The Buffalo Bills flew under the radar last season, going 10-6 and making the playoffs. They were only a game away from winning the AFC East, a division dominated by the New England Patriots in the last 2 decades.
If it weren’t for the Bills postseason collapse against Deshaun Watson and the Texans (up 17-0 in the 3rd quarter), the Bills would’ve advanced in the playoffs, too.
Now, the big question is: How do they make that next step?
To start, the Bills have a lot of cap space to fill pivotal offensive needs. They still lack weapons for young, big-armed QB Josh Allen, who made strides last season as a passer while continuing his dual-threat capabilities. WR’s Cole Beasley and John Brown, TE Dawson Knox, and RB Devin Singletary are solid, but they lack a go-to, star skill player.
They should also acquire more pass protectors for Allen this offseason, to help keep him clean in the pocket.
Defensively, the Bills enjoyed a spectacular season. Although, if they want to be a contender, they need to shut down an elite offense for an entire game — which they failed to do versus Houston — meaning improvement is still neccessary.
Veteran CB Josh Norman recently agreed to a 1 year, $8 million deal. Norman will reunite with Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott, who was the Defensive Coordinator of the Carolina Panthers when Norman was there. The Bills had a need at CB, considering Kevin Johnson and Levi Wallace are both free agents.
They also have tons of depth on their defensive line, but they could potentially lose Shaq Lawson, and others via free agency this offseason; so a focus must be placed there.
With this cap space, do the Bills try and go big by signing guys like WR Amari Cooper or CB Byron Jones? Do they go after a savvy veteran lineman like Jason Peters to help protect their franchise QB?
HC Sean McDermott may not be able to afford banking on a young Draft class again. If the Bills struggle next season, McDermott could be on the hot seat.
Considering they had a less difficult schedule than nearly the whole league, it’s possible the Bills could crumble with a tougher stretch next season.
So, do the Bills go big, or go home? The future of the AFC East and their future with Josh Allen and Sean McDermott could all come down to this offseason.
Photo: USA Today