Until you take the Fire McDermott or Fire Coordinator path, don’t do it. I’m not in this camp. While I have my concerns about defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, I don’t think we need to fire him just yet. The Bills have come a long way from where we were during the 17-year playoff drought. Other areas of the roster could use an upgrade that would help bring this team over the hump.
As we get closer to beginning free agency and drafting, we’ll delve more deeply into the options the Bills might have to fill some of those gaps.
As things currently stand, there are too many question marks in the security space. We don’t know if Jordan Poyer will return and it’s not known if Damar Hamlin can return as well. In a perfect world, they both come back, and that almost becomes a strength. But in case of uncertainty, the team needs to have a contingency plan, either through the draft or free hand, maybe both.
The team currently has Micah Hyde, Siran Neal, Hamlin and Jared Mayden under contract. Dean Marlowe and Jaquan Johnson are free agents, along with Jordan Poyer, of course. Marlowe was brought in late in the season through injury and Johnson was far from impressive in his first year as a starter early in the season.
According to Spotrac, Poyer’s estimated market value is just over $11 million a year, and with other free agents on the list, notably Tremaine Edmunds, I don’t think the Bills will fire Poyer unless he’s willing to take advantage of this hometown discount.
2nd line of defense
The Bills only have two defensemen who are free agents going into this offseason, Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips. Will the Bills bring these two back or move on? I would love to see Phillips again as he was playing very well until his shoulder injury.
Also missing from the lineup against the Bengals was Daquan Jones, who played very well, and his absence was grossly underestimated.
Von Miller will be back sometime in the 2023 season and I think Gregory Rousseau will only get better but this team needs more answers up front. With Miller lost, the Bills were severely limited in their pass rush ability as opposing teams found it easier to play Rousseau and Ed Oliver.
Speaking of Oliver, at this point in his career, it’s been a relatively disappointing career. Because where he was drafted, I expected a lot more from him. He will be in his final year of contract next season and will have to prove himself. He’s far more impressive alongside Miller and Jones. The problem is he needs players around him who can grab attention like Miller was able to do earlier in the season.
1st offensive line
At the end of the day, I hope the Bills put a lot of focus, money, and resources into improving their offensive line. Much like the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals have done for the last two seasons. I like Dion Dawkins, Mitch Morse and I think Spencer Brown can be a solid right tackle as he continues to develop. The two sentry posts currently manned by Ryan Bates and Roger Saffold need to be upgraded.
If you look at the PFF grades for these guys, only Dawkins was rated over 70 and that should be a cause for concern. Morse was only rated 61.4; however, was good enough to rank sixth best in the league. Despite my faith in Brown, PFF gave him a 51.4, which is terrible, but take a look at Saffold and his 43.7 rating!
Something needs to change on the offensive front for the Buffalo Bills. You need to address that area of the team or Josh Allen will be under constant pressure next season. As I sit here writing this, I’m watching this Eagles team dominate the 49ers, and a big reason for that is their line. You can look back on the Bills team of the late ’80s and early ’90s, and they had one of the best offensive lines in the league.
I’ve heard from a number of fans urging the Bills to sign a big name running back from freehand, like AJ Dillon, or trade for Deandre Hopkins for a boost on offense and more guns for Allen . Imagine what Allen and this offense could achieve even with the players in the current skill position with an improved offensive line. The Bills averaged nearly 400 yards in offense, finished second in the league, and was one of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL. I shudder to think how unstoppable this offensive would be with an improved line.
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