The Buffalo Bills couldn't sit back any longer with their wide receiver depth chart. On Sunday night, the Bills announced that they acquired wide receiver Corey Coleman from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for an undisclosed future draft pick.
Coleman, a former first round selection in 2016, has been somewhat of a disappointment to the Browns and has been pushed down the depth chart by new acquisitions in the offseason. Coleman has only 56 receptions for 718 yards with five touchdowns in his two NFL seasons.
To make room on the 53-man roster, the Bills have released wide receiver Quan Bray.
Joe B's Take
- Well, earlier today I noticed that the Bills had a bit of an issue at the wide receiver position. With Zay Jones only coming back for the first time in 2018 on Sunday, the Bills have only two locked in players with the first-team offense -- Kelvin Benjamin and Jeremy Kerley.
Outside of that duo, there has been a muddled middle-tier of players that have all tried to rise up the ranks to not only win a roster spot, but to even get some playing time during the 2018 season while Jones was on the sidelines with a knee injury. The quintet of Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, Brandon Reilly, Malachi Dupre, and Robert Foster have all had their chances with the first-team offense at some point in training camp, but none of them have really taken advantage of the opportunity.
Even the two rookie draft picks, Ray-Ray McCloud and Austin Proehl, have failed to make their mark in training camp this summer.
It was especially telling that when Holmes, who has missed the last two practices with a quad injury, came back to practice he was immediately inserted into the first-team offense without any hesitations. Holmes is a solid special teams player, but he is an average receiver at best, and not someone that instills fear in the defense.
Now, with the addition of Coleman, the Bills have someone that provides a skill-set to their roster that is at least different than all the rest. Coleman's top attribute is his speed and the only player that really offers the same is McCloud, though the rookie is nowhere near being ready to contribute on offense.
If Coleman, 24, is able to secure a job as a starting player, they'll have someone that can scare the defense a bit that he'll blow the top off -- especially if rookie quarterback Josh Allen is the one throwing the ball. Coleman is in the same territory as someone like Shaq Lawson is for the Bills.
They both brought high hopes to their franchises as a first-round pick and has failed to deliver to this point, but sometimes it takes a bit longer for receivers to grasp everything they need to do to be successful at the NFL level.
Furthermore, if the Bills had any inclination to use Josh Allen as their starting quarterback at some point this season, they need to have a semi-passable group of receivers to throw to, and now with a top four of Benjamin, Kerley, Jones, and now Coleman, the group at least has some rounded talent and a tiny bit of potential. Their quarterback, whoever it is, has to be put in a position to succeed and with so many question marks outside of Benjamin and Kerley, that just wasn't possible with the current group as constructed.
From a contract perspective, the Bills have Coleman under control for a minimum of the next two years, and they have the option to extend it to a third following the 2019 season.
This deal will ultimately be graded by both Coleman's performance and the pick the Bills had to give up to get him, but something had to be done at the wide receiver position.
I knew it. You knew it. And most importantly, GM Brandon Beane knew it, too.