The Bills were one of the league’s most active teams this past offseason, bringing in players like LeSean McCoy and Matt Cassel via trades, signing Charles Clay and Percy Harvin in free agency, and locking up Jerry Hughes to a lucrative long-term contract. Still, while the team’s new additions have played a part in Buffalo’s early-season success, it’s the players in contract years that have contributed even more significantly, writes Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News.
As Dunne outlines, linebacker Nigel Bradham is among the Bills who have performed well in the early going and will be eligible for free agency after the season. And Bradham agrees that it’s “most definitely” a motivator to be playing for a new deal.
“It can keep you focused knowing you have to continue to play well,” Bradham said. “Because you want that — especially when you’ve never had an opportunity to get it. For me, I just play. That’s what I tell myself. Just play.”
Here’s more from around the NFL’s two East divisions:
- The Giants brought wide receiver Wes Welker in for a workout this week, and head coach Tom Coughlin said the veteran free agent looked healthy and “very quick.” New York hasn’t signed Welker, but Coughlin acknowledged that there’s “always a chance” if the need arises (Twitter links via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News).
- By trading from a position of strength, the Patriots were able to add another player at a position that’s generally hard to fill, says Mike Reiss of ESPN.com in his assessment of the team’s swap of TE Michael Hoomanawanui for defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. As Reiss observes, there’s no guarantee Hoomanawanui would have even earned a post on New England’s initial 53-man roster if fullback James Develin hadn’t broken his leg.
- With the Jets and Dolphins prepared to play one another for the first time this season, George Willis of the New York Post suggests that Jets head coach Todd Bowles is already making the Dolphins regret passing him over. Bowles was Miami’s interim head coach at the end of 2011, but the team opted to hire Joe Philbin in the offseason, rather than having Bowles continue on in the role.