Five (more) bargain free agents the Bills could target
Earlier this week, The Buffalo News laid out five bargain free agents the team might want to consider in this late stage of the open market. Shortly thereafter, two of those five signed deals u2013 quarterback Josh McCown joined the New York Jets and wide receiver Kamar Aiken hooked on with the Indianapolis Colts. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner, Browns right tackle Austin Pastor and 49ers linebacker Gerald Hodges remain from our original list. As of Friday afternoon, the Bills have a little more than $10 million in space under the NFLu2019s salary cap, according to the leagueu2019s playersu2019 association. That gives them enough money to do some bargain hunting if they so choose. Here are five more players to consider in that regard:
Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News
Safety T.J. McDonald. Last team: Los Angeles Rams. Age: 26. 2016 stats: 16 games (16 starts), 64 tackles, six passes defensed, two interception. Why he might fit: Ranked 18th by NFL.com on a list of the top 101 available free agents, McDonald has started 53 of 64 games the last four years. A big-time hitter, he could be facing a suspension to start the 2017 season for an alcohol-related arrest, and might still be holding out for starter money, which would price him out of Buffalo.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Last team: New York Jets. Age: 34. 2016 stats: 14 games (11 starts), 228 of 403 (56.6 completion percentage), 2,710 yards, 12 TDs, 17 INTs. Why he might fit: No, those numbers arenu2019t pretty. There is no denying Fitzpatrick had a down 2016, but if the Bills want an experienced veteran to compete with Cardale Jones for the backup quarterback job, he would make sense. Fitzpatrick loved playing in Buffalo and would likely welcome the opportunity again.
Defensive end Chris Long. Last team: New England Patriots. Age: 31. 2016 stats: 16 games (7 starts), 35 tackles, four sacks, three passes defensed. Why he might fit: Longu2019s days as an every-down defender are over, but he might be able to provide a pass rush on obvious passing downs. He would also be a good presence in the locker room, and, hey, maybe he has the secret to stopping Tom Brady from his time in New England.
Safety Jarius Byrd Last team: New Orleans Saints. Age: 30. 2016 stats: 16 games (15 starts), 82 tackles, three passes defensed, two interceptions. Why he might fit: The former Billsu2019 safety had a disastrous three-year run with the Saints, but actually started to play his football at the end of 2016. At this point, he could provide depth at a position that still needs it on the Bills. His father, Gill, is the teamu2019s new defensive backs coach.
Defensive end Jared Odrick. Last team: Jacksonville Jaguars. Age: 29. 2016 stats: Six games (six starts), 12 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one pass defensed. Why he might fit: A former high-priced free agent of the Jaguars, Odrick would give the Bills experienced depth along the defensive line u2013 something they currently lack. He might like the idea of playing close to his Toronto home, too.