Once the Buffalo Bills got the long-term contract done for starting left tackle Cordy Glenn, the focus has seemingly shifted to another potential target to keep in house.
Now with two big names that have expiring contracts at the end of the 2016 season, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the Bills have time on their side for the time being. That is, unless, one of the duo doesn't try to force the team's hand.
According to Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News, Gilmore will skip the start of the Bills initial Organized Team Activities this week. Gilmore is likely the next in line for general manager Doug Whaley and the front office to try to extend to a long-term deal, but Gilmore -- at least for now -- will stay away from the facilities in Orchard Park.
Organized Team Activities -- or more commonly referred to as OTAs -- are voluntary for players on the roster, but most attend to try and get a leg up in a battle for roster spots and the depth chart.
The report indicates that Gilmore won't be in attendance, but that he will be working out while he's away from his teammates. Monday marks the first of 10 OTA sessions that will take place over the next three weeks.
Joe B.'s Take
Even in just the short time since the report was initially published, some fans have asked about the potential of Gilmore holding out in training camp and the preseason. My advice with the situation is fairly simple: Slow down.
While it isn't ideal for the Bills to be without the top cornerback on the roster, the Bills aren't exactly going to lose sleep over Gilmore not being there. Would they like him to be there? Absolutely they would, but at the end of the day, it's a voluntary, non-padded practice and Gilmore has little to prove on the field to try and cement a starting position.
If Gilmore holds out over the next three weeks, and then declines to show up for the team's mandatory minicamp in mid-June, that's when the situation can potentially escalate. If he skips those, that could indicate that the Bills may be without Gilmore at the start of training camp if the two sides don't get a long-term deal cemented.
For now, they know who Gilmore is, they know his talent level, and most importantly, they know how integral he is to the team's success defensively in 2016. In a practice that doesn't allow physicality -- a crucial piece to Gilmore's game as a press corner -- as long as the corner keeps up with his conditioning and strength, it really isn't that big of a deal at this point.