensive system? Even still, Sims has done enough to warrant a further look from the NFL as a potential rostered quarterback.

Previous Installments:
Shane Carden, East Carolina
Brandon Bridge, South Alabama
Brett Hundley, UCLA

Running Back
T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
Mike Davis, South Carolina
Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
Karlos Williams, Florida State

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photos courtesy of The Associated Press
 (11) Comments


Draft names to watch: QB Brett Hundley

Each week on, a position will be featured with a handful of names to ponder as that week progresses. By the time the 2015 NFL Draft comes around in May, followers of the series will have an enhanced look at some of the players the Buffalo Bills may be interested in.

This week, the spotlight is on the position that many deem to be the most important in today's NFL, and certainly one of the best ways to win and maintain winning ways. You guessed it, this week, quarterback's are front and center.

Brett Hundley, UCLA

Age: 21

Height: 6030

Weight: 227

2014: 13 games, 271-of-392 (69.1%), 3,155 yards, 22 TD, 5 INT — 644 rushing yards, 10 TD
2013: 13 games, 248-of-371 (66.8%), 3,071 yards, 24 TD, 9 INT — 748 rushing yards, 11 TD
2012: 14 games, 318-of-478 (66.5%), 3,740 yards, 29 TD, 11 INT — 355 rushing yards, 9 TD

Where he may project: Day 2 to early Day 3 (Rounds 2-4)

The lowdown
- Past Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the third quarterback on people's boards — almost universally — is none other than Brett Hundley. It's not hard to see why he's a palatable option for teams. He has the size and the arm strength teams covet, with a mobile side that makes him a legitimate dual-threat option. However, he also has the type of talent that could cause him to get over-drafted based on where his skills are as a 21-year old player. At this point, Hundley has shown an ability to make something out of nothing with his legs, an effortless flick of the wrist on deep throws, and has a knack for hitting the back shoulder throw. However, his intermediate and deep accuracy is not very good at this point of his career, and he has yet to consistently learn how to throw his man open rather than doing what he does now, which is to throw to the open man. Those two traits are very concerning for a player that would have to step into an NFL lineup right away, which is why it would be best if Hundley goes to a team where he could work with a quarterback coach for his first one-to-two years in the league.

Previous Installments:
Shane Carden, East Carolina
Brandon Bridge, South Alabama

Running Back
T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
Mike Davis, South Carolina
Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
Karlos Williams, Florida State

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photos courtesy of The Associated Press
 (15) Comments


Draft names to watch: QB Brandon Bridge

Each week on, a position will be featured with a handful of names to ponder as that week progresses. By the time the 2015 NFL Draft comes around in May, followers of the series will have an enhanced look at some of the players the Buffalo Bills may be interested in.

This week, the spotlight is on the position that many deem to be the most important in today's NFL, and certainly one of the best ways to win and maintain winning ways. You guessed it, this week, quarterback's are front and center.

Brandon Bridge, South Alabama

Age: 22

Height: 6046

Weight: 221

2014: 11 games, 160-of-307 (52.1%), 1,927 yards, 15 TD, 8 INT — 4 rushing TD
2013: 9 games, 29-of-66 (43.9%), 398 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT — 1 rushing TD

Where he may project: Day 3 to Undrafted

The lowdown
- Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman received a lot of credit for how he developed Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco in his first few years. In this year's draft, there is a player available that does a lot of the same things as Kaepernick and even moves and walks like the San Francisco quarterback. The difference, is that this player is a lot more raw than Kaepernick was when he came into the league. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Brandon Bridge. The 22-year old native of Mississauga, ON has incredible arm strength — the ball just flies from his hand. He has the ability to escape a muddy pocket, and provides his fair share of wow throws. The problem? He is not a fully developed passer at this point in his career, sometimes missing some throws badly. Bridge is a project for some team in every sense of the word -- he needs time. However, if some team is looking for a stone that could turn into gold on the third day of the draft, there won't be many better suited for that potential than Bridge.

Previous Installments:
Shane Carden, East Carolina

Running Back
T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
Mike Davis, South Carolina
Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
Karlos Williams, Florida State

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photos courtesy of The Associated Press
 (21) Comments


Draft names to watch: QB Shane Carden

Each week on, a position will be featured with a handful of names to ponder as that week progresses. By the time the 2015 NFL Draft comes around in May, followers of the series will have an enhanced look at some of the players the Buffalo Bills may be interested in.

This week, the spotlight is on the position that many deem to be the most important in today's NFL, and certainly one of the best ways to win and maintain winning ways. You guessed it, this week, quarterback's are front and center.

Shane Carden, East Carolina

Age: 23

Height: 6017

Weight: 213

2014: 13 games, 392-of-617 (63.5%), 4,736 yards, 30 TD, 10 INT
2013: 13 games, 387-of-549 (70.5%), 4,139 yards, 33 TD, 10 INT
2012: 13 games, 273-of-413 (66.1%), 3,116 yards, 23 TD, 10 INT

Where he may project: Day 3 to Undrafted

The lowdown
- For those that closely watched the college football season in 2014, many will remember East Carolina as a fun team that put up a boatload of points throughout the season, and Shane Carden was the man steering the ship. From a purely statistical perspective, Carden looks the part. However, looks can be deceiving. While he does show good poise in the pocket, calmly goes through his reads and can move around the pocket quite well, the overall lack of arm talent is concerning, specifically to play in a city like Buffalo. The majority of his throws lack a certain velocity that will be able to cut through the wind and cold air, and his deep ball attempts leave a lot to be desired. He has the mental side of the game on his side, but he'll need to develop the physical side to have hopes of ever starting in the NFL.

Previous Installments:
HB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
HB Mike Davis, South Carolina
HB Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
HB Karlos Williams, Florida State

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photos courtesy of The Associated Press
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Bills claim WR Brown off waivers

The Buffalo Bills have officially made their first transaction since the official end of the NFL season. The team announced that they claimed wide receiver Justin Brown off waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday morning.

Brown, a 2013 sixth-round selection by Pittsburgh, played in eight games with the Steelers over the past two seasons. During that span, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound Brown amassed 12 receptions for 94 yards. The wideout is 23 years old.

Brown joins Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Marcus Thigpen and Deonte Thompson as the wide receivers officially under contract with the Bills. Marcus Easley is an impending unrestricted free agent, Chris Hogan is an exclusive rights free agent, while both Caleb Holley and Tobais Palmer were signed to reserve/futures contracts shortly after the end of the regular season.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Report: Bills' Ryan to attempt to rope in FA to be Revis

Old habits die hard in the National Football League, and that can certainly be applied to Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his defensive philosophies. Ryan is known for packing the pressure at opposing offenses, which leads his defense to depend heavily on positive play from its cornerbacks.

The Bills already have an up-and-coming cornerback in Stephon Gilmore, but one report indicates the new Bills head coach isn't satisfied with just him. Ryan is looking for a high-profile reunion for his brand new defense in Buffalo.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bills head coach will attempt to lure cornerback Darrelle Revis to Buffalo this offseason. Revis, currently on the New England Patriots, is set to become an unrestricted free agent with the start of the new league year in March.

In the same report, the New York Jets are said to be interested in trying to sign the All-Pro cornerback as well. Revis, 29, had 47 tackles and two intereceptions in 16 starts for the Patriots this season. He signed a one-year contract worth $12 million in the offseason with New England.

The Patriots do have a team option on Revis that they must exercise by the end of the league year in March. If they choose to do so, Revis would be owed a $12.5 million roster bonus and carry a base salary of $7.5 million. Those two, combined with the $5 million prorated signing bonus from the previous year would push Revis' cap number up to $25 million for 2015.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
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Topics : Sports
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Locations : BuffaloNew England
People : Adam SchefterDarrelle RevisRex Ryan