Ed Oliver will continue to participate in the Bills’ offseason program, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). Meanwhile, the defensive lineman is facing charges for gun possession and driving while intoxicated following his Saturday night arrest.
The Bills plan to let the legal process take its course, Pelissero hears, though it’s not immediately clear how the league office will proceed. Ideally, the Bills would like to have last year’s No. 9 overall pick on the field in 2020. Oliver showed serious potential with five sacks in his rookie year and he’s slated to take on an even larger role now that Jordan Phillips is out of the picture.
Last year, Phillips led the team with 9.5 sacks, but the Bills allowed him to walk in free agency knowing that Oliver could keep the pressure on. If Oliver’s availability is in doubt, the Bills may have to explore some out-of-house options for the front seven. For now, they’re projected to start Oliver, Mario Addison, Star Lotulelei, and Jerry Hughes on the front four. Meanwhile, they’ve got Quinton Jefferson, Vernon Butler, and Harrison Phillips among their backup options for the interior.
In other Bills news, GM Brandon Beane says he did not have any interest in a Sammy Watkins reunion this year. Watkins’ account may be slightly different, but in any case, the Bills are mostly set at wide receiver now that they have former Vikings superstar Stefon Diggs on board.