Payments’ 2023 Free Brokers, Targets and Draft Wants After NFL Playoff Loss
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Payments head coach Sean McDermottSet Quantity: X164272 TK1
The Buffalo Payments have turn out to be one of the vital thrilling groups within the NFL. The presence of dual-threat quarterback Josh Allen, ability gamers like Stefon Diggs and an aggressive talent-laden protection has made Buffalo a must-watch on either side of the ball.
Nevertheless, there is a distinction between being a “enjoyable” workforce and a championship squad. The Payments reached the postseason in every of the previous 4 seasons however failed to seem within the Tremendous Bowl. Buffalo has been a workforce with few apparent flaws however one which merely could not recover from the proverbial hump.
With a 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals presenting a second straight divisional spherical exit, it is time as soon as once more for Buffalo to concentrate on reloading for subsequent season.
Now that the Payments are out of the playoffs, their consideration should shift to retaining key gamers, addressing the few wants they’ve and navigating the 2023 draft. They’ll probably construct a stronger roster and a title contender for subsequent season, however it may take work.
Right here, we’ll look at Buffalo’s impending free brokers, potential free-agent targets and draft wants heading into the offseason.
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Payments S Jordan PoyerKevin Sabitus/Getty Photos
Unrestricted Free Brokers
G Ike Boettger
WR Jamison Crowder
LB Tremaine Edmunds
G Bobby Hart
S Jaquan Johnson
RB Taiwan Jones
QB Case Keenum
LB A.J. Klein
WR Jake Kumerow
DE Shaq Lawson
S Dean Marlowe
P Sam Martin
LB Tyler Matakevich
OT Justin Murray
DE Jordan Phillips
S Jordan Poyer
OT David Quessenberry
G Rodger Saffold
RB Devin Singletary
TE Tommy Sweeney
G Greg Van Roten
Restricted/Unique-Rights Free Brokers
LB Tyrel Dodson
CB Dane Jackson
CB Cam Lewis
Free company is the largest impediment between Buffalo and one other run in 2023. The Payments might probably lose a number of starters and key function gamers on the open market this offseason.
Defensively, beginning security Jordan Poyer, beginning linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and defensive finish Shaq Lawson headline the listing of impending free brokers. Whereas Lawson wasn’t a full-time starter in 2022, he was a useful rotational piece.
Lawson completed the common season with 30 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 11 quarterback pressures.
Offensively, the Payments have to fret about dropping beginning left guard Rodger Saffold and useful backups David Quessenberry, Bobby Hart, Ike Boettger and Greg Van Roten. Beginning operating again Devin Singletary is about to hit the open market as effectively.
Quarterback Case Keenum noticed the sector sparingly in 2022, however he stays one of many higher backups within the NFL. Allen has proved himself to be a sturdy quarterback, nevertheless it’s all the time good to have a dependable Plan B in place on the recreation’s most vital place.
Buffalo might additionally lose punter Sam Martin, who ranked a decent 14th in yards per punt this season.
The issue rests with Buffalo’s cap house, or lack thereof. The Payments are projected to be $5.5 million over the wage cap, which can make retaining and including gamers fairly troublesome.
The Payments are brief on viable cap-cut candidates, so common supervisor Brandon Beane could have to have a look at restructuring a couple of contracts to clear house. One reduce candidate is operating again and returner Nyheim Hines, who was acquired in the course of the season in a commerce with the Indianapolis Colts.
Hines is underneath contract by way of 2024 and is about to hold a $4.8 million cap hit in 2023. Nevertheless, he has no ensures left on his deal, and the Payments might save the total $4.8 million by releasing him.
Potential Free-Agent/Commerce Targets
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Cowboys TE Dalton SchultzJulio Aguilar/Getty Photos
Given Buffalo’s cap state of affairs, we’re unlikely to see the Payments go big-name searching on the open market this offseason. They added pass-rusher Von Miller final offseason, however prime gamers like defensive sort out Daron Payne and cornerback James Bradberry are most likely off the desk for 2023.
Count on Buffalo to largely look to re-sign their very own and consider funds choices within the second and third waves of free company.
If, nevertheless, the Payments are in a position to clear vital cap house, a few gamers stand out as logical targets.
If Poyer departs in free company, the Payments might check out snagging Cincinnati Bengals security Jessie Bates III. He performed this final season on the franchise tag and is probably going out after the Bengals used a first-round choose on Daxton Hill.
It might additionally make sense to focus on a top-tier tight finish to pair with Dawson Knox. Just a few good ones can be out there, together with the Dallas Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz, the Miami Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Evan Engram.
Buffalo may also look to execute a commerce or two if the appropriate gamers turn out to be out there. One identify to think about is Aaron Jones of the Inexperienced Bay Packers. Singletary might depart, and the Payments did monitor Christian McCaffrey earlier than he was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers.
Very similar to McCaffrey, Jones is an amazing dual-threat operating again. The Packers are set to be $14.5 million over the cap and will save $10.4 million by shifting Jones. Naturally, it is a deal that may solely make sense if the Payments restructure Jones’ contract and scale back his $8.1 million base wage.
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Wealthy Graessle/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photos
Whereas the Payments might not be significantly energetic in free company, they will add vital contributions by way of the 2023 draft. Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have principally completed a very good job of uncovering expertise on draft weekend.
Key gamers like Allen, Knox, Singletary, Ed Oliver, Tre’Davious White, Greg Rousseau, Boogie Basham and James Prepare dinner had been all drafted by the present regime. This 12 months, Buffalo could have alternatives in every of the primary 4 rounds.
Relying on how opening night time unfolds, the Payments could have a crack at a high quality inside lineman on the backside of Spherical 1. The Payments could convey Saffold again, however he’ll flip 35 in June and going youthful/cheaper at guard can be logical.
Florida inside lineman O’Cyrus Torrence, the Twenty third-ranked prospect on the Bleacher Report Scouting Division’s latest draft board, can be a smart goal for Buffalo within the first spherical.
“Torrence has starter-level dimension, play power and energy, with the appropriate demeanor to be a possible impression starter at guard in most schemes,” Brandon Thorn of the B/R Scouting Division wrote. “Ideally, he would plug right into a run and play-action centered offense that comes with a wholesome mixture of hole ideas to swimsuit what he does finest and maximize his bodily traits and ability set.”
Prospects like Baylor defensive lineman Siaki Ika and Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders might additionally make sense for Buffalo early.
If the Payments do resolve so as to add one other pass-catching tight finish to the lineup, they’re going to have choices. Georgia’s Darnell Washington, Utah’s Dalton Kincaid and Sam LaPorta of Iowa are every ranked between No. 32 and No. 50 on the B/R board.
Within the center rounds of the draft, prospects like USC defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu, LSU security Jay Ward, Florida edge-rusher Brenton Cox Jr., Syracuse operating again Sean Tucker, Georgia lineman Sedrick Van Pran, Ohio State linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, Mississippi lineman Nick Broeker and Texas A&M security Antonio Johnson are all value monitoring.
It additionally will not be a shock to see Buffalo draft a developmental quarterback within the latter rounds if Keenum departs. The Payments clearly will not goal a quarterback early, however a participant like Brigham Younger’s Jaren Corridor or Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker might make sense late on Day 3.