5 players in the Super Bowl who could interest the Bills in 2018
By: Nick Wojton
The Super Bowl might be a hard one to watch.
Not only are the Buffalo Bills not featured in the contest, their AFC East rival, the New England Patriots, will represent the AFC against the NFC’s Philadelphia Eagles.
But the Bills organization, while watching from the sidelines, will get a look at a number of players who will either be free agents or might have an opportunity to play for new teams next year. Could that new team be the Bills for any of that?
With that, here are five players who are playing in the Super Bowl that could be a fit for the Bills in 2018:
QB Nick Foles: The unexpected starting quarterback for the Eagles in Nick Foles is quite the interesting player. At times, he leaves more to be desired like during a 19-10 Christmas Day win over Oakland where he went 19-for-38 for only 163 yards with a touchdown and interception.. At other times, he throws for 352 yards with three touchdowns and a pick like he did in the NFC Championship game. Regardless of victory in the Super Bowl, Foles could be available because Philly is still Carson Wentz’ team going forward. Buffalo could match a veteran QB like the 29-year-old with a rookie in 2018.
LB Nigel Bradham: A former fourth-round pick of the Bills in 2012, Bradham was let go when Rex Ryan’s defense took over Orchard Park and it appeared he was not a fit. His rookie contract was over, too. In 2016, Bradham signed for two years with the Eagles and has been productive. He’s going to be a free agent at the end of the season and Buffalo’s stellar secondary made up for glaring needs in the front-seven throughout the year. Linebacker is no exception. Bradham, 28, has proved to be a strong tackler in the NFL, notching 102 and 88 total tackles the past two years in Philly. He had 104 in 2014 with the Bills as well. Additionally, Bradham is strong against the run, where Buffalo struggled in 2017 (124.6 yards-per-game — 29th in NFL). But, Bradham has had his share of off-field issues.
WR Danny Amendola: After his game-winning touchdown catch in the AFC championship, Danny Amendola still has something left in the tank and he’s going to be a free agent. However, Amendola has repeatedly taken pay cuts to stay with the Pats. He’s 32 and the Patriots notoriously get rid of players too early rather than too late. If he still wanted to play and New England did not want to re-sign the pending free agent, could Buffalo want a vet wide out? Maybe, they did sign Anquan Boldin.
RB Mike Gillislee: I’m usually not one for requesting the return of a former player, but it could make sense. Buffalo only let Gillislee, 27, go because the Patriots signed him to a front-loaded deal that the Bills just couldn’t match (two-years, $6.4 million) when he was a restricted free agent. In 2018, Gillislee will not carry a dead cap hit so he could be cut by the Pats. After spending 2016 as LeSean McCoy’s backup where he had nine total touchdowns in Buffalo, Gillislee has spent pretty much the entire second half of this season and playoffs as a healthy scratch for New England’s jam-packed backfield. Under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Buffalo should run a similar running game that Gillislee thrived in during 2016 as well.
LB Marquis Flowers: It’s a weakness for Buffalo, so another linebacker here. Flowers, 25, received his opportunity to play in New England after spending the first two years of his career as a special teamer in Cincinnati. Flowers showed an ability to get after the quarterback this year against the Bills, sacking Tyrod Taylor 2.5 times and he’s displayed an athleticism and quickness on the field which McDermott tends to like in his linebackers. That, combined with the prior mentioned special teams skills, sounds like the makings of Lorenzo Alexander 2.0, but assuming anyone could take Zo’s role as a leader is plain wrong.