This is a brand new article series that I am starting called “If I Were a GM.” This series will be articles about things I would do if I was the general manager of NFL Teams and list out the perfect scenario that could play out. I’m going to go through each NFL team and highlight some offseason moves and draft picks that would set that respective team up for the future. All 32 NFL teams will be included in this series and the series will end before the 2019 NFL Draft. I’m going to be wheeling and dealing and I hope you guys enjoy the series.
The Buffalo Bills have a solid foundation in place and can look to fast forward the rebuild. It makes it easy when you have the amount of resources the Bills have this offseason. With the Patriots dominating to AFC East for so long, the NFL is craving for some competition that division. The Bills have the best chance of doing so as of right now, but make no mistake, this team needs plenty of help on the field.
What I have to work with: 73 million in cap space and 10 draft picks (Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4 (2), 5 (2), 6, and 7 (2))
Notable Players: Josh Allen, LeSean McCoy, Tre’Davious White, Tremaine Edwards
Biggest Needs: WR, TE, RB, OL, DT
The Bills need to get younger and get rid of some unneeded contracts. I would release McCoy, Ivory, and Alexander to free up 8 million in cap space and get my roster to a younger stage.
After releases: 81 million in cap space and 10 draft picks
Free Agency and Trades
The Bills do not have many trade candidates, as most should just be released. However, trading my fifth rounder for Duke Johnsonmakes a whole lot of sense. He is a versatile playmaker and can take the pressure off Josh Allen. On to free agency, with a whole lot of money to spend, here is what I would do. Sign Danny Shelton for around 6 million a year. Pairing Shelton and Star Lotulelei means nobody is getting through the middle of my defensive line. Sign Daryl Williams for around 7 million a year. My offensive line is awful, so signing a young tackle is a must. Sign Ramon Foster for around 5 million a year. He adds to my rebuilt offensive line. One of the most consistent guards in the game, but getting up in age at 33 years old. Sign Shaquil Barrett to a one year deal, for around 7 million dollars. That is more than he will get in a multi-year deal and if he performs well as a full time player, he will cash in next year. Sign K.J Wright for around 8 million a year. Young and a sideline to sideline linebacker, K.J and Tremaine Edmunds would create a rangy linebacker duo. Lastly, sign Jason Verrett to a one year deal, likely around 3-4 million. If he can stay healthy and prove to be one of the best corners in the league again, this deal is a steal and we can extend him during the season.
After Free Agency and Trades: 40 million in cap space and the additions of Duke Johnson Jr., Danny Shelton, Daryl Williams, Ramon Foster, Shaquil Barrett, K.J Wright, and Jason Verrett. Also 9 draft picks.
Round 1, Pick 9: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss- Boosting my offensive line and defense in free agency allows me to draft offensively. Taking the best WR who just happens to be a freak of nature gives me a true receiving threat for Josh Allen.
Round 2, Pick 8: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama- Getting a first round talent that fell into the early second, I am desperate for a tight end and Irv Smith is the real deal. He plays with excellent athleticism and skill and will give me another receiver.
Round 3, Pick 10: Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State- I complete the trio of skill players with this pick. Miles Sanders is a low gravity running back with great balance and quickness. He improved his stock in the combine and he should be an easy mid round selection. He catches passes as well, so I now have potential three down workhorse and a complementary back in Duke Johnson Jr.
Round 4, Pick 10: Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor- If the former five star running back is here at round 4 then I should snag him. Jalen transitioned to wide receiver at Baylor and showed out. He is a very skilled playmaker and throwing him in as a “big slot” would give me another offensive weapon.
Remaining picks are in positions of need are (in order): DT, OL, EDGE, OLB, CB, S
As you can see, my strategy was to fix the offensive line and defense through free agency. I am not a fan of the offensive free agents, so instead I attacked the offensive needs in the draft. The Bills have a ton of ammo to really turn their team around, and I believe I utilized those assets well. My defense now includes Danny Shelton, Shaquil Barrett, K.J Wright, Jason Verrett, Tre’Davious White, Tremaine Edwards, Jerry Hughes, and Micah Hyde. The rebuilt offense now has some versatile and exciting personnel. My offense now includes Duke Johnson Jr., Daryl Williams, Ramon Foster, D.K. Metcalf, Irv Smith Jr., Miles Sanders, Jalen Hurd, Zay Jones, and of course Josh Allen.
With a young and exciting roster like this, Bills Mafia would be proud and the Buffalo Bills can make a run for the wild card spot.