Buffalo Bills: Players They Can't Afford To Lose In Free Agency
Even though it was only six wins, the Buffalo Bills took a step in the right direction. The new head coach Doug Marrone proved even with a team that had trouble getting out of the gate, the end result was an improved team that helped play spoiler and swept the Miami Dolphins, ending their chances of a playoff berth.
Unfortunately, this is also a team that could be vastly improved everywhere on the roster, with maybe be exception of quarterback, next season and a 6-10 record could be a strong possibility.
At times, records mean nothing and everything in one year.
The team has questions on offense and in free agency. How this team plans to handle the need for more receivers and to keep Scot Chandler at tight end and somehow make the Jairus Byrd situation fair for everyone.
Here are the free agents the Bills need to keep to have a chance to move forward in 2014.
What will this team do? Byrd cannot become a distraction. The team either needs to slap the franchise tag on him (again), sign him to a long deal or let him test the free agent market, where he will get plenty of attention. He has been linked to Denver of all places, which could help the Broncos back to the Super Bowl.
Chandler led the team in catches last season, which tells you something about the passing game. But he is a truly key cog in this offense and can be a nice security blanket for EJ Manuel as he continues to develop as an NFL starter. Chandler should be wearing blue, red and white this season.
Solid offensive lineman who provided depth at several positions and can play both tackle positions. He is a keeper.
He wants to return, but his play was limited toward the end of the season. Alan Branch was re-signed – which means his playing time might be limited as well. Also, he is still dealing with a quad injury he is healing from.
If Byrd re-signs, I do not see him coming back, but I could be wrong. Leonhard has been a solid defender and solid special teams guy and any team he plays for in 2014 will get a solid and competitive player.
I say he stays, but this will be the final season he is in a Buffalo uniform.