Bills Rumors

This Date In Transactions History: Bills Extend Jason Peters

Entering his 16th season, Jason Peters has signed several NFL contracts. The Eagles recently gave their longtime left tackle another extension, this one through the 2020 season. But the first of Peters’ many extension agreements occurred on this date 13 years ago.

On July 14, 2006, the Bills and their UDFA find agreed to terms on a contract that eventually led to the parties splitting up. Peters signed a five-year, $15MM extension during the ’06 offseason, this coming after the Bills tendered him a contract worth $425K. Soon outplaying the teams of his $3MM-AAV deal, Peters became a disgruntled Bill.

The Bills initially took a flier on the former college tight end and defensive end, and this only came to be because of lobbying by the future All-Pro blocker’s agent, and stashed him on their practice squad for most of the 2004 season. Buffalo broke Peters in on special teams before turning to him as its starting right tackle for much of the ’05 slate. Peters had supplanted underwhelming former top-five pick Mike Williams as Buffalo’s top right tackle, and the Bills made the move to lock the emerging talent up the following offseason. The team then moved Peters to the left side midway through the ’06 campaign. That ultimately proved to be a short-term arrangement.

Dissatisfaction over a $3.25MM salary prompted Peters to hold out in 2008, and after he begrudgingly returned to his Bills post that season, the Eagles came in with a trade offer to acquire Peters just before the 2009 draft. The Bills received 2009 first- and fourth-round picks, along with a 2010 sixth-rounder, in the swap. They used the first of those selections to draft future long-term center Eric Wood 28th overall. Philadelphia handed Peters a six-year, $60MM extension, beginning a fruitful era for their offensive line.

Buffalo went through a few left tackles since Peters’ departure, most notably Cordy Glenn, while Peters has started 127 games as an Eagle — fifth-most in franchise history by a pure offensive lineman. Peters ended up making two Pro Bowls with the Bills and seven with the Eagles, also receiving two first-team All-Pro honors in Philly. The Eagles also extended their 37-year-old left-edge protector in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

LeSean McCoy Pushed For Frank Gore Signing

  • The Bills have added a number of running backs to complement LeSean McCoy, and the veteran was especially pleased about Buffalo’s signing of Frank Gore, per Nate Mendelson of BuffaloBills.com. “I actually was begging him to come,” McCoy said. “Two years ago we were trying to get Frank and coach (Sean McDermott) asked if I’d like to play with him and I said ‘yeah.’” Buffalo signed not only Gore, but fellow free agent T.J. Yeldon, and selected Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary in the third round. Still, the team has been adamant that McCoy remains the starter, although that’s only invited more speculation that he could be traded at some point before the regular season begins.

NFL Supplemental Draft Order

The NFL’s Supplemental Draft order does not go by the inverted win/loss records of clubs. Instead, the order is dictated by a weighted lottery that uses a team’s win percentage as just part of the equation. Here, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) is the complete order of the supplemental draft:

1. Lions
2. Broncos
3. Jets
4. Cardinals
5. Giants
6. Bills
7. Raiders
8. 49ers
9. Jaguars
10. Packers
11. Bengals
12. Bucs
13. Falcons
14. Vikings
15. Redskins
16. Titans
17. Dolphins
18. Steelers
19. Panthers
20. Browns
21. Ravens
22. Patriots
23.Cowboys
24. Seahawks
25. Eagles
26. Texans
27. Bears
28. Colts
29. Saints
30. Chiefs
31. Chargers
32. Rams

The supplemental draft is conducted via email. If multiple teams submit a pick for the same player in the same round, this order dictates which club gets the player. Of course, any team picking a player in the supplemental draft will sacrifice the corresponding pick in the 2020 draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Quinton Spain To Be Ready For Training Camp

  • The Bills made overhauling their offensive line a priority this offseason. Josh Allen spent most of his rookie year running for his life, so it makes sense. The team made some high profile signings like Mitch Morse, Ty Nsekhe, and Spencer Long, but they also added Quinton Spain. Spain is competing for a starting spot at one of the two guard positions, and his cause got hurt by a thumb injury that required surgery and sidelined him for the rest of spring practices. Fortunately for him, Spain is expected to be ready to go for the start of training camp, per Nate Mendelson of the team’s official site. Spain entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Titans back in 2015, and started at least 13 games in each of the past three years for them. He received average marks from Pro Football Focus last year, grading out as their 35th-best guard. Spain is probably a favorite to win a starting job, and Buffalo’s offensive line looks on paper to be a lot better than it was last year.

Frank Gore Not Yet Considering Retirement

Frank Gore, 36, has the fourth-most rushing yards in league history (14,748), and he could surpass the legendary Barry Sanders for third place on the all-time list this season. But while he continues to defy the odds for running backs, Gore said he is not yet contemplating retirement.

Gore, via David Furones of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, said, “I just go how I feel. If I feel I can’t do it no more, then I call it.” 

Oftentimes, players in the latter stages of their career proclaim that a given year will be their last in the league, even if they end up backtracking later. Gore, though, will apparently keep the legs churning until he feels his body can’t take it anymore.

And for good reason. Last year, in his one and only season with his hometown Dolphins, Gore managed 4.6 yards per carry off of 156 attempts and added 12 catches for 124 yards. He no longer profiles as a workhorse back, but he’s still quite productive when used in the right measure. And given that the Bills have a large stable of running backs, headed by veteran LeSean McCoy, Buffalo will likely be able to keep Gore on a pitch count that maximizes his effectiveness.

Gore said he signed with the Bills — the first cold weather team he has suited up for — because of how much they showed they wanted him. He said, “[i]t was the second year where they came after me. They showed that they wanted me again. In this league, especially at my age, you want to be wanted. That’s a factor that [went into the decision], especially coming off an injury.”

When he does hang up the cleats, Gore said he will retire as a member of the 49ers, who selected him in the third round of the 2005 draft and with whom Gore spent the first 10 years of his career. Even if he does not play for San Francisco again, Gore will sign a one-day contract with the team when the time comes.

Gore is a five-time Pro Bowler but has yet to win a Super Bowl (though he came close in 2012). If he wants a ring before he retires, he will likely have to play at least one more year, as the Bills do not profile as championship contenders this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dawson Knox Could Start For Bills Week 1?

  • It’s often said that tight end is the hardest position to transition to the pro game from college at other than quarterback. Rookie tight ends don’t usually make huge contributions, as it takes them a while to adjust. Don’t tell that to Dawson Knox and the Bills. Knox, a third-round pick from Ole Miss, has a shot to start from Week 1 for Buffalo, according to Vic Carruci of the Buffalo News. Knox never was used a ton as a receiver, racking up only 284 yards in his last year at Ole Miss, but he did average an impressive 18.9 yards per catch. The Bills finally let Charles Clay go this past offseason, but they also signed Tyler Kroft to a three-year deal, who profiles as Knox’s main competition. Kroft suffered a broken foot back in May and might not be ready for the start of the regular season, which could force Buffalo’s hand with Knox.

POLL: Will The Bills Reach .500 In 2019?

The Bills are going to be an interesting team in 2019. They’ve got a lot of young talent, but how the team does will almost entirely come down to the development of Josh Allen. Allen showed a lot of flashes as a rookie, but he also struggled with his accuracy and decision-making.

To be fair, Allen was playing behind a ragtag offensive line and with one of the worst receiving corps in the league. Buffalo made upgrading both areas a priority this offseason, and they made some big moves. They completely overhauled their group of pass-catchers, signing Cole Beasley and John Brown in free agency. They also signed center Mitch Morse to become the new anchor of their offensive line, and highly-regarded tackle Ty Nsekhe who had spent the previous few years in a reserve role with Washington.

To help replace the retiring Kyle Williams, they drafted defensive tackle Ed Oliver out of Houston ninth overall. The defense is stacked, and they were one of the best units in the league last year. The Bills finished 6-10 last season, which was good for third place in the division.

The Dolphins are widely expected to take a big step back, which means it’ll either be the Bills or Jets behind the Patriots in the AFC East pecking order next season. Buffalo made the playoffs in 2017 with a 9-7 record, and that seems to be a reasonable goal. Head coach Sean McDermott has been widely praised for the culture he’s instilled during his couple of years with the Bills, but everything will ultimately fall on Allen’s shoulders.

So, what do you think? Will Allen take the next step with an improved group of weapons and offensive line, or will he be unable to put it all together? Will the Jets and Sam Darnold pass them in the AFC East, or will the Bills separate themselves?

Cast your vote below (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comments section:

Latest On LeSean McCoy, Bills' CBs

  • Vic Carucci of BNBlitz.com says it’s possible that Bills GM Brandon Beane and LeSean McCoy have adamantly pushed the notion that McCoy will be the team’s starter in 2019 in order to generate some trade interest. After all, the club does have a large stable of RBs, and McCoy, a 2020 free agent, appears to be nearing the end of his career. But Carucci says he has heard nothing to indicate that Buffalo is seeking to trade McCoy.
  • In the same piece, Carucci says he believes Levi Wallace will start for the Bills at cornerback opposite TreDavious White.

Christian Wade Believes He Can Make 53-Man Roster

  • Bills RB Christian Wade was assigned to Buffalo’s roster as part of the league’s international pathway program, which means he is eligible to be the 11th man on the club’s practice squad. But as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes, Wade believes he can crack the 53-man roster. That will be a tall order given that veterans LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, and T.J. Yeldon, along with third-round rookie Devin Singletary, are ahead of him on the depth chart. But McCoy and Gore will be free agents after the season, and Yeldon could be a cap casualty by that time, so if Wade impresses, he could be a roster candidate in 2020.

Bills Ownership Remains Committed To Buffalo

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruffled some feathers in Buffalo earlier this month when, speaking at Jim Kelly‘s annual charity golf tournament, he said he believes that a new stadium is essential to the stability of the Bills’ franchise. He went on to say that team ownership will need to address the club’s stadium situation at some point in the near future to keep the Bills in Buffalo.

That is not the first time Goodell has made comments of that sort, but it still set off a few alarm bells. Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, though, attempted to downplay the ominous nature of Goodell’s remarks. In an interview with the Associated Press (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), Kim Pegula said, “Roger knows where we stand. We weren’t at all upset or thought that he was trying to say anything differently.”

The Pegulas are committed to keeping the Bills right where they are, but they also acknowledge that getting a new stadium to make good on that commitment won’t be easy. Kim Pegula said, “It’s a big, big nut to crack. It’s going to take some patience on everyone’s part.”

As Florio observes, it remains to be seen whether the Pegulas can secure enough private funding from the league and enough public money from the city to make a new stadium feasible, and whether the new stadium would even be a viable long-term investment. One factor that could have a major impact on the Bills’ fate could be stadium credits, a system in which revenue that would otherwise be shared by management and players would instead be funneled into the construction and renovation of stadiums. That issue is not being talked about much right now, but it is likely to become a key component of the upcoming CBA negotiations between the league and the union.

Florio also opines that the Pegulas’ commitment to Buffalo may not be the best way to maximize their leverage with the city, and if they want to get as much public funding as possible for a new stadium, they may need to threaten relocation and stop attempting to placate the fan base.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.