1. Stefon Diggs seems like he will be a huge get for Josh Allen. What sort of impact will Diggs have on the Buffalo offense and do you think the compensation for his services was fair?
Diggs gives the Bills a true number 1 receiver that they have been lacking for quite some time now. People know how much of a vertical threat that Diggs is but they sometimes overlook how good he can be in the intermediate game with his great footwork. He will be able to stretch the field and also help John Brown and Cole Beasley improve after a very successful year last season. I think the compensation was fair especially with the state that the NFL is in right now. Drafting a rookie is always hard because of the learning curve that comes with it and is even harder this year given the limitation the league is facing. Diggs will be able to fit right into the offense and use his NFL experience to quickly adjust. The picks that the Bills included besides the first rounder were extra picks acquired in other trades so Stefon Diggs being our 2020 first round pick is not a bad deal in my books.
2. Outside of the Diggs trade, Buffalo has done very little on the offensive side of the ball so far. Should they have done more?
I feel that the moves they had made on offense this off season is sufficient enough to warrant success. The biggest weakness of the offense last season was not having that dominant guy that Josh Allen could throw the ball to. No offense to John Brown but there were limitations to his abilities. With Stefon Diggs, the offense can be opened up which can only mean good things. Buffalo did not make flashy signings on offense but what they did do is ensure that the entire starting offensive line from last season will be back again after resigning Quinton Spain which will be huge for the team. Last season the line had to adjust as Dion Dawkins was the only returning lineman. Now, these guys have a full year of playing with each other under their belts and with the same blocking scheme in place, they should be just fine.
3. Mario Addison was the biggest free agent buy for the Bills, pulling in $15.2 million in guaranteed money even though he will be 33 in September. Where does Addison fit into Sean McDermott’s defense, and did the Bills overpay for him?
It is no secret that Buffalo loves their share of former Panthers seeing that Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane spent multiple years in Carolina. Now more than ever these signings seem smart for the team because if the off season is shortened due to the virus it is important that these former Panthers know the system which is where Addison fits in. Addison shows no sign of slowing down even with his age because he is coming off his fourth season in a row with at least nine sacks. When McDermott was his defensive coordinator in Carolina, Addison had 24.5 sacks in three seasons so coach knows how to use him in this defense. The price may be expensive but the team had some cap space to use and this should be a high reward type of signing.
4. The Bills let Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson walk on matching three-year, $30 million deals after solid seasons in 2019. How aggressive were the Bills in looking to retain them, and do you think Phillips and/or Lawson would have been worth bringing back at those price tags?
The team did make offers to both of these players but at the end of the day they earned the right to make the best decision for themselves and for their family. That meant them moving on to new teams to play. Phillips and Lawson both had a great season last year and provided a ton of energy for the team. Unfortunately, deals could not get done but the team do have replacements ready to go. First round pick Ed Oliver will be hungry entering year two and now there will be more snaps available to him in the middle of the defense. On the outside Addison who we just talked about will be able to slide in where Lawson played and hopefully make just as big of an impact.
5. Buffalo made a litany of mid-to-low tier moves on the defensive side, adding A.J. Klein, Vernon Butler, Quinton Jefferson, Tyler Matakevich, and Josh Norman. Which of these additions will make the biggest impact?
I will have to go with Josh Norman who has the opportunity to reclaim his glory years in Carolina before having a rough stint in Washington. He will have the chance to win the starting cornerback position opposite of Tre’Davious White and if he does I expect great things out of him. It is a low risk, high reward opportunity with it being only a one year deal which should make Norman give it his all to try and set up his next contract. He picked Buffalo instead of a different team because of his familiarity in the system and the players that will be around him on defense so look for him to have a resurgence.
6. How have the results of the free agency period affected Buffalo’s needs and approach going into the draft?
We all thought going into the draft that Buffalo would of course be looking at the wide receiver position which now has changed after the Diggs trade. We still think they may be looking at receiver in the second round but it is likely that the team waits until the later rounds to pick one. Instead we would like to see a young defensive lineman picked because the team is pretty old at defensive end with Addison and Jerry Hughes. There has also been some murmuring about the team looking at some running backs to pair with Devin Singletary, so it will be interesting to see what the team decides to do.
NFL Roundtable mid-offseason updates: