When the Buffalo Bills signed linebacker Manny Lawson to a four-year deal, that crossed off one need in free agency from the list. As the names continue to get plucked from the market, the natural question from fans is simple:
Who's left that the Bills might be interested in? We'll take a position-by-position look at their needs and who might be of service, in terms of free agency. Keep in mind, this is totally separate from draft needs. One more thing, the 'If I had to guess' areas are not based on any intimate knowledge but rather an educated opinion on who might fit their needs.
Here we go:
Need: Another body to add to the roster that comes relatively cheap, but can provide another arm at training camp with some NFL experience.
Names out there:
If I had to guess: Josh Johnson. He'll come cheap, has four years of NFL experience and would be a solid third string quarterback if the Bills only take one player at the position in April's draft.
Need: A second-tier wide receiver with some starting experience to come in and to either compete for the starting job opposite Stevie Johnson or to add depth for three and four wide receiver looks.
Names out there:
If I had to guess: Mohamed Massaquoi. With 43 total starts and good size (6-foot-2, 207-pounds), Massaquoi could be that potential starting option that can be had for a low, low price.
Need: A starter, depth or both. With the loss of both Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart, the left guard position needs to be addressed.
Names out there: Brandon Moore, Lance Louis,
If I had to guess: Brandon Moore. At 32, he's a bit older but has an obvious connection with Bills head coach Doug Marrone. Moore started 30 games with the Jets while Marrone was the offensive line coach there. The position will still need a young player added to take over for Moore when his production starts to dip, but that may come through the draft.
Need: A player that can add both experience and depth that has some experience in the nickel, and that may even compete for the starting job oppposite Stephon Gilmore.
Names out there:
Aqib Talib, Brent Grimes, Keenan Lewis, Nnamdi Asomugha, Antoine Winfield, Cary Williams, Brice McCain, E.J. Biggers, Mike Jenkins, Sheldon Brown, Tracy Porter, Antoine Cason
If I had to guess: Brice McCain. The Bills are in need of a cornerback to potentially take over at nickel, and McCain could be that player. Both Leodis McKelvin and Justin Rogers struggled while covering the slot, and while Ron Brooks is still on the roster, he's quite unproven.
Need: A veteran strong safety that can assist Da'Norris Searcy in his development, push him for a starting job and provide some insight in to the new defense.
Names out there: Bernard Pollard, Charles Woodson, Quintin Mikell,
If I had to guess: Jim Leonhard. A former starter for Mike Pettine who understands the defense, will come at a low price, is familiar with the area and organization and can provide solid special teams play. He also worked out for the Bills during last year's training camp before signing with Denver.
The Bills might also go after a third-string running back and fullback in free agency, but could also find both of those either in the draft or in undrafted free agency.