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Buffalo Bills: The Top 7 Free Agents to Target

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IJuly 27, 2011

Buffalo Bills: The Top 7 Free Agents to Target

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    Yes, I am ready for some football. 

    Aren't we all. 

    With a shiny, new 10-year CBA in place, about five months of typical NFL offseason action will be condensed into a week or so, with what should be a frantic free agency period capping off this week. 

    The Buffalo Bills, perennial cellar inhabitants of the AFC East are more than 36 million dollars under the salary cap and although they aren't known for making huge splashes in free agency, they certainly have the money to do so this year. 

    Let's take a glance at the 7 remaining free agents that should be on GM Buddy Nix's radar. 

Buffalo Bills: The Top 10 Free Agents to Target

2 of 9

    Yes, I am ready for some football. 

    Aren't we all. 

    With a shiny, new 10-year CBA in place, about five months of typical NFL offseason action will be condensed into a week or so, with what should be a frantic free agency period capping off this week. 

    The Buffalo Bills, perennial cellar inhabitants of the AFC East are more than 36 million dollars under the salary cap and although they aren't known for making huge splashes in free agency, they certainly have the money to do so this year. 

    Let's take a glance at the 7 remaining free agents that should be on GM Buddy Nix's radar. 

7. Troy Smith: QB San Francisco 49ers

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    I know, I know many of you would like to see Vince Young in this spot, but I think his off-field issues will keep him off the Bills radar. 

    Something about Smith's skill set intrigues me, although he's small for the quarterback position. 

    He has a decent arm and is elusive, two traits Chan Gailey likes in his signal callers. 

    May be a long shot, but an above average option to backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

6. Dawan Landry: S Baltimore Ravens

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    Landry is an aggressive, run stuffing safety who could fill the void left by Donte Whitner if he's not resigned by the Bills. 

    Some insiders say the Ravens are willing to bring Landry back at the right price, but he could be seeking near five million per season. 

    Whitner has piled up a great deal of tackles for the Bills during his stay in Buffalo, but Landry doesn't come with the off-field headache and overall is more of a playmaker.  

5. Kevin Boss: TE New York Giants

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    Call me crazy, but Kevin Boss is the type of player I think could flourish in Chan Gailey's system. 

    Buffalo hasn't had a dangerous tight end threat in quite some time and if the Bills' offense wants to build on an underrated 2010 season they'll need to incorporate a big target down the seam.

    Boss isn't the flashiest tight end in the league, but he's more productive than you think.

    He averaged 15.2 yards per catch last season and caught five touchdown passes.

    Should be somewhat of a cheap opinion for the Bills that could benefit their aerial attack greatly.   

4. Manny Lawson: LB/DE San Francisco 49ers

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    Linebacker is the biggest area of need for the Bills in their 3-4 defense and although Buffalo has a few young players like Arthur Moats and Alex Carrington that they would like to see grow into outside edge roles along their defensive front, Lawson could be an underrated option.

    He was drafted in the first-round and never really lived up to the hype, but he has experience in the 3-4 alignment and had 9.5 sacks over the past two years for San Francisco.  

3. Barrett Ruud: LB Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Ruud is the exact do-it-all linebacker the Bills desperately need. 

    He is kind of in the same mold as Paul Posluszny, but he's more of a playmaker and Buffalo needs to make a change in their linebacking corp. 

    Ruud will make a lot of tackles and could bring more impact to the middle of the Bills defense.

    He is not a huge upgrade over Posluszny, but I simply cannot watch Poz' make tackles 15 yards down the field anymore.  

2. Tyler Thigpen: QB Miami Dolphins

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    Thigpen won't come in and compete for a starting job, but his background with Chan Gailey makes him a likely candidate to at least have discussions with Buffalo, and he's an option that could work for the Bills. 

    Gailey worked with him in Kansas City and actually got decent production out of the former seventh-round pick in 2008. 

    He would be content in a backup role and because of his familiarity with Gailey the offense shouldn't totally collapse if he had to spell Fitzpatrick due to injury. 

1. Kevin Burnett: LB San Diego Chargers

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    I can't get this point across enough...the Bills need an improved linebacking corp or they will struggle stopping the run again. 

    Kevin Burnett isn't the savior, but he's a great option for Buffalo. 

    He is an eight-year player that has gotten better each season and has stayed relatively healthy. 

    Burnett would bring athleticism, veteran savvy and a pass rushing boost to the middle of the Bills defense.  

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