The Buffalo Bills made a lot of moves this offseason, most notably upgrading their defense with the additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. They signed quarterback Vince Young to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick as well. However, despite being deep at almost every position across the board, there are still some additions that could be made to improve the roster, especially if the injury bug strikes Orchard Park again.
I know, I know, the Bills are deep at the wide receiver position with 10 wideouts currently on the roster. But other than Stevie Johnson, who has really been productive? In his first season after of his two-year stint in prison, Burress caught 45 passes for 612 yards, and scored eight touchdowns. The 35-year-old could bring a veteran presence to a team whose oldest receiver is the unproductive Ruvell Martin, who is 29.
At 6’5″ 226 pounds, Burress is strictly a red-zone threat, but the Bills could use him in various packages while developing fellow wideouts Donald Jones, T.J. Graham, and Marcus Easley, who has yet to play an NFL down.
Despite his age, I’d much rather give a moderate contract to a strong red-zone threat than any of the unproven wideouts the team has picked up off of the street.
The Bills re-signed Scott Chandler to a two-year, $5.45 million contract this offseason, but could also use another tight end. Last year, the 32-year-old Shiancoe caught 36 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns with inconsistent quarterback play, but it would be interesting to see what he could do in a two tight end set with Chandler.
Remember, with Brett Favre under center in 2009, he caught 56 balls for 566 yards and found the end zone 11 times. Since Chandler is still green at 26 years old, having a veteran mentor like Shiancoe could do wonders for his development.
The Bills currently have Nick Barnett and Kirk Morrison slated as their weak-side and strong-side linebackers, respectively, but both are 30 years old, and Barnett is accustomed to the inside backer position in the 3-4 defense. While I’m not expecting a down season from Barnett, the Bills aren’t very deep behind him at outside backer. As much as we love Arthur Moats, he has been highly unproductive and inconsistent. Chris White and Nigel Bradham wouldn't excite me either if they were forced into a starting role.
Ernie Sims was extremely productive in his first four years with the Detroit Lions, racking up 421 tackles in that time before playing for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts. At 27 years old, bringing Sims in on a cheap one- to two-year deal seems reasonable for competition purposes.
A 32-year-old veteran who played all nine of his professional seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, E.J. Henderson could be the perfect mentor to second-year linebacker, Kelvin Sheppard, now that Andra Davis is gone. Last year, Henderson started all 16 games for the VIkings, making 107 tackles, two sacks, and forced three fumbles.
However, money could be an issue, because apparently he is looking for the same money he made last year, and may want to stay with the Vikings, according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
There is still a good chance that E.J. Henderson will sign with the Vikings once he agrees to a contract paying the linebacker quite a bit less than the $6.7 million he was paid last year. Henderson still is demanding the same pay he got last year.
Jason Brown was once considered one of the best centers in the National Football League, making 91 starts out of a possible 112 games. Eric Wood is quickly becoming recognized as a high-quality center, but he is injury-prone, missing 15 games in the last three seasons. Brown is 29 and would be a solid backup and rotational guard for one of the league’s top offensive lines.
However, Brown is reportedly “taking his time” and looking for the “right fit” in free agency. The Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens offered him a “conservative” one-year deal, as reported by NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, but if Buddy Nix can draw his interest, Brown would be a huge upgrade to the Bills’ interior line.