Tremaine Edmunds

Bills Cut LB Ramon Humber

A Week 10 depth move will result in the Bills cutting 10-year veteran linebacker Ramon Humber.

The Bills announced they will part ways with Humber, a third-year Buffalo contributor, and promoted wide receiver Robert Foster from their practice squad. Humber will venture to the waiver wire.

Tremaine Edmunds cleared concussion protocol and will be back in action in Week 10, lessening the need for help at linebacker. However, Humber played in all nine Buffalo games this season and started nine games for the 2017 Bills. He registered just nine tackles this season but made a career-high 83 last year.

A part-time starter for the Colts’ 2009 AFC championship team and a member of six Saints squads, Humber caught on with the Bills in August 2016 and re-signed to stay in western New York in 2017 and ’18. The 31-year-old ‘backer was making just more than $1MM this season.

A rookie out of Alabama, Foster’s seen action in six Bills games this season. He has two receptions for 30 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bills, Allen, Texans, Watson

The Bills began discussing the idea of taking a quarterback near the top of the 2018 draft all the way back in May 2017 when general manager Brandon Beane was hired, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.

It’s a quarterback league; you’ve either got one or you don’t,” Beane said. “And we were getting to know Tyrod and Tyrod brought a lot of good things for us, but we decided as the season moved on that we were probably going to go in a different direction, and at the same time we were still thinking, ‘OK, if Tyrod is our guy we’ll draft other things, and if not, we’ll be ready to move forward.’ And that planning really started in August with some of the moves we made, and to add the draft capital that we did.”

When it came time for the draft, the Bills managed to move up for Allen by sending their No. 12 pick and two second-round picks to the Bucs for the No. 7 choice. After that, the Bills doubted that they would be able to land Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who was another one of their top targets. Luckily for them, the Raiders opted to bolster their offensive line with the No. 15 pick, giving them an opportunity to trade up for Baltimore’s pick at No. 16.

We had tried to trade with Oakland … and they were like, ‘No, we’re taking the pick,‘” Beane said. “So I called [Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome] and we agreed to the terms while Oakland was still on the clock and he said, ‘Let me know if your guy is still there.’ So until I heard them say it was Kolton Miller you had to assume that they were taking Tremaine. And if they had we would have stayed pat at 22.”

The Bills are happy with how things turned out in the first round, but it may take a while before we see how this draft class pans out, particularly when it comes to Allen.

Here’s more from the AFC:

AFC East Notes: Bridgewater, Gillislee, Bills

When Teddy Bridgewater went down with a devastating knee injury during Vikings training camp in 2016, many doubted he would ever play again. Bridgewater’s journey has been a rollercoaster since then, from being the Vikings franchise quarterback to their third stringer by the time he returned, but he’s back on the field now and has already proved many doubters wrong.

After reportedly coming close to losing his leg entirely, Bridgewater is now a member of the Jets, signed to a one-year deal in March. Although the Jets used the third overall pick on Sam Darnold and still have Josh McCown ahead of Bridgewater for now, Bridgewater apparently has a “legitimate” shot at being the Jets’ 2018 starting quarterback, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter link).

Although very little of Bridgewater’s 2018 salary is guaranteed, he’s apparently showed well in OTAs thus far, making it more unlikely the Jets cut him. The key for Bridgewater will be his healthy and “showing his knee is sound” according to Cimini, who adds that nobody will “know that until he gets hit in a preseason game.” If Bridgewater does manage to win the Jets’ starting job this summer, it would be one of the most incredible comeback stories in recent memory.

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • The Patriots’ running back room is currently a bit crowded, and at least one notable name will need to be cut before the regular season begins. That’s most likely to be Mike Gillislee according to Doug Kyed of NESN.com, who says he likes Jeremy Hill‘s chances of making the team better than Gillislee’s, and adds that he has “some questions about Gillislee’s effort after some drill work in OTAs.” A much-hyped free agent acquisition last offseason, Gillislee now appears to be on the outside looking in for a roster spot as he’s buried behind Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden, and possibly Hill.
  • Bills rookie first-rounder Tremaine Edmunds “seems destined to start from Day 1” according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Despite being just 19 when he was drafted, Edmunds is expected to be an every down player at middle linebacker for the Bills. La Canfora adds that rookie quarterback Josh Allen was “hardly perfect” in Thursday’s OTA session, and that he’s likely to begin the season on the bench behind A.J. McCarron. While Edmunds could make some of the Bills’ veteran linebackers expendable, the Bills will likely keep McCarron around since he’s due a relatively cheap $5MM salary, unless Allen is lights out during the preseason.
  • The Jets may target a veteran tight end towards the end of training camp, according to Daryll Slater of NJ.com. Slater points out that the Jets have a group of inexperienced young players at tight end, and the team will want to see how they perform this summer. If they don’t show well, the team will likely seek to bring in a veteran to help guide the young unit, writes Slater. The Jets let Austin Seferian-Jenkins walk to the Jaguars in free agency, and now have only a slew of unproven players at tight end.

Bills Sign First-Round Pick Tremaine Edmunds

A day after signing half their draft picks, the Bills have officially inked one of their first-rounders to a deal. The team announced (via Twitter) that linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has signed a four-year contract.

The Bills had to trade up for the Virginia Tech product, sending the Ravens picks No. 22 and No. 65 in exchange for No. 16 and No. 154. Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane said he had been eyeing the Virginia Tech product, and he attempted to trade up to the 14th (Packers) and 15th (Raiders) spot to acquire the linebacker. The front office ultimately got the Ravens to pull the trigger, and the Bills got their guy.

(Edmunds) was sticking out on our board, and it’s a need,” Beane said. “If a guy is sticking out on our board, and it’s really not a need, you might not do it. But with the hole we had there, and where he was on our board, it was a no-brainer. Even if we could have got to 14, we would have done it.”

Edmunds was considered to be one of the top defenders in the entire draft, and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah listed him sixth in his top-50 rankings. The linebacker had a productive junior season, compiling 108 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. The rookie will likely compete with Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo for a starting gig.

This signing leaves the Bills with three unsigned draft picks: first-round quarterback Josh Allen, third-round defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, and fourth-round cornerback Taron Johnson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Brandon Beane On Bills’ First-Round Trades

Brandon Beane enjoyed a complicated night on his first draft as Bills GM. And he detailed the extensive process in an expansive piece by Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News.

The Bills were ready to give the Broncos an extra first- and second-round pick, Beane confirms of Mike Klis of 9News’ report that emerged on draft weekend. Denver and Buffalo’s GMs agreed to the swap at around 7pm CT on draft night — one that would have sent Buffalo’s Nos. 12 and 22 picks and one of its second-rounders to Denver in exchange for the No. 5 overall choice and a third-round pick — but John Elway told Beane the deal would be off if a certain player was still on the board.

Beane wondered if that player was Denzel Ward, but when a text message came alerting Beane that Bradley Chubb might fall past the Browns at No. 4, he began to worry about his plans to acquire Josh Allen.

I was really nervous when Cleveland got on the clock. You’ve got your channels where you’re getting information outside of the draft room. Somebody told me, it’s down to Ward or Chubb,” Beane said, via Skurski. “Earlier in the day, people felt like they were probably going to go Chubb. That was my first four. I did say it was going to be Chubb, and we’ll go to Denver. I was wrong. Not until (the Browns) were on the clock did I get the text from somebody that said, ‘Hey, Ward may go here.’ I said (expletive).”

I was a little bummed when Elway told me, ‘Hey, this is our guy.’ I felt like what I had to offer John was better than anybody else could offer. I felt like I was bidding against myself, basically.”

Beane became leery of the Dolphins and Cardinals moving up to No. 7 for Allen, whom Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reported was their No. 1-rated quarterback, but he would no longer be willing to part with the No. 22 pick like he was in talks with the Broncos at No. 5. And he wasn’t willing to trade the Bills’ 2019 first-rounder.

(Assistant GM) Joe (Schoen) would say, ‘(the Buccaneers) want this and this,’ and it included 22, and I said no,” Beane said. “It was just too much. I would have done 22 at five. I wasn’t doing it there. Because I knew nobody could be offering that. … That was the biggest obstacle I faced during the whole thing. Everybody wanted next year’s one leading up to the draft, and I wasn’t doing it.”

Beane and Schoen then approached the 49ers at No. 9, but John Lynch was zeroed in on Mike McGlinchey. However, Jason Licht called Beane back and said he would accept the offer of both of Buffalo’s second-round picks. The Bills collected a seventh-rounder from the Bucs as well.

He said, ‘I’ll do it for the twos, but we’ve got to do it right now,’ ” Beane told Skurski. “I said alright, I need another pick, though. I need a player. I don’t care what it is, just give me your last pick, whatever it is. He said, ‘Alright, done.

(The Broncos taking Chubb) was a blessing in disguise. I was tight after Denver’s pick. I was trying not to show it to the room, but I was tight. Joe and I, we were very tight.”

In passing on the chance to acquire additional first- and second-round picks, the Broncos are betting big on Chubb. Beane said he also spoke with the Giants and Browns about the Nos. 2 and 4 picks, and Skurski reports the only trade Beane would have made pre-draft was with the Giants at No. 2.

Skurski adds the Bills finalized their quarterback hierarchy following their April 13 Sam Darnold workout. Miller reported this week Darnold was the Bills’ top-rated quarterback, so it would have made sense for a trade to the second slot. Although, Darnold was still connected to the Browns at No. 1 at that point. The Bills were rumored to be targeting a top-five pick for weeks prior to the draft, but the Giants and Browns wanted more than Beane was willing to offer, per Skurski.

As for the Bills’ second Round 1 trade, Beane contacted the Packers at No. 14 and Raiders at No. 15. Green Bay ended up accepting a New Orleans offer that did include a 2019 first, and Oakland did not want to trade down again, per Skurski. Edmunds was the target because of the Bills’ situation at linebacker, Beane said, and the Ravens quickly agreed to a deal at No. 16.

(Edmunds) was sticking out on our board, and it’s a need,” Beane said. “If a guy is sticking out on our board, and it’s really not a need, you might not do it. But with the hole we had there, and where he was on our board, it was a no-brainer. Even if we could have got to 14, we would have done it.”

Bills Acquire No. 16 From Ravens

The Bills are having a busy night. After acquiring the No. 7 pick earlier this evening (which they used on quarterback Josh Allen), the team has now acquired the No. 16 pick from the Ravens. The team tweeted that they’ll be sending Baltimore picks No. 22 and No. 65, and Buffalo will also be receiving No. 154. ESPN’s Mike Rodak was the first with the news (via Twitter).

The Bills are using the pick on linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The Virginia Tech product is considered to be one of the top defenders in the entire draft, as Daniel Jeremiah listed him sixth in his top-5o rankings. Edmunds had a productive junior season, compiling 108 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. The rookie will likely compete with Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo for a starting gig.

The trade will give the Ravens a second third-rounder, and it will give the organization nine picks for the entire weekend. Reports had indicated that the organization was eyeing offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey and Kolton Miller. With the two off the board, the team switched their focus to a trade.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Thomas, 49ers

Despite the Seahawks expecting Earl Thomas not to hold out, they still have him on the trade block, John Clayton of ESPN said during a radio appearance with KESN in Dallas (via the Dallas Morning News). Clayton added that the Seahawks would likely be willing to move their three-time All-Pro safety for less than a first-round pick, indicating they would probably trade Thomas for a package featuring second- and fourth-round selections and perhaps something in the 2019 draft. Clayton indicates the Cardinals could use a free safety but that the Seahawks were not going to trade Thomas to an NFC West team. The Cowboys moving Byron Jones to cornerback would open a spot there, and Thomas was vocal about being receptive to a Dallas deal, and they strike Clayton as the top suitor for the 28-year-old defender’s services.

Here’s the latest from Seattle, along with other West-division locales, heading into draft week:

  • Pete Carroll said this week the door wasn’t closed between the Seahawks and Colin Kaepernick, but Clayton said this partnership will be unlikely. The longtime ESPN reporter added the Seahawks did work out Kaepernick last year when he visited but did not offer him a contract because Carroll exited the interview with the impression the former 49er still wanted to be an NFL starter rather than a backup.
  • The 49ers covered their linebacker bases this week. After hosting Roquan Smith on a top-30 visit, they welcomed Tremaine Edmunds to the Bay Area for a 30 summit, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports. The 49ers scheduled the Smith and Edmunds visits weeks ago and not in light of the charges levied against Reuben Foster, per Barrows.
  • Foster’s plea hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 30, and Barrows reports that if no delays occur, jury selection for this case would transpire in late July. With the 49ers barring Foster from their workouts until this matter is resolved, that’s going to essentially nullify the second-year linebacker’s offseason. However, the alleged victim has hired representation, which could cloud this case.
  • The Cardinals visited Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk recently.

La Canfora On Draft, Raiders, Miller, Patriots

UCLA tackle Kolton Miller could be a target for the Raiders if they trade down from the No. 10 overall pick, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com hears. However, they probably can’t move back all that far if they hope to land him. Evaluators and offensive line coaches that have spoken with JLC believe that Miller – and not Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey – is the best tackle in this year’s class. Plenty of teams in the teens are eyeing the 6’9″ prospect and McGlinchey is more likely to go in the late teens or early 20s, La Canfora hears. The Lions at No. 20 could be Miller’s floor as they would plug him in on the right side.

Here’s more draft buzz from JLC:

  • The Patriots are entertaining the possibility of moving up in the teens if the right quarterback falls, La Canfora writes. The Dolphins and Bills are exploring QBs at Nos. 11 and 12, so the Raiders could potentially find value by trading down from No. 10. Josh Rosen, in JLC’s estimation, appears to be the most likely of the big four QBs to slide. I’d agree with that assessment as the Browns, Giants, and Jets are reportedly not high on the UCLA product.
  • The Broncos say they are open to moving down from No. 5 and JLC believes that linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is very much on their radar. The likely trade scenario, he believes, would see the Bills moving up to get Josh Rosen if Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield come off of the board in the top four. The Bills own the Nos. 12 and 22 picks in the draft.
  • The Bengals at No. 21 could be the floor for Arkansas center Frank Ragnow. Ragnow is climbing up boards around the league and has a good chance of going in the first round.
  • The Ravens are looking for a tight end, but they would rather not select one at No. 16. La Canfora hears that the Ravens, ideally, would like to move down 5-7 spots to get South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst. The Ravens can’t go too far, however, with the Saints sitting at No. 27.
  • Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who won’t turn 20 until after the draft, is a lock to go in the top 10, JLC hears. He also wouldn’t be shocked to see him go as high as No. 6 overall, depending on how the first five picks shake out.
  • Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan could go just outside the top 10 and JLC believes his worst case scenario is No. 26.
  • Florida state defensive lineman Josh Sweat could sneak into the late first round and seems very possible for the second round.

West Rumors: Raiders, Bradford, Donald

Although the Raiders have signed a slew of veterans in free agency this year, they are still in need of help at linebacker. And they may be hoping a run on quarterbacks helps bring Roquan Smith to them at No. 10. They may not be willing to trade up for the Georgia-honed linebacker, however.

Roquan Smith is the guy. I don’t know that they would be willing to give away additional picks later to go up and get him, but he’s the guy they want,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said, via Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. “… There’s a lot of love for Roquan Smith in that building.”

While NaVorro Bowman has been connected to the Raiders for months as a re-sign candidate, he remains a free agent. The Silver and Black signed Tahir Whitehead, and he’ll likely start at one of their second-level spots, with Kyle Wilber and Emmanuel Lamur in line to supply depth. But a long-term cog looks to be on the agenda as this draft approaches. The Raiders have not selected a first- or second-round linebacker who plays off the ball during the Reggie McKenzie regime, with Rolando McClain (Round 1, 2010) being the most recent such investment. Of course, McKenzie ceded some power to Jon Gruden this offseason.

However, the 49ers are a possible Smith suitor as well — with Reuben Foster facing possible prison time and Malcolm Smith coming off a season-ending injury — and met with Smith this week. He also visited with the Colts and Bears, each holding top-eight picks, in April.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions:

  • McShay’s also heard Tremaine Edmunds and Vita Vea‘s names linked to the Raiders. With four quarterbacks possibly set to go off the board before the Silver and Black’s selection window opens, they could have their pick of these three prospects.
  • While the Cardinals are going to ease Sam Bradford into action this offseason, Steve Wilks likes the early form the would-be starter is in. “I didn’t see anything (bad) out of his knee. Not one thing,” Wilks said, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “Nothing is wrong with his knee. I thought he threw the ball well, ball-handling, he handed the ball off, rolled out, bootleg, all those things. He’s doing everything we ask him to do. We just want to make sure we don’t put too much on him too soon.” Bradford wore a brace on his troublesome left knee early in the week before shifting to a sleeve, per Urban.
  • Sean McVay is encouraged by the early dialogue the Rams are having with Aaron Donald. The team did not expect Donald, a holdout until September last year, to report to the first phase of its offseason program as he seeks a landscape-altering contract. “We feel good about the dialogue that has existed,” McVay said this week. “This is a voluntary offseason program with where we’re at. You know he’s a guy who’s going to work hard on his off-time, and that’s kind of where we’re at.” The Rams sound like they’re on the verge of authorizing a record contract for the reigning defensive player of the year.
  • Maurice Hurst visited the Raiders on Monday, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Adding the Raiders are “hell bent” on strengthening their interior pass rush, which has been a trouble spot for a while now, Bair identifies the Michigan defensive tackle as a candidate for Oakland’s Round 1 choice it the team trades down from its No. 10 slot.
  • Foster’s in a world of trouble for an alleged domestic violence incident earlier this year, facing three felony charges, but the 49ers linebacker saw a misdemeanor charge dropped this week. Foster won’t face a charge for the possession of a large-capacity ammunition magazine, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office announced (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle).

East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Cowboys, Ealy

Here’s that latest from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Guard Richie Incognito‘s sudden retirement could theoretically force the Bills to wrestle with using their draft picks on finding a franchise quarterback, or instead deploying the selections to restock their roster as a whole, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. Buffalo owns nine picks and possesses the third-most overall draft capital in the league, but would likely need to sacrifice several early selections — including both its 2018 first-rounders — in order to trade up for a signal-caller. However, the Bills are now fielding arguably the NFL’s worst offensive line after trading tackle Cordy Glenn and seeing Incognito and center Eric Wood retire, and needs at receiver and linebacker should be addressed via the draft. After surprising earning a postseason berth a season ago, Buffalo now must decide whether to finds it quarterback of the future or revamp its depth.
  • The Dolphins have their sights set on a defensive player with pick No. 11, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that club is hoping to select Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, or Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea in the first round. Defensive backs Derwin James (Florida State), Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama), and Denzel Ward (Ohio State) could also be in consideration, per Jackson, while the Dolphins also like South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (although Miami almost surely wouldn’t use a top-15 pick on a tight end). The Dolphins would prefer to select a quarterback at No. 11, but don’t expect any of the draft’s top four QB prospects to be available.
  • Defensive end Kony Ealy‘s one-year deal with the Cowboys is worth up to $2MM, tweets Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Ealy, 26, will collect an $800K base salary and a $200K signing bonus, while he can also earn as much as $250K in per-game roster bonuses. In order for Ealy to max out his contract, he’ll need to post at least 12 sacks and play in 75% of Dallas’ defensive snaps next season, both of which seem like lofty goals. Because Ealy didn’t reach either of those thresholds with the Jets in 2018, both incentives will be considered “not-likely-to-be-earned,” meaning they won’t appear on the Cowboys’ salary cap immediately.