Confessions of a Buffalo Bills Football Freak: Leading up to Training Camp

First up, my unique take or direct reaction to something current. Second, a comprehensive look at a vital piece of the official roster. Third, we will talk about something I believe will take place shortly regarding the team. Fourth, a little knowledge check/fun fact.

NFL training camp set to start as scheduled

Training camp for all 32 NFL teams will commence as previously scheduled, with veterans set to report on July 28. NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent sent an email to all 32 NFL clubs’ general managers and head coaches notifying them of this on Saturday.

Reaction:

It’s training camp; it’s training camp; or is it? The worst possible thing that could happen this year is NO FOOTBALL. I know this is kind of a terrible thing to be stressing during the current climate, but let’s be fair … no NFL? No, I’m not even going to think about the alternatives.

Fortunately, as of now, report dates are set. As I am writing this, some players have already been reporting under the new training camp guidelines. Under the new directions, the players are subject to the testing in the beginning stages of camp daily until they have tested negative the preset number of times. The estimation is that there will be many positive tests when players arrive at camp on their designated report dates.

NFL, NFLPA Agree to Daily COVID-19 Testing Plan Ahead of Training Camps

Roger Steinman/Associated Press The National Football League and the NFL Players Association reached an agreement Monday on daily testing for COVID-19. Increased testing had been one of the main points that players demanded during a Twitter campaign Sunday that featured numerous stars across the league calling for clearly defined health and safety measures this season.

The first two weeks will be crucial in the success of the NFL this season. The players who have voiced their concerns and will receive adequate testing to provide some relief to those concerns. I would expect that there continues to be ongoing work in this area as well.

All I know for sure is that for the first time in what feels like forever, the Bills aren’t going to St. John Fisher for training camp. I am not okay with potentially not having it go even further to no games at (something, something Field) in 2020. The players and the league need to make this season happen in whatever capacity possible. The complete sanity of society hinges upon kickoffs on Sundays. No Football! Then we won’t have seen the worst of 2020 yet!

Roster:

With depth throughout the roster, it is beginning to make it a little challenging to find something to try and turn over. Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for me to find my next cap casualty contestant.

NFL Tight End Spending – Cap

A real-time look at how NFL teams are spending their cap dollars on Tight Ends.

This week I dived down the tight end rabbit hole. I found pretty much what I expected in this department, as I had a player who stood out to me immediately at the position. I am sure you have probably guessed it by now: Tyler Kroft (2.45% of the cap).

Tyler Kroft

Tyler Kroft contract and salary cap details, full contract breakdowns, salaries, signing bonus, roster bonus, dead money, and valuations.

Although he has been extremely unproductive, Kroft is perhaps more of a long shot to get cut due to the deep hit the team would take in dead cap. Knowing that information brings me to the cap causality that makes the most sense and to me is the right move. Lee Smith should be on his way out of Buffalo.

Lee Smith

Embed This Tight End Age: 32 Exp: 9 Years Lee Smith signed a 3 year, $9,000,000 contract with the Buffalo Bills, including $4,400,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,000,000. In 2020, Smith will earn a base salary of $2,650,000, a roster bonus of $500,000 and a workout bonus of $100,000, while carrying a cap hit of $3,250,000 and a dead cap value of $1,500,000.

While Lee’s salary (1.47% of the cap) would still cause a good amount of dead cap, the team can save 1.7 million this year (no-hit in 2021) to help keep around crucial pieces in the future. Now, this is my least favorite part of this whole confession. I like these guys. I know Lee Smith is a great guy and has a family that contributes massively to the area. It sucks to say he is the one that needs to go, but making this decision is the right one.

Now I am not 100 percent on board with this just because of how poorly Kroft has performed. Kroft should be the one on the way out and is one of the very few blemishes Beane has on his record. With that, Lee did struggle last year at times with penalties and isn’t going to put up massive numbers. It’s time to let the young guns prove where they are, so we know what the position needs moving forward.

Prediction / Declaration:

The naming rights to the Bills Stadium will significantly impact the long-term longevity of the Buffalo team. I am incredibly disappointed and nervous about the fallout with New Era. The Bills and New Era were the connection for long-term success in Western New York, which the team needs. The NFL is a revenue beast, and having a small market makes it a challenge enough to keep the team in Buffalo. With the departure of a prominent business in the area owning the name rights, I fear the relocation talks will resurface if a local company doesn’t step back in.

New Era Field no more – cap company to end stadium naming rights deal with Bills

The Buffalo Bills and New Era have agreed to part ways and thus, the name of the football stadium in Orchard Park, New Era Field, will pass into history along with Rich Stadium and Ralph Wilson Stadium.

If the team awards the rights to a large company, then I believe money becomes the only driver, and the local community takes a back seat. I think making it a lot more likely that the team looks to move after the deal runs out on the regional agreement to stay.

Another reason it needs to be a local company to the area is that no large company may want to take a chance on anything right now with so much uncertainty. If a local company can foot the bill during troubling times, it will be a sign to me and the league on how the team can sustain even the worst of conditions.

Fun Fact / Trivia:

With all of the chatter about the new name of the stadium. Let me ask you this: Can you name all of the different stadiums that the Bills have played a home game in? I have my count at seven.

While we are on the stadium bandwagon here is a cool look at the hot new Bills stadium in 1972. Some cool little facts mixed in the video if you have really never heard the story.

Well, that will do it for this confession! Now I have to go scream into a pillow after just reading the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to no preseason games. WTF! Week one is going to be a sh** show, and how is a guy going to make the team now? Based on practice? This is all bad.

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