Potential Bills Free Agent Targets
Tyrell Williams, WR, LA Chargers
Williams will get plenty of attention this offseason. Not too many 6’ 4” productive and young receivers make it to Free Agency. If he does end up becoming a free agent, I suspect him to get a deal similar to Sammy Watkins (3 year, $48 million). Williams stats are pretty impressive given the Chargers also have Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Travis Benjamin. Williams hauled in over 1,000 yards as a 24 year old and has averaged 680 yards in the two season since. Williams would be an immediate big body target for Josh Allen.
Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Most casual fans probably don’t know a whole lot about Adam Humphries. Some may even wonder why he is on this list. Simply put, Humphries is essentially the recreation of Robert Woods. Humphries and Woods are pretty much the same height (5’11 and 6”0), both weigh (195 lbs.) and ran a 40-time of 4.53 and 4.51, respectively. Both had a similar first four years in the league. Humphries averaged 53.5 receptions for 566 yards and 2 touchdowns per year. Woods, during his first four years of his career averaged, 51 receptions for 613 yards and 3 touchdowns per year. Knowing this, don’t be surprised if Humphries gets somewhere near a 5-year $35 million deal, which is exactly what Woods got when he went to the Rams.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jackson may be 32 years old, but he can still hit the home run. Jackson averaged almost 19 yards per catch last year, which would have only trailed Robert Foster (20.04). Buccaneers new Head Coach Bruce Arians, may not let Jackson hit free agency, as he has one year remaining on his current deal. If, however, Jackson did leave, he would immediately fill a giant hole in the Bills receiving group. Not only would he be a dynamic play maker, but he would also serve as a mentor to an inexperienced group. I doubt Tampa Bay will just let him walk. I would consider trading LeSean McCoy for Jackson straight up. Each have similar cap hits, and each would fill a void on the other team.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, New England Patriots
Patterson is not your typical Wide Receiver. Although being a former first round pick, Patterson has yet to break out as a receiver, and has primarily been used as a return specialist. The Bills desperately need to fix their special teams, and adding Patterson to the mix would definitely jump start that effort. I also believe that Patterson could provide a spark for the Bills in certain packages, similar to what he has done for the Patriots.
Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
James has been a solid backup Tight End during his four year career with the Steelers. James has averaged 30 catches for 297 yards, and just over 2 touchdowns throughout his career. These numbers are hurt by his rookie year production ( 8 catches for 56 yards, and 1 touchdown. James will most likely seek out a team where he can take the lead role. His 6’7” frame, along with his age, will provide enough intrigue for teams to take a gamble on him.
Maxx Williams, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Similar to James, Williams hasn’t had the best opportunity to succeed. Despite being a second round pick, Willams has been used sparingly during his first four years. Over the past three seasons, Williams only has 31 receptions for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns. That said, Williams had the pedigree to be a second round pick and is still only 24 years old. He’s a good young player, but he shouldn’t be looked at as an immediate starter, if signed.
Jeff Heuerman, TE, Denver Broncos
For my money, Heuerman may be the Bills best option and complement for Jason Croom. Heuerman only has one year of meaningful production to base a deal off of, but that is what will make him a cheaper alternative to some of the other options. I’m not sold that the Bills will need to spend big on a free agent like Jared Cook. We saw what a bad contract at that position does to a team, while not adding a ton of value with Charles Clay.
Daryl Williams, OT, Carolina Panthers
The connections to Carolina are obvious, but Daryl Williams fills a legitimate need for the Bills. Williams will be 27 next year and was a two-year starter for the Panthers before an injury this past season landed him on Injury Reserve for the last 15 games of the season. In 2017, his last full season as a starter, Williams was named a 2nd team All-Pro for the Associated Press. Williams may come as a discount knowing he suffered a serious knee injury. Nonetheless, Williams would replace Jordan Mills on the right side and provide a spark on the offensive line, and frees up a high draft pick the Bills would be able to use elsewhere.
Trent Brown, OT, New England Patriots
After playing the first three years of his career with the 49ers as a Right Tackle, Brown was traded to New England and was immediately penciled in as their starting Left Tackle. Still only 25 years old, Brown is in line to receive a kings ransom in free agency. If signed by the Bills, Brown could theoretically play on the right or left side. I doubt the bills would be willing to spend big dollars on the right tackle, as other options such as Daryl Williams should be available.
Matt Paradis, OC, Denver Broncos
Paradis will be the highest paid interior offensive lineman this offseason. Similar to Mitch Morse, who we highlight next, injuries are a concern for Paradis. The Broncos’ center missed seven games last season, but has otherwise been healthy throughout his career. Paradis is a little older than Morse, but should hold up injury wise if signed to a four year deal.
Mitch Morse, OC, Kansas City Chiefs
If Paradis’ deal is too rich for the Bills, Morse very well may be a fine substitute. Morse is widely considered to be the second best interior lineman this season, but should still command a big pay day. One of the biggest issues with Morse is his ability to stay on the field. Over the course of the last two seasons, Morse has only been able to play in 18 games. If I were the GM, that number would scare me and most likely prevent me from backing in the Brinks truck.
Preston Brown, LB, Cincinnati Bengals
For the first time in his career, Preston Brown missed game time due to injury. Brown chose to sign with his hometown Bengals rather than re-sign with the Bills last off-season. Sources indicate that the Bills wanted Brown to return and help provide depth and mentorship to Edmunds. If the Bengals, and their new coaching staff would like to see new Linebackers in the mix, they may allow Brown to walk. If that’s the case, the Bills and Brown should consider a reunion.
E.J. Gains, CB, Cleveland Browns
Gains is a classic case of if you don’t succeed at first, try, and try again. Gains has battled injuries throughout his playing career and unfortunately for him, nothing changed when he went to Cleveland. That said, Gains only managed to appear in six games and starting two of those for the Browns. With such an unimpressive stat line and his injury history, the market shouldn't be too strong for him. It almost makes sense for him to return to a place where the coaches know him and are willing to take a flyer on a player who at times, has played well. He could be a very cheap alternative if other options and the draft doesn’t work out.
Kevin Johnson, CB, Houston Texans
The former first round pick in 2015 was released by the Texans last week and has already visited the Bills, among other teams. Johnson would provide great competition to Levi Wallace, who was the best rated rookie corner in the league last season according to Pro Football Focus. Johnson missed the last 15 games of the 2018 NFL season with a concussion, and will most likely look to sign a bridge deal as he tries to prove he can remain on the field.