Originally Posted by Vox Populi
The Bills have a decent amount of upcoming free agents and a few of them could be in for big pay days no matter where they end up. I tried to list them in order of importance to the team or any team that might look at them if they hit the open market.
Jairus Byrd S - One of the best young safeties in the game. If he hit the open market he'd probably end up being one of the highest paid safeties of all time with the scarcity of safety talent in the league right now and lack of prospects in the draft. Definitely need to re-sign him before he sees how much other teams will pay.
Fred Jackson RB - He'll be 32, but he doesn't have a lot of mileage and is one of the most complete backs in the league and is highly effective wherever he is on the field (would probably be better than most teams slot receivers if you just stuck him there), and offers a tonne of versatility. He isn't worth as much as he probably thinks he is, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bills or any other team give him a 3 year deal worth 7-8 mil per season.
Andy Levitre OG - One of the better guards in the league, the Bills should be able to get him to sign a new contract before free agency starts, if not he'll probably end up getting a contract similar to the one Grubbs signed with New Orleans assuming the cap number goes up next year.
Leodis McKelvin CB - Really inconsistent, gives up a lot of penalties but can go on 2-3 game streaks where he just shuts receivers down all game long. I can definitely see him hitting the open market and some team drastically over paying him like Eric Wright, but I can also see him improving his game even though he's been in the league for a while already.
Brian Moorman P - The Bills will probably make him one of the highest paid punters of all time, and hes totally worth it.
David Nelson WR (RFA) - Solid possession receiver, nothing spectacular, but he's an athletic big guy who looks like a tight-end. He'll be tendered as a restricted free agent, but probably only for a 2nd round tender at most.
Spencer Johnson DT - He's been a quality depth player for the Bills and is definitely a quality rotational DT, especially in pass rushing situations, I wouldn't mind keeping him around behind Williams and Dareus.
Shawne Merriman LB - With the switch to the 4-3 he should hit the open market.
Alex Carrington DE - Hasn't done much since being drafted, but he's been playing all sorts of random positions. He'll probably back up Mario Williams at LDE this year where he should have been the entire time. He'll probably end up re-signing on a cheap contract unless he looks good as a rotational guy this year.
Donald Jones WR (RFA) - Depth wide receiver, he'll get the lowest restricted free agent tender probably.
Kraig Urbik and Chad Rinehart too me thinks.
We need to sign Levitre, Byrd before Week 1. Both are Top 5 at their positions before their rookie contract comes up. I'm a McKelvin guy. I hope we keep him at a reasonable price.