The Buffalo Bills tendered three restricted free agents today out of six. The players they chose to tender were wide receiver Chris Hogan, offensive tackle Jordan Mills, and defensive tackle Corbin Bryant.
Bills fans shouldn’t worry because there is a good chance that 7-11 will be open 24/7 in training camp for the team. Chris Hogan who is nicknamed “7-11” has been a key contributor for the Bills on special teams during his time in Buffalo. He also made some big plays at wide receiver last year but overall he needs to be more consistent and work on his hands. According to Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, Hogan was the recipient of the low-end tender meaning he will make $1.67 million next year.
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Jordan Mills was important for Buffalo to retain. He has the potential to start for the team next season although that’s more of an indication of their lack of depth at the position due to Seantrel Henderson’s battle with Crohn’s disease rather than how well he played.
Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley did not indicate that the team would add anyone else this offseason at the position when referring to Henderson on WGR he said “We got some positive news about his health, so we believe he may be able to be in that competition for the right tackle position starting with camp, so we’d have three bodies.” according to the Buffalo News.
Corbin Bryant really stepped up in the absence of Kyle Williams on the interior of Buffalo’s defensive line last season. He could be a key contributor for the team next year. Bringing him back for a reasonable price was very smart by the Bills. He has been in the NFL for four seasons and is only 28 so if he continues to work hard his best days should still be ahead of him.
There were also three players who the Bills did not tender. They were defensive tackle Stefan Charles, safety Bacarri Rambo, and linebacker Ty Powell. Two of these names were pretty surprising while one was not.
Rambo played well in over 700 snaps for the team this past year. Safety is one of the biggest positions of need for the Bills. They recently cut Leodis McKelvin who started for the team last season after returning from injury. The Bills need to add another player at this position in free agency and/or in the draft and so it seems weird they would not keep Rambo.
Ty Powell missed last year due to a torn ACL he suffered in training camp. Before the injury, Rex Ryan was speaking very highly of him. According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, last year Rex Ryan said “That guy’s been playing great for us and really coming into his own. He finally found a home at inside linebacker and obviously was a key cog in our special teams.” Many thought Buffalo would tender him.
Letting Stefan Charles go was not that shocking. He did not make a major impact on the field in the 200 plus snaps he had last year. The reason the Bills did not tender Rambo and Powell must be because they did not want to pay the minimum of $1.67 million for each of these players next season.
Any of these players can still negotiate and sign with Buffalo before free agency starts at 4 pm on March 9th. Many Bills fans will be hoping that they do because safety and linebacker are two of the biggest positions of need for the team this offseason.