Another unusual offseason awaits
Bills Digest|March 29, 2021
In a normal year, with a normal offseason, now would be the perfect time to give Josh Allen the monster contract extension he so clearly deserves.
MARK Ludwiczak

It’s not a normal offseason, however. We may be starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the coronavirus, but NFL business remains very much affected by the worldwide pandemic. Instead of having a comfortable amount of room under the salary cap, the Bills currently sit right around the projected cap number of $180-185 million. (As of press time, the official cap number had yet to be determined.) Instead of continuing its year after-year climb, the cap actually is set to decrease due to the necessary downturn in attendance.

The Bills should be able to create around $30 million in cap space with a handful of veteran cuts, which will give them both some breathing room and the ability to make a few key additions. It does not mean, however, that the Bills will likely be able to both spend and reward their own — which includes Allen — right away. It’s very different from last off-season, when the Bills had $80 million in cap space and were able to spend in free agency and sign Tre’Davious White, Dion Dawkins and Jordan Poyer to contract extensions.

Allen has one year remaining on his initial rookie contract, plus a fifth-year option for 2022. So there’s still time.

For now, the Bills should focus on two areas in free agency: the offensive line and the run defense.

The entire right side of Buffalo’s offensive line is set to hit free agency. Both players should absolutely return.

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RUNNING BACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS

Aaron Jones, Packers 5-9 • 208 pounds • 27 years old A fifth-round steal in the 2017 draft out of UTEP, Jones is equally proficient in the running and passing games. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards the last two years, and caught 49 and 47 passes, respectively. He’s also a touchdown machine with 30 TDs the last two years (25 rushing and 5 receiving). The son of two career Army officers, he’s a tough, driven player and the kind of guy players want on their team.

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THE RIGHT STUFF?

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QUARTERBACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS

Dak Prescott, Cowboys 6-2 • 235 pounds • 27 years old A solid starter who has a nice TD-INT ratio over his first five seasons (104-40), Prescott is an accurate thrower and very mobile. However, he’s coming off a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, so it remains to be seen if this will impact his game moving forward.

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TIGHT ENDS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS

Hunter Henry, Chargers 6-5 • 250 pounds • 29 years old A very talented player, Henry has had issues staying healthy, unable to complete an NFL season, including missing the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. But when healthy, he’s a terrific all-around tight end who really connected with Justin Herbert in 2020 with 60 catches. Henry is very good at finding holes in zone coverage.

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DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS

Leonard Williams, Giants 6-5 • 255 pounds • 28 years old An athletic 300-pounder with quick feet, Williams amassed a career-high 11.5 sacks last season. Add that to him being a stout run defender, very durable and possessing great character, and he should be in high demand. He won NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice last year. $$$$$

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What Bills Fans Are Saying

Bills Digest scanned the Bills’ Facebook page and other fan message board sites to gauge the hot topics Bills Nation is talking about. We chose some of the better posts, edited for brevity and clarity, and present them here, along with Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak’s take on what’s being discussed.

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Bills Digest BUZZ Box: Five hot topics Bills fans are talking about

Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak and editor-at-large Chris Brown weigh in on a handful of the hottest subjects Bills fans have been sounding off about in e-mails to our offices, radio call-in shows and Internet message boards. Have an opinion? Feel free to send an email to Chris (AskChris@bills.nfl.net) or Mark (Mark@asmpublishing.com).

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WIDE RECEIVERS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS

Allen Robinson II, Bears 6-2 • 220 pounds • 27 years old Coming off a 102-catch season, Robinson is a big, physical receiver who can go up and get the rock. He excels at climbing the ladder to high-point the ball. Imagine what he can do with an elite QB after playing in Jacksonville and Chicago. Though he has been in the league since 2014, he’s still only 27.

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GUARDS/CENTERS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS

Brandon Scherff, Washington 6-5 • 315 pounds • 29 years old The fifth pick of the 2015 draft, Scherff certainly lived up to the hype. He’s got everything teams want in a guard — size, grit, great technique, power and the mobility to get to the second level. His massive hands (11 inches) are a huge asset for a guard to grab and clutch. He made the Pro Bowl four of his first five NFL seasons. $$$$$

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Bills Digest
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Another unusual offseason awaits

In a normal year, with a normal offseason, now would be the perfect time to give Josh Allen the monster contract extension he so clearly deserves.

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