DON’T GET ME STARTED on the 2015 Buffalo Bills season. Oh, I’m not totally giving up on 2014, though if they continue to produce “yawners” as they did against the Vikings, it might be wise for the new EVALUATOR (to be hired by Terry Pegula) to take a look at the group of free agents on the roster.


Art Wander

First, though, C.J. Spiller. If he didn’t get hurt, I suspect that Spiller would decide to go elsewhere where he would be the #1 running back. The way he was used – or mis-used – by the current coaching staff certainly lends credence to those who feel he will be gone. Now, though, the Bills should entertain those clubs needing an explosive running back, despite his injury, and see what they could get for him in a trade.

Jerry Hughes, the defensive end, is a Restricted Free Agent after this season. This 26=year old sack master is a must sign player. He has been a solid performer as a bookend to Mario Williams. The new Evaluator must get together with Jim Overdorf to ink Hughes. His cap hit now is $3,995 million. I believe an RFA is one where the Bills make a qualifying offer, known as a tender, to the player. Hughes can negotiate with other teams. If he receives an offer sheet from another club, the Bills have a right to match that offer. If they don’t, they receive draft choices and Hughes is gone. In any event, Hughes will be looking at another big salary based on his production.

The #2 signing should be Chris Hogan, the wide receiver who has been a solid performer and had a great day against the Vikings. Whatever problem Marrone has with Mike Williams, it’s evident that Williams exactly doesn’t fit into Marrone’s plans He’s been off the field in 2 straight games, replaced by Hogan. As I understand it, Hogan is an Exclusive Right Free agent which means a player who is not under contract, but has only 2 years of NFL experience. If the Bills make an offer at the 3 year veteran minimum pay, that’s it – he stays. Hogan doesn’t have rights to negotiate with other teams. By the way, his cap hit is under $400,000. He’ll probably get a good raise to put in his good hands.

FB Frank Summers and DT Corbin Bryant are in the same boat. So, it wouldn’t cost much to keep Hogan, Summers and Bryant until the 2016 season when they would probably become Unrestricted Free Agents.

Other free agents include Brandon Spikes. He’s been decent in the middle and the Bills linebacking corps next season with Bradham-Spikes-Kiki Alonso, with good backups already on the roster, should provide strength to go with Hughes-Darius-Williams-and Mario. Quite a front 7.

Other free agents are G Erik Pears; S DaNorris Searcy; T Chris Hairston; Marcus Easley; TE Lee Smith; DE Jarius Wynn; LB Stevenson Sylvester;; LB Larry Dean . Of this group, Searcy, Easley, Smith might stay since they are also involved in special teams. Pears has not really developed well and will probably be gone. There are also some, including practice squad members, who have not played a down

Of course, all the unrestricted free agents will be making their own decisions. If they decide to “test the market” – it will be interesting to see how many will actually leave.

So there is roster work to be done and “Mr. Evaluator” will probably evaluate Jim Overdorf, who should be retained as negotiator. He’s handled his job quite well.

Finally, the free agents will wait to see what the “Evaluator” will do with the coaching staff, especially on the offensive side or the entire crew, except Schwartz – the defensive coordinator.

If the Bills continue the inconsistency, fans attention will focus on next season beginning with the signing of Bills free agents on Don’t Get Me Started!

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