Last night, Rico was joined by Buffalo Fanatics’ newest member: The Rev! Together they tackled the latest NFL news, from Deshaun Watson to the state of the AFC. A lot of new talent has come to our conference, but it’s mostly in the AFC West. Things just got more difficult for the Chargers, Raiders, Broncos, and most importantly, the Chiefs. With four contenders fighting for playoff seeding amongst themselves, the Buffalo Bills have a simpler journey to the top. Russell Wilson and Khalil Mack can benefit Buffalo by making Kansas City’s regular season much harder. Sure, the race may be harder to win, but it’s harder for everyone, and a lot harder for our newest rivals. They also break down the Tremaine Edmunds situation and tell us all about Chandler Jones.
Chandler Jones Rumors (20:40)
Rumor has it, Chandler Jones is supposedly choosing between the Bills and the Broncos. It’s not about the money, apparently, as the aging veteran just wants to win a championship. What better place to do it than here? It would be a welcomed homecoming for the Rochester native.
He would be a huge addition to the team, and provides instant impact off the edge that the roster is still lacking. Buffalo’s rotation might have to change, but it would be for the better. His sack production could make all of the difference when the postseason rolls around. Chandler Jones is already a viable future Hall of Famer, and has enough in the tank to provide a major boost. He’s worth paying for.
Evan Engram is another name the Bills have interest in. He does provide an upside, with plenty of speed to offer. Engram’s able to make plays out of the slot and opens up the offense to run 12-personnel, like Rob Gronkowski would, but in a different way. Admittedly, he isn’t the best tight end on the market, but he vastly improves our depth at his position if signed.
Process or Problem: Linebackers (39:00)
Now, we’re into the meat of the matter. Matt Milano is a lock. He’s a great linebacker on a long-term, team-friendly deal. What more needs to be said? The 2017 draft pick has developed well, and might be the best guy we have in the linebacker core. Able to cover any position and with good instincts, he is always near the ball. Milano is a slam dunk to stay with the Buffalo Bills for a long time. Andre Smith is a big hitter too and a core special teamer. Keeping that unit effective is crucial for our long-term success.
Tyrel Dodson was recently extended, and has earned more time on the field. He excelled during his time in 2020 with Edmunds and Milano going through injuries to start the year. Investment in the young player should pay off. Rico and Rev hit a bevy of other names, like Joe Giles-Harris and Tyler Matakevich.
Tremaine Edmunds (49:42)
Now for the man of the hour: Tremaine Edmunds. There have been rumors of a potential trade to the Steelers, but no credibility to them so far. For now, he’s playing on his fifth-year option. He’s likely kept by the team, but his cap hit will be significant if he’s not traded. The only other option to make him manageable money-wise would be to extend him, but do we want to? He’s going to be expecting a lot of money and we might not be able/willing to give it to him. Is he an impact player who justifies a huge contract? We’re still not sure yet.
He’s got plenty of great traits, but still makes rookie mistakes. Edmunds entered the league young and inexperienced, and he’s still young, but he hasn’t developed well enough. Edmunds could be used differently, but we don’t know if he would work in a changed role. He’s the most polarizing player on the roster and it’s impossible to please everyone. Many advanced stats support his play style and his impact on the roster, supporting both the secondary and the front seven in near-equal measure. He’s also got a decent trade market, but are we just creating an issue where there isn’t one? We’re trying to make the team better, and can’t punch holes without sinking out champion-ship. Apologies for the pun.
Defensive Line Rotation: Chandler Jones (1:09:05)
The last major issue is on the table. Chandler Jones plays a lot of snaps, and bringing him in would result in either him getting paid well for a smaller number of snaps or a fundamental change in defensive line philosophy. The Buffalo Bills’ rotation has been effective in keeping our defensive linemen healthy and fresh but it has resulted in them having trouble getting hot. It manufactures an increased pressure rate, but results in less overall sacks and forced fumbles. He may not sign with Buffalo without a guarantee that he’s getting more snaps. Chandler Jones could also buy into the rotation philosophy, and agree that staying fresh is good for his career and his game. We’ll find out soon enough.
Lastly, Rico and Rev hit up a controversial topic: Drafting running backs early. Could Breece Hall be a worthy investment at pick #25? You could say it’s a high pick for a running back, but we have a history of highly-picked backs running well for us. Thurman Thomas, Antowain Smith, Marshawn Lynch, and more are all impact players who did a lot for the Buffalo Bills. It could be worthwhile to go and get a difference maker at running back. Can a cornerback, receiver, or a defensive tackle make any more difference in this draft than a ball-carrier? We’ll see.
To watch this episode and other Buffalo Bills content, check out the Buffalo Fanatics YouTube channel.