BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — For the first time since January, we heard from Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. During the nearly 50 minute interview, both McDermott and Beane discussed plenty of topics including the addition of Mitchell Trubisky, a potential extension for Josh Allen, and the outlook for the remainder of the offseason.
5 Observations from Thursday's zoom call:
The move to sign Mitchell Trubisky certainly took us all by surprise. But as you step back and look at the deal it makes so much sense, especially for the Bills.
According to NFL Network, Trubisky will make $2.5 million this season. That’s an incredibly reasonable cap hit compared to other backup quarterbacks. For perspective, Jacoby Brissett signed with the Miami Dolphins for $5 million earlier this week. Tyrod Taylor signed for $12.5 million with Houston. So yeah, $2.5 million is a steal.
“If Josh was out for a few weeks or something like that, we just want to make sure we have the best player that we can,” Beane said. “You've got your starters and then your depth players and we just think Mitchell will come in here -- he's going to be excited to join in the mix and assuming he's the backup or whatever, if Josh goes down, with his experience we'll be able to keep the ship afloat until Josh got back in the lineup.”
As for Trubisky, this allows him to learn a system where Allen thrived in 2020 and potentially make himself a more attractive option down the road.
"We don't expect him to be here long term," Beane added. "Hopefully in a year, he'll get a chance to go back and land a nice contract and a starting job somewhere and we have no doubt that will happen but we're excited to have him here in the mix."
Only a matter of time
When Brandon Beane was asked about a potential contract extension for Josh Allen he joked that the Bills franchise quarterback would be giving the team a nice hometown discount. As Allen enters his fourth season in the NFL the 2020 MVP runner-up is going to get paid a ton of money.
Beane said the two sides expect to begin conversations in the spring or early summer, but those talks have not started.
"That's the big thing for us, we haven't finalized a deal with Josh and that's the biggest piece not only this year but for years to come," Beane said.
Beane jokes that Josh Allen is going to give the Bills a nice hometown discount. He said contract talks will likely happen later in the spring or in the summer @WKBW— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) March 18, 2021
When the Bills pushed back their zoom call from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. the speculation on social media started heating up. Like many, I wondered if this meant the Bills were attempting to finalize a deal with the Eagles for tight end Zach Ertz. As it turns out, the Bills were working on the Trubisky addition.
So what gives? Will the Bills add a new tight end?
“We're really just looking for good players to add to the competition. We think Dawson [Knox] going into year three, we have big expectations for him, it's an important offseason for him and he's already told us he's planning to link up with Josh out in California which will be good as those guys continue to get more reps. “
With Tyler Kroft expected to sign elsewhere and Lee Smith traded to Atlanta, the Bills will almost certainly add to the position. How they make that addition remains to be seen.
"Listen, we're still going to continue to look at the free agents out there and we'll continue to monitor the draft and we'll continue to add depth to the position. It's not one specific thing, it's just a really good player that Brian [Daboll] can use in the run or pass game."
I think Buffalo gets it done it's just in the Eagle's court right now https://t.co/eSY8cwyElq— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 18, 2021
Help in the backfield
When we last heard from the Beane following the Bills' loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, he mentioned the team needs to be more effective in the run game.
He’s not wrong — but so far in free agency, it’s not an area the team has addressed. That’s not a huge surprise, considering the Bills' current makeup in the backfield. With both Zack Moss and Devin Singletary on rookie deals, it’s hard to imagine a cash-strapped team like the Bills throwing money at a free agent. That said, the draft is certainly a possibility. But it’s not a necessity, either.
"We believe we have the pieces to run the ball better," Beane said. "It's not that we didn't run it well, but we want to be able to run it even when they know you're going to run it."
Beane said the Bills reached out to Rob Gronkowski’s representatives to check in on his plans for the 2021 season. According to Beane, both sides showed interest, but the Bills never made a formal offer.
Running back Taiwan Jones has agreed to a one-year deal. Beane broke the news on the call with reporters earlier today. Jones likely won’t get much work on offense but is an important special teams contributor.
Matt Haack will take over the Bills punting duties in 2021 and according to Beane, is part of their plans for the future. Despite a strong season in 2020, Beane said the organization and Corey Bojorquez weren’t on the same page, which led to the punter change.