The Buffalo Bills may not be done adding weapons to the offense, with one analyst suggesting that the team could be in the running for one of the league’s best wide receivers.
After the Bills fell short of the Super Bowl, losing to the talent-laden Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game, general manager Brandon Beane said the team would be making improvements to the offense. As one analyst suggests, that could now come in the form of a blockbuster trade for a seven-time Pro Bowler.
Bills Could Land Big Target
After reports emerged that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones may be headed to the trade block, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith suggested that the Bills could be a top contender to land him. Smith speculate that Jones could join All-Pro Stefon Diggs to create one of the league’s best pass-catching tandems.
Smith said that the Bills were close to a Super Bowl last season, but needed just one more key target outside of Diggs to put them over the hump. Landing Jones would get them there, he said.
“What was the real problem against the Kansas City Chiefs? They were bereft of weapons,” Smith said, via a clip shared on Twitter by the USA Today’s Bradley Gelber. “They didn’t really have anybody other than a Stefon Diggs to get the football to. If you’re really talking about competing in the AFC and positioning yourself to compete legitmately for a Super Bowl title coming out of the AFC conference, then I would tell you the Buffalo Bills would be at the top of my list.”
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) April 27, 2021
As Justin DiLoro of the USA Today’s Bills Wire noted, it would be a difficult feat for the Bills to bring in Jones with what is an already tight cap situation. After re-signing a number of key players and spending for new targets like Emmanuel Sanders, the Bills already had to do a bit of money shuffling to get back under the cap. In March, the team handed All Pro cornerback Tre White a big payday, converting $9.46 million in salary to a roster bonus and paying an option bonus of $7.5 million.
Jones Won’t Come Cheap
If the Bills do have designs on landing Jones, it will take more than some salary cap magic to make it happen. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated speculated that it would take a first-round pick, or a high second-rounder, to land Jones. But as Kevin Patra of NFL.com noted, the Falcons are not likely to rush into any trade and have plenty of time to listen to offers.
Most Receiving Yards per Game in NFL history:
1. Julio Jones (95.5)
2. Calvin Johnson (86.1)
3. Michael Thomas (85.0)
4. Antonio Brown (84.5)
5. Odell Beckham Jr. (83.3) pic.twitter.com/LQfHXgCAAI
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) April 26, 2021
“Given that the trade wouldn’t go down until after June 1, the Falcons could take time to gather the best offers,” he wrote. “If a team strikes out upgrading its receiver corps in the draft, perhaps they’d be willing to part with future picks to secure a potential Hall of Fame-caliber receiver.”
There is still speculation that the Bills could make upgrades on offense, even if Jones is not a target. A number of draft gurus have them selecting running back Travis Etienne with the first-round pick, bolstering the running game instead.