CAPACCIO: Vacation got me thinking...

What may the Bills do at the trade deadline, how will the NFL flex schedules, and more

Sal Capaccio
October 13, 2019 - 8:55 pm
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A relaxing vacation got me thinking...

  • There have been a lot of people the last few weeks suggesting the Buffalo Bills trade for Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green of the Bengals. Heck, I suggested it back in January, right after last season ended, and kept thinking about it through free agency. Maybe general manager Brandon Beane will inquire. I’m not here to suggest they shouldn’t now, but after seeing how wide receiver Duke Williams integrated into the Bills offense last week against the Tennessee Titans, I’m definitely interested in seeing more before making any huge moves. Williams isn’t Green, of course, but he changes the way teams play the Bills by bringing a different dynamic to the offense. The trade deadline is October 29. The Bills have two more games before then. Let’s see how the offense looks in those contests, then decide if Green, a 31-year-old on an expiring contract who has yet to play this season due to injury, makes sense.
     
  • I view Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and New York Jets head coach Adam Gase very similarly. Both seem like very smart offensive minds, who excel with a certain position group or as coordinators. However, they don’t have the CEO-type of skills needed to be head coaches in the NFL, at least not yet. In Kitchens’ case, becoming a head coach just put too much on his plate too quickly that he wasn’t prepared for. Now he’s having trouble putting it all together. However, I still give him a fighting chance because there’s so much talent in Cleveland, and because his players seem to genuinely like and respect him. I never get that sense with Gase, who always appears to hate everything that goes along with being a head coach, and doesn’t seem to have any sort of personal relationship with his players.
     
  • I would not be shocked if the Bills' Week 16 matchup against the New England Patriots in Foxboro is moved from Sunday to Saturday. It’s one of five games the NFL has the option of flexing. Three of these games will get moved: Bills at Patriots, Lions at Broncos, Raiders at Chargers, Rams at 49ers, Texans at Buccaneers. Once those games are announced, they may be played either in the early afternoon, late afternoon, or in prime time.
     
  • One of the more underrated, but greatly important aspects of how Sean McDermott has approached coaching the Bills this season is maintaining the long-term view, especially when it comes to injuries. Great examples are the decisions to keep running back Devin Singletary and cornerback Taron Johnson inactive the last couple weeks when both seemed to be trending towards being able to play. McDermott has made it clear through his actions that he’s playing this season as a marathon and not a sprint. Having players available in November and December is much more valuable than risking a setback by playing one game in October.
     
  • The Bills offense has been exceptional in the red zone so far this season, converting those trips into touchdowns 71.43% of the time, which is ranked third in the NFL. A huge part of that success is due to play-calling. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has used a variety of personnel packages and then plays that don’t show up unless and until the offense gets inside the opposing 20. So, he’s specially game-planning those plays for those situations and using different plays each week, which means the defenses they’re facing haven’t seen those personnel packages, formations, or plays on film yet, making it very difficult to prepare for.
     
  • The Bills traded wide receiver Zay Jones to the Oakland Raiders for a fifth round pick last week. After that deal, here’s how their future draft pick and salary cap situations look. Fans should feel good about the foundation that’s been laid, with the assets and capital going forward:
     
    • 2020: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6.
    • 2021: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7.

(The extra seventh round pick in 2021 is from the Carolina Panthers for Marshall Newhouse, assuming conditions were met, but has not been confirmed).

They also have an estimated $89 million in available salary cap space next year, according to the website Sportrac.


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