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Jay Skurski's 3 Bills thoughts: Don't rush on GM, Barnidge would be good catch, undrafted Rehkow a sleeper

1. The Buffalo Bills don't need to rush in filling the vacancy at general manager.

The Bills are one of only two NFL teams without a GM (or equivalent job title) after firing Doug Whaley last month, but the other team with an opening, Washington, is expected to reconfigure its front office without filling the role. That means the Bills have no competition for whoever it is they want to hire.

With that being the case, the team should be deliberate in finding the perfect candidate. To date, four have interviewed: Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane, Texans Director of Player Personnel Brian Gaine, Eagles Director of College Scouting Trey Brown and, on Monday, Packers Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst.

Beane is reportedly on his way to Buffalo for a second interview, which would make him a favorite for the job. There wouldn't be any harm in extending the search to include more candidates. After Whaley was fired, The Buffalo News published a list of 10 possible replacements. While not all of those candidates may be interested – particularly when all signs point to coach Sean McDermott having final say over personnel decisions – there is nothing for the Bills to lose by extending the interview process.

The draft is over. Free agency has slowed to a crawl. The major decisions needed to be made in regards to the 2017 roster are in the books. While a new GM will have to hire a new scouting staff, Terry and Kim Pegula should take their time in trying to find the absolute perfect candidate for the job.

2. The Bills would do well to reach a contract agreement with free agent tight end Gary Barnidge.

The 31-year-old has made 29 starts over the last two years with the Cleveland Browns, totaling 134 catches for 1,655 yards and 11 touchdowns. He would immediately become the Bills' No. 2 tight end and provide a nice duo at the position along with Charles Clay.

The holdup figures to be over money. The Bills have $12.046 million in salary cap space according to NFLPA records Monday, but that doesn't take into account the money needed to sign their draft picks. That will push the available space to less than $10 million. Provided a bidding war doesn't develop and get out of hand, however, the Bills should have the space to fit a deal with Barnidge under the cap.

3. Any undrafted free agent is a supreme long shot to make an NFL roster, but ...

Austin Rehkow should have a decent shot with the Bills. Rehkow, who has agreed to terms, but is not officially signed yet, handled both kicking and punting duties in his four years at Idaho. He led the Football Bowl Subdivision as a freshman with an average of 47.8 yards per punt, placed 24 punts inside the 20 yard-line and produced 15 touchbacks. The Vandals played an independent schedule in Rehkow's freshman year, then joined the Sun Belt Conference for his final three seasons. He was a first-team all-conference pick in his last three years.

As a senior, he had a gross average of 41.6 yards and placed 26 of 56 punts inside the 20-yard line, with only three touchbacks. The Bills re-signed punter Colton Schmidt earlier this offseason, but Rehkow, who was ranked as the best available specialist among players who weren't drafted, should give him a good push at training camp.

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