Pro Football Focus picks the Buffalo Bills ‘perfect’ free agent match for this offseason
The defensive line for the Buffalo Bills should be an area they focus on this offseason, either in free agency or the NFL Draft but most likely both. They have six players between defensive end and defensive tackle that are set to be free agents.
The fact that they rotate players with such frequency, in fact only two players on the defensive line played more than 50% of the defensive snaps last year, means that depth is critical. The Bills are currently up against the salary cap so it will be important to find players that may be overlooked that can be added on modest contracts to bolster this part of the roster.
Pro Football Focus names Tim Settle as the ‘perfect’ free agent for the Buffalo Bills
Recently, Pro Football Focus put together a list of perfect free agent matches for each NFL team and did a good job with the selection for the Buffalo Bills. The player they picked was defensive tackle Tim Settle, who was a fifth round selection by Washington in 2018 and has played four seasons there.
"Working alongside Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis, Settle has never played more than 364 defensive snaps in a season. However, he has shown enough in that limited role to be an intriguing offseason acquisition who could take on more snaps, earning PFF pass rushing grades above 70.0 in each of the past two years.Buffalo could be in need of some additions to its interior defensive line, depending on what happens with Harrison Phillips in free agency. At worst, Settle would be a relatively cheap depth piece with some upside."
As Ben Linsey notes in his article, Settle’s opportunities have been limited playing in Washington. This shouldn’t be a negative against him as Washington has invested a lot of high draft capital in that part of their roster. In fact, they have four first round picks currently along their defensive line which is why it is not surprising to see Settle’s chances to get on the field limited.
If the Buffalo Bills were to sign Settle, he would likely find more playing time and could build on those flashes he has shown in his limited role with Washington. He has seven career sacks and 12 QB hits to start his career and while I don’t see him as being a replacement for Harrison Phillips, he could be a great player to pair with Ed Oliver in terms of generating a pass rush up the middle on this defensive line.