4 Available Free Agents Still Within Buffalo Bills' Reach
Even though free agency started over a month ago and the free-agency pool is drastically smaller, the Buffalo Bills have continued to look for players. On April 8, the Bills signed Jarius Wynn to provide depth along the defensive line.
These types of signings aren't necessarily going to excite fanbases. However, they have become a necessity in today's NFL, as teams need to have depth to protect against injuries.
With the NFL draft quickly approaching, the Bills should continue to look at potential free agents who could provide this much-needed depth. I have picked out four players who are still currently available that could be good fits on this team.
Stephen Nicholas was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 and has played all seven years in Atlanta. He started the four seasons before 2013 but lost his starting job to linebackers Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow. He was released at the end of the season because the Falcons were in need of salary-cap relief.
The Bills have revamped their linebacker group with the additions of Keith Rivers and Brandon Spikes, who is expected to start alongside Kiko Alonso. The team is still in need of depth at the position, though, and Nicholas could be a good veteran to add to this group. He is a player who has starting experience and could step into the role if needed.
Another free agent the Bills may want to consider is one of Nicholas former teammates, guard Garrett Reynolds. The Falcons drafted Reynolds in the fifth-round of the 2009 NFL Draft but after a sub-par season last year, he was released by the Falcons.
The Bills have wanted to build a big offensive line and Reynolds has the frame to fit right in at 6'7" and 310 pounds. He started 10 games last year for the Atlanta Falcons and gave up four sacks and 22 quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Reynolds is also fairly young at only 26 years of age and given time to work under the coaching of Doug Marrone could step into a starting role in the future.
John Wendling is a former sixth-round pick by the Buffalo Bills who has played the last four years with the Detroit Lions. He wouldn't be someone who would compete for the starting safety spot left by Jairus Byrd, but rather he would help a special-teams unit that has gone through a major change this offseason.
Aside from his play on special teams, Wendling would be a great player to have on the field as Jim Schwartz tries to get the defensive players up to speed learning his defensive scheme.
The Bills had success last year with bringing in Jim Leonhard, who was familiar to Mike Pettine's defense. It will be even more vital this year to have a veteran like Wendling, as the Bills will be relying on players like Da'Norris Searcy and Duke Williams to fill in for Byrd.
J'Marcus Webb is a player who has starting experience, is still relatively young in his career and could step into the starting lineup if needed. He was drafted in 2010 by the Chicago Bears and actually replaced new Bills guard Chris Williams at left tackle.
Webb has been a starter for the majority of his career at both left and right tackle, starting 44 games over his first three seasons. He was waived prior to last season, though, and finished the year with the Vikings, playing in eight games and starting one.
The Bills backup at the tackle position right now is Chris Hairston; however, he has battled leg injuries that that put him on the IR in 2012 and forced him to miss all of 2013. Buffalo News' Tim Graham tweeted that Doug Marrone has said Hairston still needs to pass a team physical.
With the uncertainty surrounding Hairston, it would make sense for the Bills to add a player like Webb who has starting experience and could provide good depth at offensive tackle.