After a big free agency headlined by the addition of Von Miller, what’s next for the Buffalo Bills? The Bills don’t have many needs left, but there are some. The biggest being the addition of a cornerback. They could also use depth at wide receiver and along the offensive line. The 2022 NFL draft is four weeks away and the Bills’ have eight picks. Including picks in all seven rounds and two sixth round selections. But with limited money now available, it’s likely the Bills will put the finishing touches on their roster during the draft. Let’s take a look at what the next few weeks could look like for the Bills.
Clearing Cap Space
While they have cleared a lot of cap space to spend this offseason, the Buffalo Bills will need to clear more. Per NFL insider Field Yates, the Bills’ have only $1.09 million in cap space. They will need around just north of $6 million for their 2022 draft picks. We can expect more cap clearing moves on the way in terms of restructurings or even contract extensions. A Stefon Diggs extension would open some room. As would a Tremaine Edmunds extension. General manager Brandon Beane doesn’t like to restructure deals because he describes it as “kicking the can down the road.” He has already made changes to Matt Milano and Micah Hyde’s contracts to help them add new players. Now he will need to perform more cap room gymnastics to get under the cap with the addition of draft picks.
Potential Bargain Veteran Deals
It seems safe to say that the Buffalo Bills’ won’t be performing any more big splash signings this off-season. However, they could add some veteran talent on cheaper bargain deals. In fact, the Bills were in on free agent veteran cornerback Adrian Peterson before he re-signed with the Vikings. Like they’ve done in the past, the Bills could offer cheap short-term deals. With the selling point being the chance to play on a Super Bowl contender. With interest in Peterson, and their biggest need, the Bills could look to add a veteran cornerback before the draft. One name to keep an eye on could be Steven Nelson. They were in on him last off-season before he signed with the Eagles. With him currently on the market, the Bills could look to him again to fill their veteran cornerback need. Some other names still available are Joe Haden, Chris Harris, Bryce Callahan, and Kyle Fuller.
Early Look at the Draft
The NFL draft is only 4 weeks away and is one of the most exciting parts of the NFL off-season. Although it seems like a cornerback in round 1 is on the way, Brandon Beane is a wildcard in the draft. He loves to go with the best player available approach over drafting for need and it has been working. The Bills’ have constructed one of the best rosters in the league with their core being their own draft picks. We shouldn’t expect Beane to change his philosophy this draft. The draft is loaded with defensive talent and it’s likely the cornerback prospects are high on his board. Sauce Gardner and Derek Stingley are likely out of the Bills’ reach unless they trade up. If Andrew Booth, Trent McDuffie, Kyler Gordon, Roger McCreary, or Kaiir Elam are there at 25, don’t be surprised if they are the pick.
With the best player available mindset, it’s hard to not to imagine a wide receiver potentially being the Bills’ first round choice. All of the top cornerback prospects could be gone by the time the Bills pick. The draft is deep at wide receiver headlined by Jameson Williams, Garret Wilson, Chris Olave, Treylon Burks, and Jahan Dotson. Many of the top prospects told the media at the combine they would love to be drafted by the Bills’ and have Josh Allen be their quarterback. In terms of talent, surely some of these guys will be very high on Beane’s draft board and he will not be afraid to pull the trigger on them. You can never have too many options on offense and continuing to surround Josh Allen with talent is one thing Beane has consistently done.