Buffalo Bills well-represented in list of top free agent signings in 2017

Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Both current and former Buffalo Bills players stood out on a Pro Football Focus list of the top free agent signings from the 2017 season.

Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane made some big changes to the Buffalo Bills roster in 2017 and the results paid off with a playoff berth.

Top talent was traded, but others were brought in and were a major reason why the team returned to being competitive once again.

Pro Football Focus recently published an article on five free agents who improved with their respective new teams in 2017, and the Bills were featured throughout the list.

To be exact, only one current Bills player made the list. That was Micah Hyde. However, both Robert Woods and Stephon Gilmore also made the list after heading elsewhere.

The partial overhaul of the roster did see talented players like Woods and Gilmore leave, although those losses can be credited to Doug Whaley, but it is important to realize that sometimes a change of scenery is what makes a player turn things around. Bills fans can bemoan the lack of production from the receiving corps in 2017, but Woods only had one single touchdown reception himself in 2016.

And while Gilmore is without a doubt a great player, his replacements weren’t too shabby this year for the Bills.

The key is for the Bills to handle player departures by bringing in equal or greater talent. That is much easier said than done, but looking for players in need of a change is a great way to start. Just think of Jordan Poyer, who spent the first few years of his career in Cleveland. He was solid, but nowhere near great. Then he is given a chance by the Bills and has a career year.

Next: Six prospects to watch for at the NFL Combine

Bills fans are putting their faith in McDermott and Beane to find the best fits out there, and the moves made in 2017 were a great start.