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Smoke Break: More Buffalo Bills Free Agency



On Monday’s Smoke Break, Z-Bot took us through another hectic chunk of the free agency period. There are loads of moves, both on the Buffalo Bills and league-wide. Brandon Beane has brought in a running back, wide receiver, and more. Meanwhile, around the NFL, there’s been plenty of action: most notably Matt Ryan’s trade to the Indianapolis Colts.

Buffalo Bills Sign Duke Johnson (5:47)

In all honestly, Duke Johnson isn’t JD McKissic, but he’s still good. He fits a similar role, as the Buffalo Bills needed receiving production out of the backfield, but with slightly less production. A running back who’s a threat in the passing game expands the offense and diversifies what we can do out of the same formations we currently run. We can keep teams guessing, and potentially bring back a modernised version of the K-Gun offense of old.

Duke Johnson Buffalo Bills Free Agency

We may not-so-fondly remember Duke Johnson from a certain 3rd-and-18 catch and run in the 2019-20 Wild Card game in Houston. If Johnson brings that receiving prowess to the Buffalo Bills, we’ll look past those old wounds.

Jamison Crowder Picked Up In Free Agency (13:25)

It seems that every single need on the roster is being addressed one by one. First, the defensive line, then tight end, and now the running backs and receivers. Surely, cornerback must be up next? Jamison Crowder wanted to compete, and took a cheaper-than-expected deal to come to the Buffalo Bills. He’s 29, and looks to fill the role of Cole Beasley to a certain degree. We do love Isaiah McKenzie, but getting Crowder gives us a variety of talent out of the slot. We don’t have a do-it-all receiver at the area, but a range of toolsy players means we have options we can use situationally.

Jamison Crowder Buffalo Bills Free Agency

With Allen throwing him the ball, we can expect the best ball of Crowder’s career so far. Stefon Diggs came to play with Josh, and became an immediate All-Pro. John Brown and Cole Beasley had the best seasons of their respective careers fresh out of free agency. Everyone who plays alongside Allen benefits from the wealth of talent near them, and Crowder will be no exception.

Z-Bot was also joined by @TwomleyAnthony to break down the Matt Ryan trade, as well as the rest of the Colts offseason and expectations in a competitive AFC. (31:40)

Backup QBs (1:10:01)

The Buffalo Bills went ahead and solved another issue, filling out the roster with two backup quarterbacks. Firstly, Matt Barkley has returned, likely sitting in the QB3/practice squad role, barring a surprising camp transformation. His familiarity with the team and the front office helps his case.

Buffalo Bills Free Agency Matt Barkley Case Keenum

The Buffalo Bills also sent a 7th-round pick to the Browns in exchange for Case Keenum. Buffalo had two 7th-rounders this draft, and they shed their own, keeping the higher of the two (Atlanta, in exchange for Lee Smith’s rights last offseason). Keenum likely fills that QB2 role, and is competitive enough to win a game or two in the event of a catastrophe.

Z-Bot also took questions from the audience, and touched on every topic from disappointing chicken wings to draft philosophy. Check it out, and other live content, over on the Buffalo Fanatics YouTube channel.

One of the owners The Sports Wave, and a Journalist at Buffalo Fanatics, I'm an English immigrant living in Canada. A huge Buffalo Bills fan, I also love my Boston Celtics, Toronto Blue Jays, and Queens Park Rangers.