CAPACCIO: Five offensive free agents who could fit the Bills

March 7, 2018

With NFL free agency set to kick off in one week, here are five offensive players (excluding the QB position) whose contracts are set to expire who may fit the Bills:

WR Paul Richardson (Seahawks)

Richardson is exactly what the Bills lack in their offense - a down-the-field threat.  He’s also been very good at contested catches.  Only 26 years old in a few weeks, injuries hampered Richardson early in his career.  But he’s missed only one game the last two seasons and really took a big step last year in Seattle, catching 44 passes for 703 yards for a whopping 16 yards per reception (9th in the NFL).

TE Trey Burton (Eagles)

Buried behind Zach Ertz his four years in Philadelphia, Burton showed off his athleticism and versatility for the Eagles last season, something Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane value in players.  The 26-year old is a converted college QB who threw a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.  But it’s his ability to move around the offense to create mismatches that makes him attractive here, especially with Charles Clay having to battle through a couple injuries last year.

OG Andrew Norwell (Panthers)

It’s unlikely the Bills spend the kind of money it will take to land the player considered the top guard on the open market, especially with fellow guard Richie Incognito already scheduled to count over $7.5 million against their salary cap, but I wouldn’t totally discount it.  Beane was Carolina’s Director of Football Operations when the Panthers signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and McDermott was their defensive coordinator.  So there’s a lot of familiarity there.  The 26-year old was a 1st-Team All Pro selection last year. He would be an immediate upgrade and starter over Vlad Ducasse and/or John Miller.  (Note - There has been wide speculation that Norwell will be joining the Giants and former Panthers’ GM Dave Gettleman).

OG Alex Boone (Cardinals)

The eight-year veteran has started 86 games over the past six seasons for three different teams.  He’s a tall guard, standing 6’-8”, and considered a power run-blocker, which may be what the Bills will be returning to run more of under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.  He’d have a legitimate chance to start at right guard right away.

OT Chris Hubbard (Steelers)

Turning 27 next month, Hubbard spent his first three years in the league as a backup lineman in Pittsburgh, then got a chance to start ten games last season due to injuries in front of him.  At the very least he’d be competition to start at right tackle, and would probably start there considering there aren’t many tackles on the market and he won’t be coming really cheap.  But even if he didn't actually start for the Bills, he would certainly be valued because of his position flexibility.  Hubbard can play both tackle and guard, and with Ryan Groy presumably becoming the starting center after Eric Wood’s retirement, the Bills definitely need another player who can fill that sixth-man role.


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