Buffalo Bills Rumors & News

Rodak: Bills Don't Want To Lose Gillislee

  • The Bills don’t want to lose running back Mike Gillislee like they did wideout Chris Hogan, writes ESPN.com Mike Rodak. The organixation assigned their former receiver the cheapest restricted free-agent tender last offseason, and the Patriots swooped in and signed him for practically nothing. The Bills have until March 9th to assign a similar tender to Gillislee. In 15 games last season, the running back ran for 577 yards and eight touchdowns on 101 carries.

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Bills Re-Sign LB Ramon Humber

The Bills have re-signed linebacker Ramon Humber, the club announced today. Although terms of the deal weren’t announced, Humber likely agreed to a one-year deal at or near the veteran’s minimum.Ramon Humber (Vertical)

[RELATED: Lorenzo Alexander To Get $10MM Per Year?]

Humber, 29, has always been a key special teams cog and continued in that role in 2016, playing on nearly three-quarters of Buffalo’s special teams snaps. In previous years, however, Humber had logged at least some time on defense, as he’d seen action on more than 700 total defensive snaps with the Saints from 2014-15. Last season, though, Humber only saw the field for 60 defensive plays despite the Bills’ suffering numerous injuries at linebacker.

An undrafted free agent out of North Dakota in 2009, Humber has carved out a nice career as he enters his ninth NFL season. In addition to Buffalo and New Orleans, Humber has also been employed by Indianapolis (with whom he started his pro tenure) and New England, who signed Hubmer last spring but released him during final cutdowns. All told, Humber has appeared in 108 career games and racked up 138 tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Opinion: Bills Should Sign Jay Cutler

  • If the Bills move on from quarterback Tyrod Taylor, they should sign soon-to-be released Bears signal-caller Jay Cutler to replace him, opines Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com in a piece focusing on potential offseason moves in the AFC East. Tony Romo or Jimmy Garoppolo are more appealing choices, Barnwell acknowledges, but he doesn’t expect the former to sign in Buffalo (if the Cowboys cut him) or the Patriots to trade the latter within the division. If those two are unattainable, the draft could be an option, though Barnwell argues that the Bills shouldn’t reach for a QB with the 10th overall pick. That would leave Cutler as the most logical solution. Not only would he come on a short-term deal, but he’d reunite with new Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. Cutler played under Dennison in Denver and has spoken highly of him in the past.

Lorenzo Alexander To Get $10MM Per Year?

On the heels of a shockingly effective season in which he earned a Pro Bowl nod and second-team All-Pro honors, journeyman linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is preparing to land a significant raise in free agency, as CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes in a piece that’s worth a full read. Alexander could end up with a short-term contract worth $5MM to $10MM per year, his agent, Peter Schaffer, told La Canfora.

Lorenzo Alexander

The success Alexander had in 2016 with the Bills was completely unexpected, as evidenced by the fact that the longtime special teamer had to settle for a minimum salary benefit deal last April. Alexander went on to find a home in now-former Bills head coach Rex Ryan‘s defense, though, as he notched 76 tackles, 12.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception in his age-33 season. Remarkably, Alexander entered 2016 having combined for nine sacks, four forced fumbles and no picks over the first nine years of his career, which he divided among the Redskins, Cardinals and Raiders.

Since his breakout season in Buffalo concluded, Alexander has stated that the Bills want him back, but he’s noncommittal about where he’ll play in 2017. Alexander, who’s listed at 245 pounds, would like to stay at his 2016 playing weight (235), he told La Canfora, who names a return to the Redskins, a reunion with ex-Washington defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in Cleveland, or a deal with the 49ers as possibilities. Staying close to his native Oakland would be a boon for Alexander, per La Canfora, which could tip the scales in the 49ers’ favor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

James Ihedigbo Wants To Re-Sign With Bills

  • James Ihedigbo became a starter almost immediately after signing with the Bills late in the season, and although the veteran safety ended his year on IR, he wants to return to the Bills, he told the team’s website. The 33-year-old Ihedigbo made three starts for the Bills, his fifth NFL employer, last season.

Bills GM Wants QB Cardale Jones To Start?

The Bills are still working through the idea of retaining quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but general manager Doug Whaley is thought to be in favor of starting 2016 fourth-round pick Cardale Jones next season, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News.Cardale Jones (Vertical)

[RELATED: Tyrod Taylor On Browns’ Radar]

Buffalo’s front office has been smitten with Jones for some time, as reports before last year’s draft indicated the club was “enamored” with the then-Ohio State quarterback, while Whaley & Co. were reportedly pushing for Jones to play at the tail end of last season. Jones eventually did see some action during Week 17, completing six of 11 passes for 96 yards and an interception, but the most notable thing he did during his rookie campaign was knock a phone out of a reporter’s hand during training camp with a pass that was overthrown by 20 yards.

But unless the Bills come to an agreement with Taylor, Jones may be their only option under center. The club could pursue a veteran in free agency, but most of the signal-callers on the open market are less than inspiring. One recent report claimed Buffalo has “significant” interest in Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, but Carucci shoots down that notion, observing that Romo likely will target a team with a clearer path to contention.

Meanwhile, while Taylor is not open to accepting a paycut in order to remain with the Bills, a “very real possibility” exists that Taylor would be amenable to some sort of contract restructure that lowers his 2017 cap charge but doesn’t amount to a pay reduction, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Of course, a restructure that doesn’t involve a paycut is essentially a cosmetic change that often allows a player to receive money even earlier, so theoretically any player should be receptive to such a move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Tyrod Taylor

Tyrod Taylor says that he wants to stay in Buffalo, but he won’t restructure his deal in order to facilitate a reunion. Taylor is unwilling to take a pay cut before reaching the open market, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News hears. Tyrod Taylor (vertical)

Agent Adisa Bakari firmly believes that Taylor will at least match his scheduled contract and possibly exceed it on the open market. If the Bills keep Taylor, they’ll have to pay him a guaranteed $30.75MM. Despite his ups and downs in 2016, Taylor’s rep believes that a better contract awaits him in March. In his defense, there are several clubs with major question marks at quarterback and this year’s so-so crop of draft QBs should only help Taylor’s value.

The Browns are said to have Taylor on their radar if they cannot land Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade with the Patriots. The Jets and 49ers also face major uncertainty at QB and Taylor could be of interest to them. And, despite some rocky games last year, Taylor did rank as Pro Football Focus’ No. 11 QB on the year thanks to his strong 87.5 score for running.

In my book, it would be foolish of Taylor to accept a reworked deal from the Bills at this time. At minimum, if he is secretly willing to accept less, he should wait until the March 11 deadline draws closer before settling.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor On Browns’ “Radar”

Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo remains the Browns’ No. 1 choice at quarterback, but the club has backup plans in case the price for Garoppolo is too steep. Cleveland will have Bills signal-caller Tyrod Taylor on their “radar” if he’s released by Buffalo, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.Tyrod Taylor (vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Release Josh McCown]

The Bills have until March 11 to make a decision on Taylor: the club holds a $15.5MM option bonus on its quarterback that would lock in $30.75MM in total guarantees. The club is expected to release Taylor before that decision is due, but the hiring of new head coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison could change that view. While Buffalo’s front office is said to be in favor of cutting Taylor, McDermott’s view on Taylor is an unknown, as Vic Carrucci of the Buffalo News writes, while Dennison’s arrival is thought to be a positive for Taylor given that the pair has a prior working relationship.

Meanwhile, the Browns have been linked to a number of quarterback options this offseason, and are likely to pursue a new signal-caller through the draft, free agency, or via trade. Cleveland now has at least one connection to Taylor, as the club today hired former Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee to the same role. Lee, who worked with Taylor during the past two seasons, will presumably offer Browns head coach Hue Jackson a fresh opinion on Taylor.

Cleveland won’t be the only club to express free agent interest in Taylor, who’s averaged roughly 3,000 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, and six interceptions during his two campaigns as a starter. The Cardinals are also expected to pursue Taylor if he hits the open market, as Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com recently reported.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Hire Two Coaches

  • The Browns have agreed to hire former Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee for the same role, tweets Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Lee, 63, has coached offenses and QBs since the mid-1970s, and most recently had two separate stints with the Buffalo interrupted by a run with the Jets. In Cleveland, he’ll work with Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and — if he’s retained — Robert Griffin III. Previously reported staff changes that included moving tight ends coach Greg Seamon to QBs coach were only in place for the Senior Bowl, adds Cabot (Twitter link).
  • The Bills have hired former NFL wide receiver Chad Hall as an offensive coaching assistant, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Hall, who played for the Eagles in 2010 while new Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott served as the club’s defensive coordinator, will work with the Bills’ wideouts, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. The Buffalo gig will mark the first coaching job for Hall, who last played in 2014 with Jacksonville.
  • Hall wasn’t the only coach hired by the Bills this week, as Buffalo also announced that its hired Bobby Babich as assistant defensive backs coach. Babich, the son of longtime NFL defensive coordinator Bob Babich, will serve under newly-installed DBs coach Gill Byrd. Babich, who spent the 2016 campaign with Florida International, has also spent NFL time with the Browns and Panthers.
  • The Chargers have hired D’Anton Lynn as a defensive assistant and Dan Shamash as an offensive quality control coach, per Caplan (Twitter link). Lynn, the son of new Los Angeles head coach Anthony Lynn, coached with the Bills last year, while Shamash spent the 2016 season with Jacksonville.

Bills To Hire Gill Byrd As DBs Coach

  • The Bills will hire Gill Byrd to coach their defensive backs, report Vic Carucci and Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). The father of ex-Bills safety and current Saint Jairus Byrd, Gill Byrd served as the Buccaneers’ defensive backs coach from 2014-15. He worked under former Bucs D-coordinator Leslie Frazier, who’s now atop the Bills’ defense, in each of those two seasons.