2012 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Buffalo Bills Free Agents:
Mario Williams, DE, Texans. Age: 27.
Signed with Bills (6 years, $100 million; $50 million guaranteed)
One of the top pass-rushers in the NFL will be allowed to hit the market because the Texans have other great rush linebackers. I'm not big on building through free agency, but teams should be selling their souls to get Williams on their roster.
Mark Anderson, DE, Patriots. Age: 29.
Signed with Bills (4 years)
Bill Belichick helped revive Mark Anderson's career. The former Bear went from being an afterthought to a double-digit sacker. It's hard to trust him outside of New England's system though.
- Vince Young, QB, Eagles. Age: 29. -- Signed with Bills (1 year, $2 million)
2012 NFL Free Agent Rankings Coming Soon
Divisional Rival History:
Steve Johnson, WR, Bills. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Bills (5 years, $36.25 million; $19.5 million guaranteed)
If Steve Johnson were as strong mentally as he is physically, he would be one of the top receivers in the NFL. Unfortunately, he has way too many drops in key moments and acts like a clown on the field.
Rian Lindell, K, Bills. Age: 35.
Re-signed with Bills
Rian Lindell went 13-of-15 in 2011 before landing on injured reserve with a shoulder issue. He's still reliable as ever.
Demetress Bell, OT, Bills. Age: 28.
Signed with Eagles (5 years, $35 million)
Demetress (formerly Demetrius) Bell, base-born in Philadelphia, surrendered just one sack in six starts last year. Bell has had knee issues throughout his career, so while the Bills should re-sign him, they should also be careful.
Kraig Urbik (RFA), G/C, Bills. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Bills (1 year, $1.26 million)
Kraig Urbik missed some time with a sprained MCL, but didn't permit a single sack in 2011. He played effectively at center once Eric Wood went down.
Chad Rinehart (RFA), G, Bills. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Bills (1 year, $1.26 million)
Chad Rinehart did a phenomenal job replacing Andy Levitre when the stud guard had to move around in the wake of injuries to Eric Wood and Demetrius Bell. Rinehart didn't allow a single sack.
Scott Chandler, TE, Bills. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Bills (2 years)
Scott Chandler caught 38 balls for 389 yards in 2011. He's a pretty mediocre talent.
- Reggie Torbor, ILB, Bills. Age: 31.
- Drayton Florence, CB, Bills. Age: 31. -- Signed with Broncos (2 years, $4.5 million)
- Tashard Choice, RB, Bills. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Bills
- Derek Hagan, WR, Bills. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Bills
- Bryan Scott, S, Bills. Age: 31. -- Re-signed with Bills
- Roscoe Parrish, WR, Bills. Age: 30. -- Signed with Chargers
- Reggie Corner, CB, Bills. Age: 28.
- Kirk Morrison, ILB, Bills. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Bills (2 years)
- Andra Davis, ILB, Bills. Age: 33.
- Ruvell Martin, WR, Bills. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Bills
- Jon Corto, S, Bills. Age: 27.
- Dave Rayner, K, Bills. Age: 29.
The Dolphins are 6-2 against the pathetic Bills since 2008.
New England Patriots:
Poor Bills. The Patriots have beaten them in 22 of the last 23 meetings, including the previous 17.
New York Jets:
The Jets have defeated Buffalo in seven of the past eight battles.
Features to be Posted This Offseason:
More 2011 NFL Offseason Pages:
- 2012 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)
- Detailed season preview
- Fantasy football projections
- Positional rankings
- Daily updates on free-agent signings
2012 NFL Offseason Pages
NFL Picks - Feb. 5
2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 5
2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 4
2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2
NFL Free Agents
Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15
2012 NFL Draft Grade: B
Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft:
Buffalo spent a ton of money this offseason revamping the defensive line. It also gave lots of cash to Ryan Fitzpatrick during the 2011 campaign. Upgrading Fitzpatrick's supporting cast is crucial at this point, especially considering that his left tackle recently signed with the Eagles. The cornerback position must also be addressed.
2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments:
The Bills accomplished the goals listed above, but they did so in a really risky manner. They spent their first two picks on boom-or-bust players. Stephon Gilmore was a typical Al Davis "height-weight-speed" prospect. He did not play well in 2011, though there's no denying his potential. Buffalo wanted either Mark Barron or Luke Kuechly, but they were both plucked off the board at Nos. 7 and 9, respectively.
Cordy Glenn was an amazing value pick in Round 2, but can he play left tackle? Most analysts think he could be used at right tackle and both guard positions, but Buffalo apparently envisions him as Fitzpatrick's blind-side protector. I suppose he can't be worse than what the Bills have there already.
I really loved how the rest of Buffalo's draft played out, save for a puzzling third-round pick on T.J. Graham. The Bills would have drafted Ron Brooks in Round 2 if they hadn't selected Gilmore at No. 10 overall, so he was a steal in Round 4. Zebrie Sanders and Tank Carder were both great fifth-round selections. Sanders has starting potential, while Carder would have been a second-day choice if he had been healthy in 2011.
I like what the Bills did overall, but there's no denying that their first two selections can completely bust just as easily as they can become reliable starters. However, considering that both Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey will be fired if they don't make the playoffs in the next couple of years, it's easy to understand why they took such big risks.
2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
10. Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: C+
Stephon Gilmore didn't play very well this past year, but he was pushed up because of his height-weight-speed. Players like this usually don't succeed in the NFL, though Gilmore's upside can't be ignored. The Bills needed a cornerback, so this made sense from a positional standpoint. Still though, I have to wonder how they're going to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick. I guess we'll see what happens in the next two days.
41. Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia: A+
Wow, this is amazing value. The Cardinals were interested in Cordy Glenn and even considered him at No. 13. The Bengals were linked to him at No. 21. I don't know how he fell to No. 41. Glenn has positional versatility and should be able to really bolster a very weak offensive front that lost Demetress Bell. Perhaps Ryan Fitzpatrick won't have to release the ball after taking three-step drops all the time going forward.
69. T.J. Graham, WR, N.C. State: Matt Millen First Kielbasa Kiss Grade
In back-to-back picks, we've had a first kielbasa date and a first kielbasa kiss grade. T.J. Graham was No. 185 on the consensus board. Todd McShay, who praised the pick, had Graham in the 130s. This is a major reach.
105. Nigel Bradham, OLB, Florida State: A Grade
Nigel Bradham could have easily been drafted in Round 3, so this is nice value for him. The Bills needed a third linebacker - they were considering Luke Kuechly before he was chosen a pick earlier in Round 1 - so Bradham fills a need.
124. Ron Brooks, CB, LSU: A+ Grade
The Bills would have selected Ron Brooks in the second round (why I mocked him there) if they hadn't obtained Stephon Gilmore in Round 1. They have to be shocked that he lasted this long. I am too. He was ranked in the 80s on most big boards. This is a steal.
144. Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State: A+ Grade
The Bills are killing it on Day 3. Zebrie Sanders was No. 84 on the consensus big board, so he provides tremendous value. Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey talked about bringing in multiple tackles this weekend, so Sanders makes sense in that regard. Let's just hope he doesn't fall asleep on the football field again.
147. Tank Carder, LB, TCU: A+ Grade
Wow. Buffalo has really improved its roster this weekend. Tank Carder would have been a second-round pick if he hadn't played hurt this past season. He's a really talented linebacker with a great work ethic. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he made it into the starting lineup in a year or two.
178. Mark Asper, G, Oregon: C- Grade
Blegh, finally a Bills' pick that I dislike. Mark Asper wasn't expected to even be a priority UDFA, so I'm shocked he was drafted. He doesn't fill a need either.
251. John Potter, K, Western Michigan: C Grade
I don't think John Potter will be able to beat out Rian Lindell. This pick was probably made just in case Lindell can't come back from his shoulder injury. You wouldn't think a shoulder would affect a kicker, but whatever.
When the Bills upset the Patriots in Week 3, everyone thought they were finally going to get over the hump and reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999. And they would have if half their roster hadn't landed on injured reserve. I'd wish the Bills better luck in 2012, but this franchise hasn't had the best fortune over the years.
Bills sign QB Vince Young
Broncos sign CB Drayton Florence
Bills cut CB Drayton Florence
Eagles sign OT Demetress Bell
Chargers sign WR/KR Roscoe Parrish
Bills re-sign RB Tashard Choice
Bills sign DE Mark Anderson
Bills re-sign S Bryan Scott
Bills re-sign WR Derek Hagan
Bills sign DE Mario Williams
Bills re-sign G Chad Rinehart
Bills re-sign G Kraig Urbik
Bills re-sign TE Scott Chandler
Bills re-sign WR Ruvell Martin
Bills re-sign WR Steve Johnson
Bills cut S Jon Corto
- Two Defensive Ends: No one on this team had 5.5 sacks last year, so I expect Buffalo to use the No. 10 overall pick on someone like Quinton Coples or Melvin Ingram. Signed Mario Williams and Mark Anderson
- Wide Receiver: Make it two wideouts in the event that Steve Johnson signs elsewhere. If Johnson stays on, a new No. 2 receiver will be needed because David Nelson is too inconsistent. Re-signed Steve Johnson and Derek Hagan; drafted T.J. Graham
- Left Tackle: Demetrius Bell played well when healthy last year, surrendering just one sack in six starts. He's a free agent, however, so Buffalo will have to retain him. Drafted Cordy Glenn and Zebrie Sanders
- Cornerback: Drayton Florence was awful in 2011, getting torched on a regular basis. Aaron Williams is expected to step into the starting lineup, but Buffalo will need to find depth at this position, especially with Terrence McGee turning 32 in October. Drafted Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks
- Outside Linebacker: The Bills will need a third linebacker to go along with Nick Barnett and Kelvin Sheppard. Drafted Tank Carder and Nigel Bradham
- Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick is capable of leading a team to the playoffs if he has a great supporting cast around him, but he's far too limited to win consistently with mediocre talent by his side. The Bills are stuck with him after signing him to a big contract, so they'll have to look into the middle rounds for a quarterback. Signed Vince Young
- Defensive Tackle Depth: The Bills may release Dwan Edwards, so they'll need depth behind Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams.
- Tight End: Scott Chandler is a free agent, but he can be upgraded anyway. Re-signed Scott Chandler
- Kicker: Rian Lindell is still getting the job done; he was 13-of-15 last year. However, he's a free agent. Buffalo should re-sign him. Re-signed Rian Lindell
2012 Buffalo Bills Analysis: The Bills have to stay healthy. That's what it comes down to. They were 5-2 after seven games last year, but things fell apart because nearly half the roster went down with injuries.
Buffalo has the talent to make a run at the postseason; it just needs better luck. But given how relaxing the schedule is and how much talent there is on this roster, it'll be mildly shocking if the Bills aren't in the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Projection: 11-5 (2nd in AFC East)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings
More 2012 NFL Season Previews
*** 2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES, OFFSEASON NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***