by Mario Granata
Much of the talk around Buffalo has been, "Which offensive lineman are the Bills going to select in the 2019 NFL Draft to protect Josh Allen?" Well, that question could be answered a full month before the draft even happens, opening up the Bills options in a very defensive heavy draft.
Now, many of these players listed could remain with their prospective teams, however, with the way that the salary cap looks for each of their current teams, it seems that their price tag might be too high for them to resign. For once, the Bills have the financial means to bring some high talent into the 716 without much worry.
Current Team - Tampa Bay
Buccaneers' Cap Room - 8.4 million (as of 2-1-19)
Smith has started every game in the past 4 years since being selected 34th overall out of Penn State in 2015. He has the size and speed to take on most edge rushers and has the versatility (if needed) to move to the right side, depending on how sold the Bills are on Dion Dawkins staying at the Left Tackle position. Now, the Bucs could free up some cap room to keep Smith, but with all signs pointing to them taking Jonah Williams with the 5th overall pick this year, it's likely Smith will test the free agent waters.
Current Team - New England
Patriots' Cap Room - 17.8 million (as of 2-1-19)
Now, I am a big proponent of not taking the scraps off of Bill Belichick's table, because he knows the best way to defeat his former players (google Drew Bledsoe), however, at 6'8" 355 pounds and only 25-years old, I am willing to take the gamble on Brown. Selected in the 7th round in the 2015 Draft by the 49ers, he was admittedly a project, but playing 97% of the snaps protecting Tom Brady's blindside, the admission to that park is not cheap and one that Josh Allen would love to have protecting his.
Current Team - Jacksonville
Jaguars' Cap Room - (-1.6 million, yes over the cap as of 2-1-19)
Flowers was drafted by the Giants and a player that Tom Coughlin wanted to bring to Jacksonville. He is the prototypical Left Tackle after being selected 9th overall in the 2015 Draft. His snaps were noticeably down this season (57%) but he has only missed 5 games in his 4 years in the league. Another option for the Bills if they want to use their 9th overall pick on a defensive player.
Current Team - Los Angeles Rams
Rams' Cap Room - 34.2 million (as of 2-1-19)
Swinging for the fences here, but Saffold will be a player that a young Wyatt Teller could learn from. Saffold is a holdover from when the Rams were in St. Louis and at age 31 won't garner a huge contract from the Bills. Now, the Rams are 34 million under the cap, true, however, they currently only have 39 players under contract currently, which is the least in the NFL. They have to make a move to fill their roster at the draft, which is the cheapest route to go.
Current Team - Philadelphia
Eagles' Cap Room - (-18 million, yes they are over the cap too as of 2-1-19)
Now, this would be a risk for the Bills as Warmack has only played 22 games in the past 3 seasons. A former 10th overall pick of the Titans in 2013, he doesn't have the tread on the tires as most guards do, and would be coming into a system tailored to his strengths. This would be the quintessential low risk, high reward for the Bills if they sign Warmack, seeing as Buffalo would be his third team in 4 years, he wouldn't cost them as much to sign.
Now, being as the Free Agency period is a month before the draft, the Bills could make some moves as they are currently 80 million under the cap, and with the way that the defensive talent is being viewed in the 2019 Draft, they could take the best available player to bolster an already strong defensive unit.