Our team-by-team offseason priorities series took a little break as we waited for some of the labor uncertainty to sort itself out. (Plus we figured a long work stoppage would force us to stretch content out.)
Now that there’s some optimism a CBA can get worked out sooner than later, we better start cranking again. Today, let’s look at the Bills in year two of the Chan Gailey/Buddy Nix regime.
We are focusing on players that are expected to become unrestricted free agents because they have at least four years of service.
The Big One: Linebacker Paul Posluszny.
We considered leaving “The Big One” blank. Posluszny hasn’t been a true difference maker, but he’s still the team’s best linebacker and they have no logical candidate to replace him. He could be tough to keep.
Role Players: Cornerback Drayton Florence and linebacker Akin Ayodele.
Both players were productive and reliable enough in 2010, but the Bills should be looking for upgrades. They shouldn’t overpay to keep them.
Might be on the way out: Quarterback Brian Brohm, safety Donte Whitner, defensive tackle John McCargo, and linebacker Aaron Maybin.
Brohm and McCargo were both non-tendered as potential RFAs, so they will go down as draft busts. (At least Brohm was drafted elsewhere.) Maybin may not make it to his third year with the team, but figures to head to training camp.
The Bills re-signed safety George Wilson; it seems unlikely they will bring Whitner back after five up-and-down seasons.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract is up after 2011. The team needs to get another alternative to Fitzpatrick at quarterback, likely in this year’s draft. Stevie Johnson’s deal is up after this season and he might be worth signing now before his price goes up any more.
The Bills won’t lose much in free agency. That’s the good news. The bad news is that their 2010 draft class disappointed overall and there are a ton of holes on the roster to fill.