A good chunk of Bills news in recent weeks and months has related to the sale of the franchise, following the passing of longtime owner Ralph Wilson earlier this year. While the focus shifted back to the players this week, Buffalo likely would have preferred that wasn’t the case, since the news wasn’t good — second-year linebacker Kiko Alonso tore his ACL working out, an injury that will sideline him for the 2014 season. As the Bills consider their options for how to cope with the loss of their leading tackler, let’s round up the latest items out of Buffalo….
- Even with Alonso out for the year, the Bills are confident in their depth at the linebacker position, and don’t feel as if they need to acquire a starter, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. As our list of free agents shows, there are a number of veterans who could potentially provide one-year help for Buffalo, but even if the club were to add one, it would probably be for insurance purposes rather than with the expectation that a new player would fill Alonso’s role.
- That role, tweets Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage, is a crucial one because Alonso was capable of playing in the team’s base, nickel, and dime defenses. In his absence, the team may have to lean on multiple players to provide that level of versatility.
- Keith Rivers and Nigel Bradham may look like the odds-on favorites to help fill in for Alonso, but Tim Graham of the Buffalo News hears the team is consider a significant role for rookie Preston Brown, drafted 73rd overall out of Louisville. The Bills’ front office was “thrilled” with how Brown looked in spring workouts, while the coaching staff “raved behind the scenes” about how well he practiced, says Graham.
- In non-Alonso news, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap took a look at the Bills for the latest installment in his series on teams’ best and worst contracts. In Fitzgerald’s view, the most team-friendly veteran deal on Buffalo’s books belongs to Kyle Williams, while fellow defensive lineman Mario Williams arguably has “one of the worst contracts in the entire NFL.”