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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Taylor deal continues overhaul of the Bills' roster

Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have sent a clear message since taking over in Buffalo: They want their own players on the roster and have not been afraid to shed personnel from previous eras. Examples of the philosophy included the trades of Sammy Watkins, Marcell Dareus and Ronald Darby.

The trend has continued since the 2017 season ended with the expected retirement of Eric Wood and the breaking news Friday that Tyrod Taylor would be traded to Cleveland. The Bills will be down to only eight players whom they drafted before the new regime took over and 22 players overall – numbers that could continue to dwindle when free agency begins in the coming week.

Bills rich in draft capital: Buffalo’s six draft picks in the first three rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft – including five of the first 65 selections as a result of the Taylor deal – puts the team in a strong position should the Bills wish to trade upward, potentially for a first-round quarterback. Buffalo, with its nine picks overall, ranks No. 2 in “draft capital,” behind only the Browns.

Remember Alea? Fourteen-year-old Alea Williams, of Oakfield in Genesee County, became one of Taylor’s biggest fans, and that fandom was solidified when the Bills quarterback gave her a game ball on television after scoring a touchdown in mid-December. Her reaction to the trade: “Alea was pretty upset but still loves the Bills.”

The view from Cleveland: The Taylor deal shouldn’t change the Browns’ draft strategy, according to Cleveland sports columnist Bud Shaw. “The Browns have answered half of the quarterback equation for 2018,” Shaw wrote. “They can now draft, develop and be patient with a quarterback whose talent gives him a chance to be the answer here for a long time.”

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Bills’ quarterback search: If the Bills want to bring in a new quarterback through free agency, they could certainly look to Minnesota, where a trio of quarterbacks took snaps in 2017. All three are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

Poyer’s past year: Bills safety Jordan Poyer signed with Buffalo a year ago Friday. He came a long way this past season after suffering a brutal injury while playing with Cleveland. The Ed Block Courage Award winner spoke with The Buffalo News about his rebound campaign.

Got feedback on this newsletter or our Bills coverage? Email Josh Barnett at jbarnett@buffnews.com. Find us on Facebook by clicking here and follow @BNBlitzNow on Twitter.

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