Without looking it up, can you name every single wide receiver on the Buffalo Bills roster right now?
I'm sure you got Stevie Johnson no problem, and perhaps it took you a few more seconds to get T.J. Graham. Then you remembered that Brad Smith is still around, and maybe even you got to Marcus Easley. From there, the wideout group as currently constructed, is rounded out by Kevin Elliot and Chris Hogan.
With only one starting caliber player out of that group, it's fair to say that adding wideouts (yes, plural) is essential to the Bills' off-season. With only six picks in the draft and a ton of positions to address, Buffalo will likely have to strike in free agency for a player to catch some passes.
While some Bills fans would love the team to add the Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings type, that just isn't very realistic considering how much Stevie Johnson is signed for.
So when you look at the wide receiver group that will be free agents, look to the second-tier. Players that have some experience and production in the league, but haven't been able to put it all together in the NFL to this point.
One man the Bills could be considering? St. Louis Rams wideout Brandon Gibson.
Here's a case for, and against, the Bills bringing in Gibson:
The Case For Brandon Gibson
In his four years in the league, Gibson has gotten 38 starts in his time with the St. Louis Rams. That is an obvious pre-requisite for the Bills, considering that T.J. Graham hasn't taken the next step up in his career quite yet and Brad Smith is still only Brad Smith.
Sure, the Bills could take a wide receiver in the first round and start him right away, but they don't have any insurance behind him. Gibson could serve as that.
It's not just a one-year wonder situation with Gibson. In 2012, he had over 50 catches for the second time in three years. Perhaps it goes with the state of the team in St. Louis, but his touchdown production also rose up last season, bringing in five separate scoring plays.
He doesn't necessarily have the speed that teams covet, which will drive his price down. However, it's his ability to gain separation, show an above-average consistency with his hands and his size (6-foot-0, 205 pounds) that will get some teams to bite.
Not to mention the Bills certainly remember Gibson well from this past season. He just so happened to have his best game of his four-year career when the Rams visited Buffalo in December. Gibson had his first career 100-yard receiving game on six catches, adding in the game-winning touchdown to do the Bills in.
If he's looking for a team that he could start all of 2013 with (before the draft, mind you), Buffalo could interest him greatly.
The Case Against Brandon Gibson
The Brandon Gibson detractors can start with the last piece of information I just laid out. In 38 career starts, Gibson only had one 100-yard receiving outing. That may have something to do with his quarterback play, but the inconsistency of his performances delve deeper than just the rounded receiving yard marker.
In 38 starts, Gibson has only eclipsed over 75 yards receiving in four separate games. He's gone over 90 yards only three times. In fact, it took nearly three calendar years for Gibson to have his first 90-yard receiving game repeated. He first accomplished it on November 15, 2009, his rookie season. He didn't duplicate the feat until October 14, 2012.
Gibson dressed for a total of 55 games over that four-year stretch.
Another factor working against Gibson could very well be his cost. He seems to be the favorite of a few different teams looking for second-tier wide receivers.
According to long-time Rams writer Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there is a fair amount of interest in Gibson's services. With that type of interest, Gibson's price could very well go up, and the Bills may get in a situation where they'd have to overspend on a player that hasn't had the production to go along with it.
While his age (25) works in his favor for contractual purposes, that might also be a contributing factor that leads to his price going up. Either way, Gibson looks to be someone that should have no trouble in finding work.
The Bills are looking for someone with his type of experience, but his contract may not match his production and that could potentially scare Buffalo away.
Will They or Won't They?
To me, Gibson is one of the better second-tier options. The Bills could still look at players like Donnie Avery, Kevin Ogletree, Austin Collie, Mohamed Massaquoi and Ramses Barden as well. There is little doubt in my mind that Buffalo will likely put in a call to many of the players I just listed, but they have to find someone at the position at the right price. Especially considering Stevie Johnson's contract, and the fact that they will likely draft a wide receiver within the first three rounds. If Gibson doesn't garner the interest that is expected, the Bills should strike. If they have to get in to a bidding war for his services, though, I think they would probably walk away and find someone else.
Go for the dented car, the dead end job the mediocre free agent!
Id love to have him anything is better then Easley!
Not a practice squad player or an undrafted free agent. If you don't know Nix by now Joe, you'll never know him. Plan on another lost year.
Gibson works, don't draft a WR high
I don't like the idea of spending anything higher than a 3rd rounder on a WR w/ no franchise QB in place yet and our glaring needs at the LB positon. We got a chance to have Jarvis Jones at OLB to help the pass rush and someone like Nassib could beavailable in the 2nd...Gibson has the speed we need to strech the feild.
Look to INDY
Avery (though with Andrew Luck) looked very impressive this pass year. Most consistant of all the before mentioned.
When players have career days vs us we see them as our "savior"
I am all for improving this position, but let's hope that Nix did some diligent homework on film not involving our horrid pass D
besides Easley,(injury prone)he'd also be better then Ruvell Martin.
is a medical nightmare waiting to happen. He has a rare form of spinal stenosis,or a shrinking of the spinal canal which given time in this game could paralyze him. The same or similar thing happened with former Bill Derrick Burroughs, forcing him to retire early.
RE: Homer Simpsons Dad..
Actually no, this article was written by Joe Buscaglia, someone who has probably forgotten more about football players than you’ll ever know. Why don’t you go ahead and enlighten us on who the Bills should pick up in Free Agency to fill the need of #2 WR? You wanna pay Greg Jennings 10 million a year to do that? You wanna take on the poster boy for post-concussion syndrome in Austin Collie? Or maybe we should spend our first rounder on a WR with the hopes we could get the next Julio Jones, but maybe end up with the next James Hardy. Gibson is one of the better options out there for our specific need.
Pay Jennings $10 million to be the #1 WR
Stevie is a #2 WR
Joe! We need a QB to throw to any WRs?
Not presently on this team?
RE: Homer Simpson's Dad..
BAM!! Couldn't have said it better. If I could, I would have been the one to write the aritcle.
the other ram
is amendola unavailable? i guess he might be too pricey, but i like his production and i think he's the type of guy that can produce in any system
Draft Patterson and sign Amendola (Welker-ish type slot). Teamed with Stevie you would be immediately legit at receiver. Take your QB in the second (Wilson, Manuel or Nassib) assuming they are there. Keep Fitz as your Flynn type vet and hold an open competition at QB. Pray that the kid you draft is Russell Wilson. The draft is deep at D End and Linebacker. Use your free agency money on corner or safety (Sean Smith or Landry) and cross your fingers that coaching was a huge problem for this team. Done. Buy your playoff tickets now.
As a Rams fan...
I can tell you that Brandon Gibson will disappear for games at a time. He'll also make a fantastic catch and then drop one right in the bread basket with no one covering him. It's quite frustrating to watch...
Target a real WR
Why aren't the bills linked to any efforts to make a play for Welker or Amendola? They really could use a quality slot receiver with only having Chandler at TE. Trading for Percy Harvin would always be a good idea too...
Jennings, Amendola, & Wallace ain't walking throught that door...
I love how this article gives a realistic option of who the Bills should pick up and it's meet w/ a bunch of snickering and unrealistic counter-options. Some of you sound ridiculous. Last spring we couldn't even pull Robert Meachem in on opening day of FA, but were gonna get Amendola & Jennings instead of say New England or Houston? C'mon...landing Mario was the exception, not the rule.
Jennings, Amendola & Wallace...
Keep shooting low, Buffalo sports fan. "Landing Mario was the exception" is classic Buffalo l0ser speak. Really? Amendola is a unattainable Pro-Bowler? If that's the case we should thrown in the towel, move the team to Canada and root for the Bandits to be relevant. I hear the Browns are in contact with Ellerby. I bet the fans in Cleveland aren't saying, "don't bother, he'll never come here!". It's hard to read some of this stuff on here. Yes, is Brandon Gibson an option? Sure he is. Does that mean we can't aim higher or question this article? Of course not. Stop with all the pretentious talk that somehow the "average" fan doesn't know football as well as Buscaglia, we do. We just don't get paid to talk about it on air. For the record, I enjoy Buscaglia, doesn't mean I agree with every word he types. Time for the kids down at One Bills Drive to aim higher, they did with Mario, they can do it again.
no receiver coming here
without a quarterback
re: jennings, amendola, &wallace ain't walking through that door...
That title could not have been a more obvious statement. Did you realize those three aren't coming on your own? LOL. Stevie's contract totally prevents that from happening. In regards to Meachem...that is a poor example as the Bills are better to not have him on their team. He did a bunch of nothing with a solid qb in Rivers in San Diego.
I agree with Joe...don't overpay for Gibson. If you can get him for a decent price do it...otherwise go for one of the lower tier for backup purposes. Draft Cordarelle with our first pick, take qb in round 2.
Would be a way better pick than some raw WR from Tennessee. There is no Calvin Johnson/AJ Green in this draft. Regarding Jarvis health,read the following (cut and paste):
BUCKY BROOKS SAID HE WOULD COME BACK FOR THE RIGHT PRICE! so would jerry butler i just talked to him at the old folks home he thinks its 1981 again!
Ok. First off, Robert Meachem was a GREAT example because I was saying he wasn't even that good. And all 3WR's named are gonna be #1 WR's and paid accordingly (see how much $ Brian Hartline just got, Amendola is WAY better than him). And yes i said Mario was the exception because how many times have we landed the most sought after player in the FA in the last decade? It's not pessimism, it's reality. I didn't mean to get rude but I HATE comments like the Homer Simpson's Dad one. Log on, throw a stone at the author without actually giving a better idea or option. And what's stupid about it is he listed pro's & con's. Not my job to defend Joe, but Joe does this for a living, so YES HE PROBABLY KNOWS MORE INFO ABOUT FOOTBALL PLAYERS THAN THE AVERAGE FAN!