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Vic Carucci's Bills Mailbag: What to do with cap room? All in on Taylor?

You’ve got Bills questions that you’ve submitted to me via Twitter @viccarucci.

I’ve got answers:

@DrunkMan0o0Geib: Do the Bills sign a WR now that they made cap room or is that all for contract extensions?

VC: I wouldn’t rule out them signing a receiver or player at pretty much any position as the offseason progresses and teams begin shedding veteran salaries.

But I also don’t think they’re actively seeking to address receiver or any other spot because almost all of their attention is focused on signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore and quarterback Tyrod Taylor to long-term deals. By replacing that $13.7-million franchise tag on offensive tackle Cordy Glenn with a five-year, $65-million deal, they did create some cap space that should help with their efforts to get an extension agreement with Gilmore or Taylor but probably not both.

Remember, the market for cornerbacks has skyrocketed, thanks largely to Josh Norman’s free-agent contract with Washington. And it hasn’t gotten any cheaper to sign quarterbacks, either, thanks largely to the $18-million-per-year deal to which Houston signed Brock Osweiler.

As the Bills discovered in a negotiation that wound up making Glenn one of the highest-paid offensive tackles in the NFL, they aren’t going to get any bargains or so-called “hometown discounts” when signing their own players any more than they would when dealing with outsiders.

@bcchuck22: Is Taylor locked as starting QB?

VC: Of course. Who else on the roster is going to take the job from him?

Certainly not EJ Manuel, who is the backup by default and won’t be on the team after this season. Certainly not Cardale Jones, who is taking his NFL baby steps on a path the Bills hope will lead to him become to be their No. 2 next year.

@shmitty_2490: You all in on Tyrod? I think I’m alright with waiting and seeing how he does this year.

VC: I suppose I am, too.

My instincts tell me that you need more than a 14-game body of work before doing an extension that would put him in the range of $20 million annually with a whole lot of guaranteed money. But reality says that such deals frequently happen sooner than we sometimes think is right, so if the two sides were to somehow figure out a way to get one done before or during the season, I would not be surprised or upset.

Taylor has no reason to settle for anything less than Osweiler received, which could very well mean that he sets himself up for an even larger long-term contract, at the most, or a franchise tag of more than $20 million, at the least, next year. The obvious downside to such an approach is injury or a second-year slump.

@MJFutter: Do the Bills still look for O-line help now that Matt Slauson signed elsewhere?

VC: Probably.

Slauson was somewhat unique in that, besides being a solid veteran, he had a good history with Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who was Slauson’s offensive coordinator in Chicago.

The Bills have made some low-end free agency and undrafted free-agent additions to their line, but it’s hard to believe they’re entirely comfortable with leaving the right side in the hands of incumbent tackles Seantrel Henderson, Jordan Mills and Cyrus Kouandjio, and incumbent guard John Miller.

Kromer and offensive coordinator Greg Roman know precisely what they want in the way of linemen -- guys who have every bit of what it takes to flourish above as well as below their shoulder pads.

@brian_worthy: Do you see the lack of wide receiver size as being a problem for the Bills? I think we should have taken a big WR.

VC: Not really.

As the roster is currently configured, there are only so many touches to go around when there is a concerted effort to, first and foremost, get the ball into the hands of Sammy Watkins … and then LeSean McCoy … and then Charles Clay. Oh, and don’t forget Karlos Williams.

You’re talking about a fourth pass-catching option, at best, in the larger receiver you wanted a team with a run-oriented offense to draft. I’m fine with that player being Robert Woods, at least for this season. Then we’ll see what happens next year with McCoy.

@BillsandBeers: Why’s everyone fixated on Reggie Ragland as 2down LB? There’s value in consistently getting opps to 3rd & long--something missing in ’15.

VC: Agreed. Ragland appears to be an ideal fit in Rex Ryan’s defense, and it will be his stout play on early downs – as well as his strong communication skills – that will go the longest way in his ability to make an impact.

@KPChristiano: Can Chad Kelly leave Miss due to the program’s issues right now and enter the Supplemental Draft?

VC: I don’t see it happening.

First, most players who enter the supplemental draft usually do so because they’re forced to leave school for academic or disciplinary reasons. Second, if, in fact, Mississippi were to face any NCAA sanctions over the Laremy Tunsil’s unintended revelations of receiving payments while at school, the timing probably would be after the 2016 season.

I think the best situation for Kelly is to put together another strong year and emerge as an even stronger NFL prospect in 2017.

@Iamhisboyelroy: Why did we draft a RB that didn’t play last year?

VC: I’m not as troubled by the selection of Jonathan Williams, who missed his 2015 season at Arkansas after undergoing foot surgery, as you are.

Fifth-round draft picks always come with a fair amount of flaws. The hope is that you’ve found value by identifying the sort of talent that will allow the player to overcome whatever it was that made him available so late. In the case of Williams, it was impressive production earlier in his college career. It was powerful, explosive running that the Bills hope he can recapture after a full year of healing and rehabilitating.

And if he doesn’t, so what? He was a fifth-round pick.

For whatever it’s worth, I wasn’t alone in noticing how well Williams was moving last Friday, during the one practice of the Bills’ rookie minicamp open to the media.

@Secondfh: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

VC: When was the last time you walked into a Ted’s and said, “Give me a hotdog sandwich?”

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