The Buffalo Bills spent the offseason building depth at one key position, and now could reap some rewards as final cuts approach.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane has had a knack for swinging trades just before final cuts, turning players who may otherwise not make the final roster into late-round draft picks for teams hoping to snag them before they have a chance to hit the waiver wire. That could be the case again this year, with Beane saying he’s gotten some calls at one of the team’s deepest position groups.
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Bills Could Swing Trade
Beane spoke about the situation during the team’s final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. In an interview broadcast during the game, Beane said that teams have been asking about some of the Bills defensive linemen.
“That’s probably the position we’ve had the most calls is our defensive line and especially the defensive ends,” Beane said, via USA Today’s Bills Wire. “We just have to decide again there how many we want to keep and who we’d be willing to part with and if the value made sense for us.”
Beane made it a priority to improve the team’s pass rushing in the offseason. After the Bills had 38 total sacks last season and ranked 14th in sacks per pass attempt, Beane used the team’s first two draft picks on edge rushers, Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham. Buffalo got another addition of sorts, with defensive line anchor Star Lotulelei returning to the team after opting out last season.
Beane has been able to find value in trades before the final cut deadline. In August 2019, he traded offensive lineman Wyatt Teller and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a 2020 fifth-round pick and 2020 sixth-round pick.
Insiders Name Potential Trade Options
The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia broke down the players expected to make the team’s final 53-man roster, predicting that the team could either keep seven defensive linemen or trade one of them.
“Jerry Hughes, Greg Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa and Boogie Basham are all 100 percent locks,” he wrote. “Darryl Johnson is one of their favorite special-teams players and has made progress as a pass rusher this summer. I think they need to keep him around, especially since he’s signed to a cheap rookie deal through 2022 and likely won’t pass through waivers.”
Buscaglia said that leaves Mario Addison and Efe Obada as potential trade options, though Addison seems less likely to move given his “difficult-to-move” contract and his leadership.
“Obada seems like the natural one to use to potentially get a mid-round pick,” he wrote. “But if they can’t get something worthwhile, they shouldn’t move him just to move him. He offers good versatility both on the edge and inside.”
Obada, who started his career in London playing in the British American Football Association, came to the Carolina Panthers in 2017 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. During his time there Obada had a total of 50 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.