Buffalo Bills: Time To Get Allen Some Support
Can a season and an offseason be defined by one half of Football? The total meltdown by Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in Houston looms large on the team this offseason. The team had a great season, winning double digit games for the first time since 1999. The first half of the playoff game was going well and I am sure players, coaches and fans were starting to dream. With the capitulation I know think there is a lot of soul searching needed and also the questions around Josh Allen become even more pronounced.
For me it is hard to not think that last season wasn’t a massive success, and given the change that could happen in New England, I believe the Bills are in prime position to win the division this upcoming season. To do this the offense needs to catch up to the defense and the franchise QB needs to become a franchise QB.
General Manager: Brandon Beane
Head Coach: Sean McDermott
While I write this it has been announced that Sean McDermott has been announced as a finalist for the NFL’s Coach of the year award. McDermott earned the recognition following a 10-6 season that saw the Bills clinch the AFC’s fifth seed with room to spare. McDermott has done a wonderful job with the Bills since he took over. The record is mixed at 25-23 during his tenure, but they have two playoff appearances in three seasons. I think 2020 will be the first year that there will be any real expectation on the Bills and it will be interesting to see how McDermott manages this.
For McDermott and the team to succeed Brandon Beane will have to a great offseason and utilise their cap situation to get Josh Allen the talent he needs to succeed. The roster is in a very good place on defense and Beane should take immense credit for that, but he now need to close the gap on offense.
Cap Space: $88.5 million
The work Beane and his team have done over the last few years is pretty remarkable when it comes to the cap. In under 3 years they have totally rebuilt the salary structure and got Buffalo in a position where they have 42 players under contract and nearly $89 million to spend. Now having a lot of money does not automatically mean success but given the work the team have done in the first few years there is every chance that this money will be spent very very well.
Impending Free Agents
The team have a number of Free agents going to market at present but expect them to focus on only a couple of them for the 2020 roster. Levi Wallace was the teams 2nd best CB all season and I fully expect him to be back. Given he is a Exclusive Right Free Agent the team may get a very friendly deal.
The other two more interesting decisions come on the defensive line. Jordan Phillips has been great for the Bills over the past couple of seasons, but he will be looking for a big pay day. Given the pick of Ed Oliver in 2019 and the contract given to Star Lotulelei it is unlikely Phillips is given the money he will be looking for given the concerns on offense.
A man in a similar position is Shaq Lawson. He played well last season but given the Bills were unwilling to pay his fifth year rookie option I would be surprised if they went for $10m a year now, even given how well he played. The decision around Lawson may also be linked to Trent Murphy, if they decide to keep Murphy rather than cut him I would expect Lawson to go.
Major Need: Number 1 Wide Receiver
Although we can say the Bills were excellent last year, I think we can all agree the offense was hit and miss at best. Allen is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Bills hierarchy and fans love him and given that they have to give him the tools to succeed. The team have good pass catchers in John Brown and Cole Beasley, but I feel that they need a number 1, especially a player who has a big body and a wide catch radius. If I am the Bills I give Amari Cooper a call, I know it is a long shot but if you don’t ask you don’t get and given the fact he would automatically become so important to the team if he signed, he may be enticed.
If you can’t get Cooper then the number 22 pick in the draft should be used on a receiver. In mocks at present, the two names that appear are, Laviska Shenault from Colorado and Tee Higgins from Clemson. For Allen I prefer Higgins, and if the team can get an elite receiver on their roster they could be a force in the AFC next season.
A former UKEndzone writer, Paul has been dragged out of an enforced retirement to give his thoughts on the NFL and anything else he can slide past the editorial team.
Paul is most famous (infamous?) as Mainz one half of Waxing Lyrical. alongside his Partner in Crime Neil ‘Dutts’ Dutton.
Find him @Mainzey7 where all manner of sports are on the menu.
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