Free  Agency Highlights By Mike D “Overdue Bills Lead Writer”

Let’s Talk About The Players The Bills Signed and Re-Signed!

I’m not sure if you saw the season finale. But if you haven’t, SPOILER ALERT, the Buffalo Bills did not win the Super Bowl. Similar to Game of Thrones, the ending wasn’t great, but D*** the journey there was an all-timer. Unfortunately in our version, King Joffery survives and wins his 7th ring. But enough about Tom the Tyrant. Even though the regular season was amazing, the post-season was shaky at best. The Colts game was extremely close. It took a Taron Johnson Pick 6 to beat the Ravens, and we all know what happened with the Kansas City Chiefs. Therefore, I believe that we are all in agreement that the Bills are good, not great. But, now is the time that we can change some of that. Let’s see how our Buffalo Bills did with the free agency period that is currently underway while the real game-changers are already off the board. Let’s talk about the players that the Bills signed and re-signed.

Welcome Back 💪🏽

Levi Wallace (CB)– If you follow me or Overdue Bills, you know there isn’t much love for Mr. Wallace over here. I was all good with moving on and trying someone new because we already know Levi’s capabilities. Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane (they will be referred to as “McBeane” from this point on) decided that they are better off with the Devil they know, versus the Devil they don’t know. I can’t blame them for resigning him. He gives you a baseline that you can win with, but don’t be surprised if you see a CB come off the board in the first 3 rounds of the draft as competition.

Isaiah McKenzie (WR)– Even though I wanted McBeane to go after Curtis Samuels, I do not have an issue with this signing. Mckenzie is a player that I love. He doesn’t get a ton of catches or targets, but when he goes into motion our offense is dangerous. The “smart” people know the value of being in shotgun and spreading the field out, sending someone in motion, and running play-action/run-pass options (RPO). When Mckenzie is on the field, the Bills utilize all of these and normally yield positive results. I look forward to seeing #19 dart across the field on Sundays for at least one more year.

Matt Milano (LB)– This was the biggest signing for the Buffalo Bills financially, and Matt will make the biggest impact on the field. During our pre-free agency show on Overdue Bills, I stated that I wouldn’t pay Milano top 10 LB money. Well, McBeane must have heard me because they made him the 11th highest-paid LB in the NFL (only $375,000 separates him from 10). When it’s all said and done, I am happy that they re-signed Milano, versus letting him go only to sign someone’s expensive LB. He knows the system, and when healthy, is the best LB on the team. Yes, better and more valuable than #49. I expect him to be the cornerstone of this defense for at least the next 4 years.

Daryl Williams (OT)– If you’re like me, you probably got accustomed to McBeane going to the scrap-heap to find cheap linemen to plug and play. But at some point, you want to find someone and make that long-term commitment. Daryl Williams came, balled out, and was rewarded for it. Shoutout to him for securing the bag, and to McBeane for securing Josh Allen’s right side.

Jon Feliciano (G) and Taiwan Jones (RB)- If you were going to re-sign Daryl Williams, it makes all the sense in the world to bring back their most versatile offensive lineman. Buffalo had a top 10 offense line last year, and they decided to run that back. Speaking of running backs, Taiwan Jones re-signed. This is a special-teams move, so I’m sure Matty Ice is ecstatic.

Micah Hyde (S)– No surprise here, but we gave veteran and fan-favorite Micah Hyde an extension to 2023. Talk about an excellent move by the front office right here! As we heard from safety Jaquan Johnson, Micah is the leader in the room and sets the example on how to be a Buffalo Bill. On top of the intangibles, his play on the field is still great. Breaking up the tandem of him and Poyer would be foolish. We also extended LB Andrew Smith to a 2-year contract.

Now, let’s get to the new additions, but only the interesting signings.

Welcome to the Mafia 🤟🏽

Mitchell Trubisky (QB) – It’s been weeks and I can’t believe I am writing this. Bills Mafia, the whole NFL community, and I are still shocked. When this move was announced, everyone wanted to know what I thought about it. I never revealed my thoughts before, so here I go- I LOVE IT! For a while, I felt that the Bills needed an upgrade at backup QB, but I didn’t see a pickup like this in the works. The Bills needed a better backup QB because they are a Super Bowl contender, and one bad play to Josh Allen can end it all. With this move, you now have a formidable QB who took his team to the playoffs in 2018 and 2020. Additionally, with him and Josh having similar styles, the offense won’t have to change as dramatically as it would with Matt Barkley. Hopefully, we won’t ever have to see him in a real game. But if we do, I’ll be the first one saying “Hey, you remember the Eagles and Nick Foles?”

Emmanuel Sanders (WR)– Before I speak on this situation, read this text thread from my group chat:

Yes, that is my blue text bubble that said the Bills should not bring in “Old * Emmanuel Sanders.” I was ready to move on from John brown and bring in a 1B to Stefon Diggs 1A. A lot of people are ready to crown Gabe Davis, but I am not there yet. I wanted them to pursue Kenny Golladay and take this offense to the next level. I don’t believe Emmanuel Sanders will take our offense to that level, but I feel more comfortable with him as the 2B, rather than depending on Gabe Davis to take the next step. With all that said, expect Diggs to have the same stats as last year. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Matt Breida (RB)– I have a funny story about Matt Breida that I’m sure will come up multiple times this upcoming year, so I’ll spare you this time. I like this signing a lot, and that means something coming from me. The more you follow me, the more you will hear me say that running backs don’t matter. So you can imagine my thoughts hearing people “cape” for Travis Etienne at #30 in the first round. Signing Breida doesn’t eliminate that 100%, but a backfield that contains Singletary, Moss, Breida, Yeldon, and Etienne will be extremely crowded. I think this move spells the end for Devon Singletary anyway.

Jacob Hollister (TE)– Ok, this is not about Jacob Hollister at all. This is about the TE that we didn’t sign, Zach Ertz. The Eagles were trying to play poker with him and Beane didn’t fold. The TE position is the one position I wanted to upgrade since the 2019 offseason and we still have not done it, at least not in any meaningful way. I will keep screaming for a real TE until we get one. Until then, let’s keep crossing our fingers for Dawson Knox🤞🏽.

Deuces ✌🏽

John Brown (WR)– First of all, thank you for your service. When he was on the field, he was a reliable target for Josh. Through the growing pains of trying to develop a young QB, Smoke was a safety blanket. Now that I’ve finished giving flowers, I agree with this move 100%. I called for this right after the loss to the KC Chiefs. He was hurt too much last year, and his play was subpar when he was on the field. Was that due to injury? Probably. Nonetheless, it was time to move on and I’m glad McBeane agreed.

Quinton Jefferson (DT)– We released him and he is now with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Brandon Beane has shown why he is a top GM in this league. As my brother Rad said, “by bringing back the players we did, Beane ensured a level of competency going into next year”. They have a winning formula and I assume that they will be playing in January once again. Ever heard the old adage is “you win a championship through the draft, not through free agency?” Well, if this was the philosophy, Beane executed it to perfection. In free agency, you typically overpay for players other teams didn’t want. There isn’t anything free about “free” agency. Of course, I would have loved to get Kenny Golladay, Curtis Samuel, or Zach Ertz, but I am not losing any sleep. McBeane’s draft resume speaks for itself, and I am expecting great selections on April 29th. And who knows, we may see a trade-up or trade-back. I’ll give you my thoughts on the Monday before the draft. See you then.