Bills Rumors

Bills Deny Giants’ Request To Interview Brian Daboll

Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was “high atop” new Giants head coach Joe Judge‘s list of OC candidates when he took over in New York, but Buffalo denied Big Blue’s request to interview the longtime NFL coach, reports Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

It’s no surprise the Bills didn’t allow to Daboll to speak with the Giants about what would have been a lateral move. Typically, clubs only allow their coaches to interview with other teams when a promotion is involved. And Daboll, who served as play-caller for the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, and the University of Alabama before landing in Buffalo, impressed enough in 2019 to warrant head coaching interest from Cleveland, is certainly a valuable commodity on Sean McDermott‘s Bills staff.

The Giants are clearly looking for an experienced offensive coordinator to pair with first-year coach Judge, who has never been an offensive nor defensive coordinator at any level. New York has already interviewed incumbent OC Mike Shula plus ex-Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, and is thought to also be interested in former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and ex-Dolphins OC Chad O’Shea.

Although the Bills ranked just 22nd in offensive DVOA a season ago, Daboll was lauded for running a creative offensive that utilized the strengths of 2018 first-round pick Josh Allen. In New York, Daboll would’ve been tasked with developing another first-rounder, 2019 No. 6 overall pick Daniel Jones.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Updated 2020 NFL Draft Order

The stage has been set for the conference championships. The Titans, Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers are moving on to the semifinals, while the Texans, Seahawks, Ravens, and Vikings will begin planning for the offseason ahead. Unfortunately for the Texans, their first round pick belongs to the Dolphins.

Here’s an updated look at the 2020 NFL Draft order from Nos. 1-28:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5 Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

25. Vikings (10-6)

26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)

27. Seahawks (11-5)

28. Ravens (14-2)

Browns Interested In GM Interview With Bills Joe Schoen

The Browns are the lone organization remaining without a head coach. After restructuring the front office, Cleveland is also searching for a new general manager. After years of internal turmoil, a primary aim of the search appears to be finding a general manager and head coach who have experience working together to keep the organization on the same page.

Earlier reports suggested Bills offensive coordinator Brian Dabol impressed the team in his interview for the head coaching job and now, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Browns have expressed interest in interviewing Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen for their general manager position.

Cleveland entered this season with some of the organization’s highest expectations in recent history. After finishing 2018 strong under interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, the organization doubled down on Kitchens, hiring him as the team’s head coach. Rather than taking the next step towards contention though, the team fell apart. Sophomore quarterback Baker Mayfield took a huge step back and the Browns proved to be one of the most undisciplined teams in football.

While Cleveland shares a division with the Ravens, questions surrounding the future for the Bengals and Steelers leave the rest of the division wide open. The next regime’s early success will likely rest on Mayfield’s shoulders, but with talented players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Myles Garrett there’s reason to believe a new contender could be built soon.

NFL Draft Rumors: Lions, Giants, Dolphins

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

  • Miller would be positively stunned if the Bengals don’t draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall and the Redskins don’t grab Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 pick.
  • With that in mind, Miller feels the draft truly starts at No. 3 overall, where the Lions pick. Sources tell Miller that they’ll look heavily at Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown. Then again, it’s a prime trade-back spot – teams like the Dolphins, Chargers, and Panthers could move up to land a QB.
  • Unless new head coach Joe Judge sways him in a different direction, Giants GM Dave Gettleman is expected to look at edge-rushers, left tackles, and wide receivers with the No. 4 pick. “He can’t help himself with linemen, so slot your top-rated offensive tackle there,” one scout who previously worked with Gettleman said. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas rank among the top tackles in this year’s crop.
  • No team has done more work on Oregon’s Justin Herbert than the Dolphins, who own the No. 5 pick and two more selections later on, Miller writes. The Dolphins will almost certainly go QB here, then shift their attention to offensive tackle, edge-rusher, and running back help.
  • The same source who tipped Miller off to the Cardinals‘ love of Kyler Murray last year says they’re wild about Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. But, internally, they also feel that the offensive line need is too big to overlook.
  • The Raiders, with two picks in the first round, are looking to go defense and wide receiver, Miller hears.
  • The Bills are already nervous about other teams leapfrogging them for wide receivers, Miller hears. The Bills own the No. 22 overall pick and nine total selections in the draft.
  • The Patriots are impossible to read, but none of Miller’s sources believe that they’ll draft a quarterback early on. Tom Brady has vowed to continue playing, but he’ll also explore his options in free agency.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/7/20

The latest reserve/futures signings from around the NFL:

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Updated 2020 NFL Draft Order

After a weekend full of drama and upsets, four more spots have been determined in this year’s NFL Draft order. Most notably – the Patriots will pick No. 23 overall, their highest original pick since 2006.

Here’s the updated rundown, from Nos. 1-24:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5. Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

Browns Notes: GM Search, DePodesta, McCarthy, Saleh, Daboll

While the primary focus in Cleveland remains on their search for a new head coach, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Browns could have their eyes on a pair of front-office employees with the Seahawks for their general managerial opening. Via Garafolo’s report, Seattle’s co-directors of player personnel, Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, are two well-respected executives that could emerge as leading candidates.

Here’s more notes from the Browns organization:

  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport noted that two head coaching candidates in the Browns search that align with Kirchner and Fitterer are former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. McCarthy’s connection to the two Seattle executives is unclear, but Saleh started his coaching career in Seattle and has built his defensive scheme upon the Seahawks 4-3 at the peak of the “Legion of Boom.”
  • The Browns pushed back their interview with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for Cleveland’s head coaching position, according to Ian Rapaport of NFL.com. Daboll remains a candidate, but since the Bills were eliminated from the playoffs in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Texans, the team decided to delay his interview to this week so he could meet more of the team’s current front office staff.
  • Browns chief strategist Paul DePodesta has been the center of a lot of coverage surrounding the power struggle in Cleveland. The onetime assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics is spearheading the Browns head coach search, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, but is not under contract with the team beyond next week. With that said, DePodesta is still wanted in Cleveland and the team may want to extend the executive at the same time of the team’s general manager and head coaching hires to put the organization on the same page.

Bills’ Lorenzo Alexander To Retire

Last January, Lorenzo Alexander said that 2019 would probably be his final season in the NFL. After the Bills’ heartbreaking loss to the Texans in Saturday’s wildcard playoff game, Alexander confirmed that he is going to retire, as Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic tweets.

Earlier this week, Alexander reiterated his retirement plans, even though he remains a productive member of Buffalo’s defense. 

Yes, obviously, it was a decision I made before the season, and at this point, we still have to play Houston,” Alexander said (via Leo Roth and Ryan Miller of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle). “My mind hasn’t even processed transition yet, so I’m still in this thing 100 percent. Once you start thinking about life after football, you kind of take some of the focus away from the guys and what’s important. The focus is on Houston now and we have to get a playoff win, obviously that would be huge for this organization and community.”

Alexander turned pro in 2005 but didn’t see his first NFL action until 2007 with the Redskins. He served mostly as a reserve and special teams player up until 2016, when he found a home with the Bills. In his age-33 season, Alexander started all 16 games and racked up 12.5 sacks en route to a Pro Bowl selection. All in all, he’s amassed 24 regular season sacks for the Bills.

Now, at the age of 36, Alexander is ready to move on from football. He’ll suit up for the Bills as they take on the Texans this weekend and he’s hoping for a February sendoff.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Place DT Armon Watts On IR

The Vikings have placed defensive tackle Armon Watts on injured reserve. To fill his roster spot, they’ve signed defensive end Eddie Yarbrough off the Bills’ practice squad. 

The Vikings selected Watts out of Arkansas with a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft. Watts did not play in the first half of the season, but he suited up for six of the team’s final seven games. In those games, he tallied 1.5 sacks.

Yarbrough appeared in 31 games for the Bills in 2017 and 2018, including six starts. This year, he missed the team’s final cut, but he hooked on with their practice squad. All of a sudden, Yarbrough has a chance at a Super Bowl ring.

The Vikings will face the Saints on Saturday in New Orleans. The secondary will have its work cut out for them as they try to keep a lid on Michael Thomas, so the Vikes are hoping for some pass rush pressure against Drew Brees.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Interview Bills OC Brian Daboll

Add another name to the list of Browns head coaching candidates. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that Cleveland will interview Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for the vacancy.

Daboll has had stints as offensive coordinator with four different organizations (including the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, and Bills), and his 2019 season may have been his best. The Bills rushing attack finished in the top-10 for yards (a fact that’s even more impressive when you consider that 36-year-old Frank Gore led the team in carries). Daboll has also received credit for helping to develop young signal-caller Josh Allen.

Daboll also has major experience in the playoffs. The coach has five Super Bowl rings from his various stints with New England (including the role of wide receivers coach). The 44-year-old also won a CFB national championship after serving as the co-offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2017.

Yesterday, the Freddie Kitchens era in Cleveland came to an end after just one season. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, an Ohio native, has already been mentioned as a candidate. The organization is also reportedly trying to secure interviews with Ravens OC Greg Roman and Vikings OC Kevin StefanskiStefanski was a finalist for the Browns’ HC job last year before they elected to hire Kitchens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.