1. It’s been written and said before, but is worth repeating: it takes a special kind of ineptitude to miss the playoffs for 17 years running and be up against the salary cap. That’s where the Buffalo Bills find themselves, though. ESPN’s Mike Rodak reported Monday that the Bills will enter free agency next month with the seventh-least cap space in the NFL — just a shade over $21 million. With 23 pending unrestricted free agents, including significant contributors like cornerback Stephon Gilmore, wide receiver Robert Woods and linebackers Lorenzo Alexander and Zach Brown, some serious maneuvering will have to be done.
Blame for the Bills’ cap situation falls directly on Jim Overdorf, the team’s senior vice president of football administration. Overdorf has given out some downright goofy contracts, including an ill-advised extension for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus worth potentially $100 million that is an anchor on the Bills’ cap. Left tackle Cordy Glenn is also scheduled to have a cap hit of more than $14 million in 2017. Glenn is paid like an elite left tackle, but has never made a Pro Bowl and missed the end of 2016 with a back injury, which is bad news for an offensive lineman.
Additionally, the extension for quarterback Tyrod Taylor before last season has put the Bills in a bind. Letting Taylor would go would leave the team with a gaping hole at the most important position in the game, but picking up his option will require a massive financial investment and at least a two-year commitment to a quarterback who has deficiencies in his game.
Overdorf generally doesn’t get much attention, good or bad, but the team’s cap situation should rightfully be scrutinized.
2. LeSean McCoy was rightfully miffed about being left off a recent list of the 101 best players in the NFL that was published by Pro Football Focus. Anyone who watched McCoy this year would agree he’s easily deserving of a spot on that list.
McCoy’s Twitter response Tuesday, however, was a bad look. He went full middle-school comeback by calling the PFF analysts “nerds” and suggesting they didn’t know anything about football because they never played the game.
@PFF u guys suck ... a bunch of nerds who never played a lick of football in your whole life.
— Lesean McCoy (@CutonDime25) February 13, 2017
What’s next for McCoy? Suggesting the President of the United States have previous political experience?
Seriously, though, McCoy would have best served taking Ron Burgundy’s advice.
McCoy's performance spoke for itself in 2016, and calling people “nerds” just comes across as petty.
3. If the recent prediction from Lorenzo Alexander's agent, Peter Schaffer, that his client will land between $5 million and $10 million per year on a short-term contract comes true, it shouldn't be in Buffalo. Schaffer made that prediction in a column by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora that focused on Alexander's career season in 2016, and how he's set to cash in big as one of the few quality pass rushers set to hit the open market.
There are a few different reasons Alexander might move on. As laid out above, cap space is a significant issue for the Bills. There is also his age -- he turns 34 in May. The Bills are also transitioning back to a 4-3 defense, and have Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson in line to start at defensive end.
Alexander is one of the true feel-good stories from last season. He's a stand-up guy both on and off the field. His performance in 2016 will earn him a nice paycheck next year, but it's hard to see how he fits with the Bills.