Charles Johnson and Kurt Coleman were cut by the Carolina Panthers earlier this week. Both played several years under Sean McDermott and could be great fits with the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo Bills have a knack for raiding the Carolina Panthers for coaches, players, and front office personnel. They could be at it once again after defensive end Charles Johnson and safety Kurt Coleman were released by the Panthers this week.
Johnson would fill an immediate need as the team is weak at defensive end, where they ranked tied for 29th in the league last season. Despite recording no sacks last season, Johnson has five seasons of eight or more sacks and three seasons of 11 or more. He was also a second-team All-Pro in 2010.
Drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Johnson has spent his entire 11-year career with Carolina and played under Sean McDermott. He has recorded 67.5 sacks throughout his career and has played in 143 games.
Also being cut from the team was safety Kurt Coleman, who played the last three years for Carolina. Coleman could add depth to a safety position with little behind budding stars Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. The familiarity with McDermott’s defense means that Coleman could slide right in behind the young safety tandem and provide experience. It also means Hyde could defend tight ends and slot receivers, something he did frequently this past season.
A seventh-round pick in the 2010 draft, Coleman began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles and played with them for four seasons. Before signing with the Panthers in 2015 and spending the last three seasons with them, he spent the 2014 season with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bills could sign either Johnson or Coleman right away and wouldn’t have to wait for free agency to begin as they were released and not at the end of their contracts. Buffalo has already made a splash by signing veteran cornerback Vontae Davis on Tuesday, showing that they are willing to sign veteran free agents for cheap to plug holes.
Not only have the Bills addressed the corner position, but veteran running back Chris Ivory has reportedly been to One Bills Drive and is a potential option to fill the need at backup running back. The team could be potentially plugging holes with veteran free agents in case they can’t in the draft and move picks.
Familiarity is something Beane and McDermott have relied on when acquiring players. Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Tolbert both came from Carolina via trade and free agency last year. The team also traded for Kaelin Clay from the Panthers for corner Kevon Seymour before releasing him soon after.
Despite the two players aging, it makes plenty of sense to have the Bills bring them in. Johnson could be a key rotational player or even starter if the Bills plan to move on from Shaq Lawson – something I alluded to in my previous article about seven trades the team could make this offseason.
Hopefully both Beane and McDermott can continue to build up the roster with experienced players that they can find cheap.