1. It would be foolish for Stephon Gilmore to hold out when the Buffalo Bills report to training camp at the end of this month. While he may feel like it's the only way for him to gain leverage in contract negotiations, it's hard to see how the Bills will feel pressured by his absence. He's scheduled to make more than $11 million this season, which seems like a fair salary for a player who has made it through a 16-game season just once in his career and has never made a Pro Bowl. The Bills also hold the hammer that comes with the ability to place the franchise tag on Gilmore after this season. Doing so for a cornerback this year costs just a shade under $14 million this season, and will go up in 2017. If that scenario played out, Gilmore would make $25 million over two seasons in guaranteed money. That's not underpaid.
If he did hold out, the Bills could fine him up to $30,000 a day. That's a situation neither side would want to reach. Gilmore's teammates will certainly be watching to see how one of the team's best players is treated, but recent evidence suggests owners Terry and Kim Pegula take care of their own. Running back LeSean McCoy, left guard Richie Incognito, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and left tackle Cordy Glenn have all gotten big-money extensions recently. That shows the front office is committed to rewarding those who perform well.
Gilmore should be next on that list, but holding out would create hard feelings on both sides that won't help a deal get done.
2. The biggest concern regarding LeSean McCoy heading into 2016 shouldn't be any league-imposed discipline after he was investigated -- but not charged -- for his involvement in a February bar brawl in Philadelphia, but rather his health. He missed time during spring practice because of an ankle injury -- which coach Rex Ryan originally said was a hamstring ailment. McCoy had one of those during training camp last year, and the injury lingered into the regular season, causing him to miss two games. He also missed two glorified preseason games at the end of the year because of a knee injury after the Bills were officially no longer "in the hunt" for a playoff berth. McCoy turns 28 Tuesday and has logged more than 1,600 carries since entering the NFL in 2009, fifth most in the league since that time. He's being paid like a franchise running back, but can he stay on the field enough to be that moving forward for the Bills?
3. Speaking of running backs, it wouldn't be a surprise if Jonathan Williams earned the backup job to McCoy over Karlos Williams. When the latter showed up to spring practices out of shape, it opened the door for the rookie from Arkansas. Karlos Williams will need to prove to the Bills he's committed -- and back in shape -- when the team gets together at St. John Fisher College.