Anquan Boldin officially signed with Buffalo on Monday. That is a big win for Bills fans after they were rumored to be in the mix for so many free agents this offseason. Brandon Beane’s patience seems to have paid off in this case, a positive change for the franchise. The next thing fans need to see from the front office, is some creativity.
The Patriots Way
If you’re reading this then you are probably sick of hearing what a mastermind Bill Belichick is. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that he is a mastermind, especially when it comes to compensatory picks. Belichick toes the line time and time again (and yes, crosses it on occasion) to maintain a balanced roster. NFL fans are constantly left wondering how he manages to get away with it.
People who are paying closer attention are wondering why no one else is doing what he’s doing. Belichick’s Patriots have made 31 compensatory picks during his time in New England. Now with compensatory picks being tradable, they are more valuable than ever. The Bills are in position to acquire a third round compensatory pick if they release three of the offseason signees that factor into the compensatory formula. It’s time for Beane to work some of that Belichick magic.
The Boldin Effect
Signing Anquan Boldin really sets this whole thing in motion. Boldin immediately becomes a top three wide receiver on the Bills roster. Although Zay Jones may still be behind Andre Holmes on the depth chart, it’s clear that Jones is a major part of their long-term plans. Meanwhile, Holmes gave up some first team reps to Philly Brown on Monday.
Boldin’s arrival and Holmes’s struggles have made him an easy cut candidate should the Bills get aggressive. Holmes could be gone unless he separates himself as the clear number two wide receiving option.
Strength in the Trenches
The offensive line in Buffalo is amongst the best in the NFL. Cordy Glenn, Eric Wood, and Richie Incognito are talented veterans. John Miller has proven to be a starting caliber NFL guard. Young players like Dion Dawkins and Ryan Groy provide solid developmental depth. Seantrel Henderson and Jordan Mills should round out the top 7 on the offensive line. That depth should be enough to push Vlad Ducasse off the roster before opening day. It was rumored that he was competing for a starting spot with Miller at right guard, but those talks have quieted. The smart move here is to let the young guys continue to develop on an already talented offensive line.
There are five other guys who will factor into the compensatory formula. Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are both locks on this roster. That leaves Ryan Davis, Steven Hauschka, and Patrick DiMarco on the bubble if Buffalo wants to get that compensatory pick. Ryan Davis is exciting as backup pass rusher on Buffalo’s defense. With that being said, he is probably the guy the Bills could most afford to lose.
There are other veteran pass rushers out there, and there is always the chance that they could resign him after his release. Hauschka and DiMarco should both play a big role on the team this year, but teams aren’t generally looking to add kickers or fullbacks mid season.
Due to this, Buffalo may have an easier time sneaking these two back on the roster after releasing them. It should be noted that Mike Tolbert’s presence on the roster may make DiMarco expendable as well.
If the Bills decide that these players are too valuable to risk losing, then so be it. The front office has given fans plenty of reason to trust them so far, so no one should get too worked up if this doesn’t happen. However, it’s times like this that people around the league need to start asking, “What would Belichick do?”
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Editor’s babble: Thanks to Joe Geniti for his contributions to our blog!