Bills 2020 offseason simulation

February 11, 2020 - 1:54 am

The 2020 NFL offseason has officially begun for all 32 teams who now set their sights on retooling or rebuilding through free agency and the NFL Draft.

For the Buffalo Bills, this year's offseason presents an incredible opportunity to take, what was, a 10-6 Wild Card team and set them up to perhaps be a legitimate contender in the AFC.

With more salary cap space than all but two teams in the league and plenty of draft picks, Bills general manager Brandon Beane has plenty of resources to try and get to the same level as teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens.

How will he use those resources?

Below's offseason simulation might be one way Beane goes about making Buffalo a championship contender:

In-house free agent and personnel decisions

  • Re-sign guard Quinton Spain and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips

Quinton Spain and Jordan Phillips were crucial to the Bills' success on the interior last season. When building around quarterback Josh Allen, the front office should not go cheap on offensive linemen, so re-signing Spain, a locker room favorite, should be an easy decision.

Phillips will be a much more expensive signing, but having a defensive tackle combination of Phillips and Ed Oliver moving forward is a huge advantage for the defense. No quarterback wants to deal with that kind of pass-rush ability inside.

  • Let defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Trent Murphy go

One way the Bills can get better on defense next season is a more productive pass-rush on the edge.

While Shaq Lawson had a career-year in his contract season, it still only resulted in 6.5 sacks. There are better options in free agency that the Bills can pay if they are going to reach deep into their pockets for an edge-rusher.

As for Trent Murphy, he isn't a free agent, but his cap-hit of $9.7 million is third most on the team. Paying nearly $10 million for an often-injured player that doesn't consistently get the quarterback is a waste of resources. Free up $8 million in space to spend in free agency and move on.

Unrestricted free agency

  • Sign defensive end Mario Addison and cornerback James Bradberry

This seems like a very predictable move as the Bills love to bring in former Carolina Panthers.

Mario Addison would be the best former Panthers player that Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have brought in. Although he is six years older than Lawson at 32, Addison has a proven track record of consistently getting sacks. Addison hasn't had a season where he recorded less than nine sacks since 2015 (9.5, 9, 11, and 9.5 in the last four seasons).

The Bills could also use an upgrade at cornerback across from Tre'Davious White, and McDermott is very familiar with James Bradberry. In his prime at 27-years-old, Bradberry had some of his best seasons when McDermott was the Panthers' defensive coordinator.

  • Sign running back Matt Breida

Matt Breida would be a great value signing for the Bills. There are durability concerns, but as a compliment to Devin Singletary? Get on board.

Breida is just 24-years-old and has been the definition of efficient every time he is on the field. He has averaged 4.4, 5.3, and 5.1 yards per-carry in his first three seasons. All three years he had at least 100 carries.

The Bills don't have complete freedom to pursue Breida as he is set to become a restricted free agent. However, the San Francisco 49ers likely won't pursue a contract aggressively with Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, Jerick McKinnon, and Jeff Wilson all in the running back room as well.

  • Sign quarterback Case Keenum

The Bills could use an upgrade when it comes to Josh Allen's backup. Matt Barkley shouldn't be handed the job again in 2020. Bringing in a former starter that has playoff experience like Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum certainly wouldn't hurt.

2020 NFL Draft

***DISCLAIMER: Compensatory draft picks that will be rewarded to some teams this offseason have not yet been taken into account.***

Round 1:

22.) Laviska Shenault, Jr. - WR - Colorado

The Bills grab what could be their WR1 of the future in Laviska Shenault. The Colorado product has the size many would like for the offense at 6-foot-2, but he is also extremely dangerous after the catch and down the field.

Round 2:

54.) Joshua Uche - DE - Michigan

The addition of Mario Addison will give the Bills a proven sack artist on the edge, but without Lawson, the defensive end position could use some young upside. Bringing in someone like Michigan defensive end Joshua Uche makes a lot of sense.

His explosiveness off the line of scrimmage, bend, and length will make many teams fall in love with what they can mold Uche into as a pro.

Round 3:

86.) K'Von Wallace - S - Clemson

In packages where the Bills use three safeties, adding a versatile player like K'Von Wallace would be a big boost. Wallace played all across the formation at Clemson. He can cover receivers inside and out, play single-high, or come down in the box and be physical against the run.

Round 4:

118.) Ben Bredeson - IOL - Michigan

Grabbing some more offensive line help will never be a bad idea. Bredeson is a disciplined, experienced starter inside that has plenty of athleticism to get to the second level and take linebackers out of the play.

Round 5:

138.) Collin Johnson - WR - Texas

Grabbing Collin Johnson in the fifth round would be extremely enticing even with the selection of Shenault. Johnson is a towering 6-foot-6, but he also showed at the Senior Bowl a very quick release off the line of scrimmage in one on ones.

Round 5:

150.) Shaquille Quarterman - LB - Miami

Quarterman isn't someone you want covering a tight end in space on third down, but if you are a team like the Bills that need a powerful, disciplined tackler? You could do worse this late in the draft.

Round 6:

169.) Patrick Taylor, Jr. - RB - Memphis

Taylor would provide the Bills backfield a physical runner with great vision and contact balance. That is the style of running back they should target in the draft if they add another versatile back like Matt Breida through free agency.

Round 6:

182.) Dane Jackson - CB - Dane Jackson

Jackson would be one of the most game-ready prospects left this deep into the draft. He is better close to the line of scrimmage in man coverage but he can succeed in zone as well.

Round 6:

TBD) Mitchell Wilcox - TE - South Florida

Wrapping up the draft with a versatile tight end in Wilcox that can line up on the line, in the slot, or in the backfield.

What would you think of this offseason haul for the Bills? Let us know on Twitter: @WGR550

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