The Buffalo Bills have a lot of areas to shore up defensively this offseason and one of those happens to be the team’s pass rush.
They only tallied 38 sacks this past season and heading into this offseason, Bills coach Sean McDermott called Buffalo’s pass rush a “critical area” of improvement.
With the way the salary cap is shaping up, the Bills may have to address the position through the draft. But Pro Football Focus recently updated their free agency predictions for their Top 50 Free Agents and connected the Bills to former Baltimore Ravens edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
PFF predicted that the Bills will sign Ngakoue to a 4-year, $70 million deal, with $40 million guaranteed, but they won’t be able to do it easily.
In their article, Pro Football Focus said that the Bills would have to open up nearly $20 million in cap space by cutting Quinton Jefferson, Mario Addison, and Vernon Butler.
“Ngakoue, who is tied for ninth among edge rushers in pass-rush grade over the past four seasons, would bolster the Bills’ pass rush and could slide right into Addison’s role,” Pro Football Focus said about Ngakoue, who they have ranked as their 46th best free agent. “Ngakoue admittedly provides little impact in run defense, grading below 60.0 in all five of his NFL seasons in that facet, but he and Jerry Hughes would immediately form one of the NFL’s better pass-rushing tandems.”
The former Maryland product tallied 23 total tackles this past season along with eight sacks and four forced fumbles. Along with Hughes, the pair could provide a big impact for the Bills pass rush. But, the Bills also need to improve their run defense as well after allowing 107.7 yards per game and 16 rushing touchdowns this season.
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Bills Could Be After Another Carolina Panther
Both McDermott and Bills general manager Brandon Beane have been known for going after former Carolina Panthers during their time in Buffalo. After they both spent a significant amount of time with the organization, they’ve both taken advantage of their connections and have brought in several former players.
Linebacker AJ Klein, defensive end Marion Addison and right tackle Daryl Williams are just a few examples and it looks like the pair could have the opportunity to go after another Panther.
On Tuesday, the Panthers released 315-pound defensive tackle Kawann Short after the former Purdue Boilmaker played eight seasons with the organization.
If their moves in recent years prove anything, the Bills could be in on Short this offseason as they look to shore up their interior defensive line with another big body.
PFF Predicts Matt Milano Signs with Detroit
This offseason will be filled with several moves, but one of the biggest question marks for the Bills has revolved around Matt Milano. After predicting the Bills would resign Milano earlier this offseason, the football analytics website now believes Milano will sign with the Detroit Lions.
They predict the Lions will sign Milano to a 4-year, $45 million contract. He would immediately upgrade the Lions linebacker room and if he doesn’t end up back in Buffalo, the Bills could already have his replacement with Klein, who filled in for Milano while he was injured this season.
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