NFL – Bills’ 2019 Draft Picks

02 May

After signing 19 (and counting) players in free agency this off-season, the Buffalo Bills added more ammunition for the 2019 season in the recently held NFL draft of college players. General manager Brandon Beane showed patience in some spots, and was aggressive in a couple of others to get players he felt would fit the team’s “DNA”. Here’s our assessment of the players drafted and a few who are expected to sign as undrafted free agents:



  1. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston – Beane was patient with his first round pick, standing pat at ninth overall instead of trading up, and the player he wanted in Oliver fell into his lap. With veteran Kyle Williams retiring, this pick is not only a classic “best player available” choice but also fills a big need along the defensive front. Williams was a warrior and a classic overachiever in his time with the Bills, but if Oliver lives up to his potential, his insertion into Buffalo’s D-line rotation should be an upgrade.cody-ford
  2. Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma – the Bills are completely rebuilding their offensive line this off-season, and even after signing a number of reinforcements for this unit in free agency, Beane stayed patient again after considering trading back into the first round to grab Ford, and instead held steady and got him with his second round pick, only giving up a fifth rounder to climb 2 spots. The big Sooner is penciled in to compete at right tackle to start, and many draft analysts say he has the potential to develop into an All Pro type of player.DevinSingletary
  3. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic – most Bills’ fans were surprised by this pick, with wide receiver apparently being seen as the biggest need and plenty of candidates at that position still available here. But Beane insisted that the team stuck to its’ draft board and Singletary stood out as the player to be chosen. To me, Beane showed he is thinking long term as well as improving the team this season with this pick. LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore are both aging and on one year contracts at this point so Singletary could emerge as a major contributor in 2020 if he pans out.dawsonknox
  4. Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi – this choice was actually 3A as Beane dealt both of his fourth round picks to move back into the third round for Knox. The Bills must think highly of him to give up that draft capital for him. There is definitely a lot of untapped potential with the Ole Miss tight end, as he played in an offense that also included a number of wide receivers who were highly regarded by NFL scouts. Jim Nagy, who puts together the rosters for the annual Senior Bowl game, insists that Knox is not that far off talent-wise from Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson, a first round pick by Detroit.voseanjoseph
  5. Vosean Joseph, LB, Florida – after dealing both fourth round picks to get Knox, the Bills had to wait until round 5 to make their next selection, and most analysts feel they got a pretty good player in Joseph, an undersized linebacker who looks like a safety. With his main positive traits being speed and hitting ability he might be a great candidate to start his career as a special teams gunner, but with Lorenzo Alexander possibly playing his last season in 2019, there could even be an opening in the starting lineup soon if Joseph turns out to be the real deal.jaquanjohnson
  6. Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami,Fla. – the Bills used their sixth round pick on the first of 2 consecutive Johnsons, this one a safety from the Miami Hurricanes. The Bills are pretty set at safety as far as starters are concerned and late round picks are usually up against it when it comes to winning roster spots, so he will likely have to play special teams and then compete with the likes of Rafael Bush and Siran Neal at the backup safety spots.darryljohnsonjr
  7. Darryl Johnson Jr., DE, North Carolina A&T – Buffalo took a flyer on a small school prospect with this pick, but Johnson did dominate at the MEAC Conference level so he is a legitimate player. It’s always a roll of the dice with players who haven’t competed at a high level in college, but there are many players in NFL history from historically black colleges who have not only played in the NFL but excelled.tommysweeney
  8. Tommy Sweeney, TE, Boston College – a lot of draft analysts had Sweeney going much higher than the final round. He is considered a one dimensional, in-line blocker style of tight end, which in today’s pass-happy NFL has fallen somewhat out of vogue. Buffalo, however, likes to play an offense that features a strong rushing attack so Sweeney could easily find a spot on the roster if he plays that role well enough.


As far as undrafted free agents, the Bills were aggressive in signing a number of them, and a few are interesting prospects who could find their way onto the final roster this season. With no wide receivers drafted and the position seemingly in need of help, David Sills V of West Virginia and Iowa’s Nick Easley will get good looks in camp. Cornerback Cam Lewis from Buffalo was a surprise signing, but the other UB prospect, QB Tyree Jackson, was a real surprise. First off it was stunning that he wasn’t drafted at all, and his addition to an already crowded quarterback room is a bit of a head scratcher. Still, if he performs up to what his potential is, he could be an excellent developmental candidate as a future backup. There were a number of offensive line players signed also, but with that unit being stacked already those players are mostly training camp fodder. As is usually the case, a free agent kicker was signed to compete with the incumbent, in this case Steven Hauschka. Hauschka did struggle toward the end of the season after sustaining an injury, so he could be given a run for his money. The kicker signed was Chase McLaughlin of Illinois, who was the Big Ten kicker of the year. He was perfect on extra point attempts and had a school record of 5 50 plus yard field goals made.


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Classic Team Logo of The Day

02 May


Logo of a college football team that plays in Conference USA, the Florida Atlantic Owls. The school plays in the Football Bowl Subdivision and the program has been in existence since 2001. Currently coached by former Oakland Raider coach Lane Kiffin, the Owls have sent a few players on to NFL careers, including Ed Newman, Alfred Morris, Lucky Whitehead and current Buffalo Bills’ draftee Devin Singletary.

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Classic Sports Card of The Day

02 May


1964 Topps football card of former pro football defensive tackle Jim Dunaway, who played 10 seasons in the AFL and NFL, all but one with the Buffalo Bills. He was a four-time AFL All Star and spent his final pro season in 1972 with the undefeated Miami Dolphins. He was a teammate for 3 seasons of O.J. Simpson, and like Simpson, was charged but never found guilty in the murder of his ex-wife in 1998.

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NFL – Mock Draft 2019

12 Apr

This is the fourth annual Rayonsports mock NFL draft, and once again  we’ll produce three rounds of selections for all 32 teams. Every year there are trades that affect the choices of some of the teams, but we will make our choices with the team’s standing in the draft as of today. Here are our predictions of how the first three rounds will go:


Round One



Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray


1. Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma) – there are very few experts who don’t think this will happen, and we agree with the majority. Murray is too dynamic of a talent and too good of a match for new Cardinal coach Kliff Kingsbury.

2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa (Edge, Ohio State) – if Arizona does follow through and pick Murray, the Niners will race to the stage with their pick of the Buckeye defender.

3. New York Jets – Josh Allen (Edge, Kentucky) – “edge rusher” is the new position that’s in vogue in the NFL now. The Jets grab a good one, who they hope will harass his namesake in Buffalo, along with the rest of the AFC East, for years to come.

4. Oakland Raiders – Quinnen Williams (DT, Alabama) – the Raider defense was a sieve in their lost season of 2018 and coach Jon Gruden chooses a stout interior lineman to help shore up that unit.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White (LB, LSU) – new head man Bruce Arians is an offensive-minded coach, but decides to shore up his defense with his top pick, seeing the need to compete in a division featuring Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton.

6. New York Giants – Jawaan Taylor (T, Florida) – although they need to consider a future quarterback, with a pair of first round picks the G-men go with the best tackle in the draft, to help protect the immobile and aging Eli Manning as well as whoever succeeds him in the future.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – T.J. Hockenson (TE, Iowa) – Jags get their new QB Nick Foles a shiny new weapon, who has been compared in some circles to Rob Gronkowski.

8. Detroit Lions – Rashan Gary (DT, Michigan) – defensive guru Matt Patricia stays in-state to grab a solid interior lineman.

9. Buffalo Bills – Ed Oliver (DT, Houston) – in a draft that’s heavy in defensive linemen, Buffalo picks one of the most talented of the group who slides down somewhat because of attitude issues. Because he wore a jacket on the sideline?

10. Denver Broncos – Drew Lock (QB, Missouri) – realizing that newly-acquired Joe Flacco is not a long term solution, GM John Elway picks his understudy.

11. Cincinnati Bengals – Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State) – a surprise pick by Cinci as they elect to look to the future with Andy Dalton getting older, a third QB comes off the board and the Giants start to get nervous.

12. Green Bay Packers – Jonah Williams (T, Alabama) – although new coach Matt Lafleur’s club needs defensive help, they can’t pass up the opportunity to draft a stud offensive tackle who should help Aaron Rodgers stay upright.

13. Miami Dolphins – Clelin Ferrell (Edge, Clemson) – the first member of the national championship team comes off the board, as the Fish need to replace departed starters Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn.

14. Atlanta Falcons – Andre Dillard (T, Washington State) – this draft is deep in linemen on both sides of the ball, and the Falcons are thrilled to get a solid tackle with their pick.

15. Washington Redskins – Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) – with Alex Smith’s future in doubt, the Redskins ruin the Giants’ plans and pull another top signal caller off the board.

16. Carolina Panthers – Dalton Risner (G, Kansas State) – Panthers see a need for more protection for Cam Newton and draft a solid interior lineman, who may be a bit of a reach at this point of the draft.

17. New York Giants – Montez Sweat (Edge, Mississippi State) –  their QB plans up in smoke, New York switches gears and makes a good “best player available” choice instead.

18. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Wilkins (DT, Clemson) – defensive line help isn’t a big need for the Vikings, but in this deep DL draft they choose a stud from the national champs who will harden an already stout group.

19. Tennessee Titans – Garrett Bradbury (C/G, North Carolina State) – Coach Mike Vrabel adds some beef to his front line to make Marcus Mariota’s life a little easier.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – DK Metcalf (WR, Mississippi) – Antonio Brown is gone, leaving a gaping hole in the club’s receiving corps. Although Metcalf is not the same style of receiver as AB, he will fit nicely into Pittsburgh’s passing attack.

21. Seattle Seahawks – Greedy Williams (CB, LSU) – the first corner comes off the board and the Hawks are glad to get him, filling a need in their undermanned secondary.

22. Baltimore Ravens – N’Keal Harry (WR, Arizona State) – some experts don’t see much first round talent among this year’s receivers, but Harry is a top notch player who will help lift their offense in 2019.

23. Houston Texans – Byron Murphy (CB, Washington) – this is a win/win for coach Bill O’Brien. Possibly the best available CB in the draft falls to them at this pick, and fills one of their top needs.

24. Oakland Raiders – Brian Burns (Edge, Florida State) – using the second of their 3 first round picks, the Raiders go defense again and corral a top edge rusher, hopefully improving their feeble pass rush.

25. Philadelphia Eagles – Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson) – already strong up front on defense, the Eagles can’t resist taking another run stuffer for their D-line.

26. Indianapolis Colts – AJ Brown (WR, Mississippi) – the Colts have a glaring need for outside receiving help, and make the wise choice of drafting another weapon for Andrew Luck, the second Ole Miss receiver off the board in the opening round.

27. Oakland Raiders – Noah Fant (TE, Iowa) – after taking defensive studs with their first 2 selections, the Raiders switch gears and pick a replacement for departed free agent Jared Cook. Right after a second WR from Ole Miss is selected, a second Hawkeye TE comes off the board.

28. Los Angeles Chargers – Devin Bush (LB, Michigan) – the “other Devin” comes off the board, giving the Chargers another young star addition to their defense, joining Joey Bosa and Derwin James.

29. Kansas City Chiefs – Jaylon Ferguson (Edge, Louisiana Tech) – a lot of losses on the defensive front for Andy Reid’s club forces a bit of a reach to pick an edge rusher.

30. Green Bay Packers – Deionte Thompson (S, Alabama) – Packers fill a big hole on defense by choosing this Crimson Tide stud, the first safety off the board.

31. Los Angeles Rams – Cody Ford (G, Oklahoma) – the defending NFC champs have gaping holes to fill on both lines, and they start with the O-line with their top pick.

32. New England Patriots – Irv Smith Jr. (TE, Alabama) – the Evil Empire of the NFL never drafts for need, and in a lot of instances would trade down out of this pick, but with plenty of selections already in hand and a top replacement for Gronk on the board, they snatch him up.


Round Two


33. Arizona Cardinals – Marquise Brown (WR, Oklahoma) – “Hollywood” Brown is perfect choice to pair with his college QB, Murray.

34. Indianapolis Colts – Zach Allen (DE, Boston College) – Indy grabs a first round-type talent to add more toughness to an already formidable defense.

35. Oakland Raiders – Josh Jacobs (RB, Alabama) – the first running back comes off the board as the Raiders hedge their bets against an uncertain future of Marshawn Lynch.

36. San Francisco 49ers – Parris Campbell (WR, Ohio State) – John Lynch adds a speedy pass catching option for his returning QB, Jimmy Garoppolo.

37. New York Giants – Deebo Samuel (WR, South Carolina) – it’s a deep draft for receivers and the Giants need one, although he’s certainly not another Odell Beckham.

38. Jacksonville Jaguars – Greg Little (T, Mississippi) – after gifting Nick Foles with a stud tight end in round one, the Jags add a top pass blocker for him with their second pick.

39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jeffrey Simmons (DT, Mississippi State) – he’s coming off a major injury and may not play right away, but he’s too good of a talent to pass up for coach Arians, who drafts his second defensive player despite his offensive background.

40. Buffalo Bills – Hakeem Butler (WR, Iowa State) – the towering and speedy receiver with a big catch radius is a perfect second round present to emerging QB Josh Allen.

41. Denver Broncos – DeAndre Baker (CB, Georgia) – Broncos begin to shore up their defense after picking their future franchise quarterback in round one.

42. Cincinnati Bengals – Juan Thornhill (S, Virginia) – the Bengals are always a team that pulls surprises in the draft, but picking a QB in round one was their head scratcher in this draft. In round 2 they pick a solid addition to their defensive secondary.

43. Detroit Lions – Mack Wilson (LB, Alabama) – the ‘Bama studs just keep coming off the board.

44. Green Bay Packers – Jerry Tillery (DE, Notre Dame) – the first Golden Domer to come off the board, the Packers get themselves some more solid defensive help.

45. Atlanta Falcons – Darnell Savage Jr. (S, Maryland) – although a bit of a reach to be picked this high, Atlanta gets themselves a guy who projects to be a future starter in their secondary.

46. Washington Redskins – Andy Isabella (WR, Massachusetts) – after drafting their QB of the future in round one, the ‘Skins get him some receiving help with this small school slot receiver.

47. Carolina Panthers – Kelvin Harmon (WR, North Carolina State) – coach Ron Rivera fills a void with a replacement for departed free agent Devin Funchess.

48. Miami Dolphins – Will Grier (QB, West Virginia) – a controversial choice as this guy is all over the board with the experts’ evaluations, but hey, aren’t the Fish tanking for Tua anyway?

49. Cleveland Browns – Justin Layne (CB, Michigan State) – the Browns’ first pick of the draft due to the Odell Beckham trade, and they decide to strengthen an area of need at cornerback.

50. Minnesota Vikings – Kaleb McGary (T, Washington) – they added a strong piece to their defensive line in the opening round, and now draft a big man to add toughness to the O-line.

51. Tennessee Titans – J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR, Stanford) – the Titans add to their receiving corps with another stud in a deep receiver class.

52. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kaden Smith (TE, Stanford) – another weapon for Big Ben as Arcega-Whiteside’s teammate comes off the board right behind him.

53. Philadelphia Eagles – Elgton Jenkins (C, Mississippi State) – it’s a deep draft for big men on both sides of the ball and the Eagles add a future piece here.

54. Houston Texans – Taylor Rapp (S, Washington) – determined to improve their defensive secondary in 2019, the Texans add another player for that unit after drafting a CB in round one.

55. Houston Texans – Jace Sternberger (TE, Texas A&M) – a second consecutive pick for this club, and they get a nice security blanket outlet receiver for Deshaun Watson.

56. New England Patriots – Chris Lindstrom (G, Boston College) – after suffering free agent losses along the offensive line, the Pats stay in-state to pick a solid future starter.

57. Philadelphia Eagles – Riley Ridley (WR, Georgia) – they didn’t re-sign Golden Tate, so the Eagles use this extra second round pick to draft a replacement.

58. Dallas Cowboys – Nassir Adderley (S, Delaware) – the ‘Boys finally enter the fray with their first selection of the draft, and eagerly grab a nice piece to add to their weak secondary.

59. Indianapolis Colts – Julian Love (CB, Notre Dame) – another team taking advantage of multiple second round picks, the Colts pick up a good add to their young, aggressive defensive unit.

60. Los Angeles Chargers – Jachai Polite (Edge, Florida) – a first round talent who has plunged down many teams’ boards after a bad combine, Polite finds a home with a great group of young defensive talent in L.A.

61. Kansas City Chiefs – Rock Ya’Sin (CB, Temple) – a solid pickup for the Chiefs who was impressive at the Senior Bowl. K.C. gets more help where they most need it – on defense.

62. New Orleans Saints – Charles Omenihu (DT, Texas) – first pick of the draft for the Who Dat Nation and they decide to add some beef to their defensive line.

63. Kansas City Chiefs – Erik McCoy (C, Texas) – the departure of Mitch Morse leaves a gaping hole in the middle of K.C.’s offensive line, and they fill it with an immediate starter here.

64. New England Patriots – Yodny Cajuste (T, West Virginia) – with multiple picks like they always seem to have, the Pats get more help for their depleted O-line.


Round Three


65. Arizona Cardinals – Damien Harris (RB, Alabama)

66. Pittsburgh Steelers – Vosean Joseph (LB, Florida)

67. San Francisco 49ers – Michael Deiter (T, Wisconsin)

68. New York Jets – Emmanuel Hall (WR, Missouri)

69. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Jelks (Edge, Oregon)

70. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Martez Ivey (T, Florida)

71. Denver Broncos – Dre’Mont Jones (DE, Ohio State)

72. Cincinnati Bengals – Oshane Ximines (Edge, Old Dominion)

73. New England Patriots – Amani Oruwariye (CB, Penn State)

74. Buffalo Bills – Chase Winovich (Edge, Michigan)

75. Green Bay Packers – Khalil Hodge (LB, Buffalo)

76. Washington Redskins – Johnathan Abram (S, Mississippi State)

77. Carolina Panthers – Cameron Smith (LB, USC)

78. Miami Dolphins – Kendall Joseph (LB, Clemson)

79. Atlanta Falcons – Trayvon Mullen (CB, Clemson)

80. Cleveland Browns – Bobby Evans (G, Oklahoma)

81. Minnesota Vikings – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (S, Florida)

82. Tennessee Titans – Joe Giles-Harris (LB, Duke)

83. Pittsburgh Steelers – Gerald Willis III (DE, Miami (Fla)

84. Seattle Seahawks – Josh Oliver (TE, San Jose State)

85. Baltimore Ravens – Khalen Saunders (DT, Western Illinois)

86. Houston Texans – Te’Von Coney (LB, Notre Dame)

87. Chicago Bears – David Edwards (T, Wisconsin)

88. Detroit Lions – Germaine Pratt (LB, North Carolina State)

89. Indianapolis Colts – Max Scharping (T, Northern Illinois)

90. Dallas Cowboys – David Sills (WR, West Virginia)

91. Los Angeles Chargers – Joe Jackson (Edge, Miami, Fl.)

92. Kansas City Chiefs – Anthony Johnson (WR, Buffalo)

93. New York Jets – Isiah Prince (T, Ohio State)

94. Carolina Panthers – Ross Pierschbacher (C, Alabama)

95. New York Giants – Tyree Jackson (QB, Buffalo)

96. Washington Redskins – Devin Singletary (RB, Florida Atlantic)

97. New England Patriots – Connor McGovern (G, Penn State)

98. Jacksonville Jaguars – Michael Jordan (C, Ohio State)

99. Los Angeles Rams – Daniel Wise (DT, Kansas)

100. Carolina Panthers – Ricky Walker (DE, Virginia Tech)

101. New England Patriots – Foster Moreau (TE, LSU)

102. Baltimore Ravens – Dakota Allen (LB, Texas Tech)











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Classic Team Logo of The Day

12 Apr


This is the logo the National Football League will be using in 2019 to celebrate the league’s historic 100th season of existence. It was known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) upon its’ inception in 1920, and was renamed the NFL in 1922. The story of how the league was founded at a Hupmobile dealership in Canton, Ohio is well known, and is why Canton earned it’s nickname as the “birthplace of professional football”. Only 2 franchises that originally began play in 1920 still remain in the league – the Chicago Bears (then known as the Decatur Staleys) and the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals.


Classic Sports Card of The Day

12 Apr


The Arizona Cardinals own the top selection in this year’s NFL college draft, and this is a 1959 Topps football card of the last player to be selected first overall by the Cardinal franchise, quarterback King Hill. He was chosen in 1958 with a “lottery bonus” pick, and halfback John David Crow was selected second overall, also by the Cards, who were based in Chicago at the time. Although he never was a star player, Hill played 11 seasons in the NFL with various teams, his longest stint ( 8 years) being with the Philadelphia Eagles. After retiring, he worked as an assistant coach and scout in Houston and New Orleans, was an avid golfer and aided in various charitable causes, including Ronald McDonald House, Big Brothers and Special Olympics. Hill passed away in 2012 at the age of 75.


NFL – Bills’ Free Agency Summary

27 Mar

Buffalo Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane, with plenty of salary cap money to spend, promised to be aggressive, while spending “judiciously”, in this year’s annual free agent frenzy period in the NFL. With 14 total signings so far, he has lived up to his word on both counts. The Bills’ strategy, as outlined by Beane and coach Sean McDermott, was to fill holes on the roster with enough free agent talent so as not to leave the team in a spot where they suffer from any  “positional emergencies” when draft times comes in April. As of this date, with some free agents still out there unsigned, Buffalo has inked a grand total of 14 new players. Here is a positional account of the players the Bills have corralled so far:

Running Back

The Bills are almost surely going to select a back somewhere on day 2 or 3 of the draft, so it was somewhat of a surprise when they signed 35 year old veteran Frank Gore to a contract. Gore, along with LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory, gave the Bills a geriatric running back stable by NFL standards, since all are over 30, until Ivory was released recently. Gore’s signing is mostly for his locker room presence and professionalism, but he is still a very capable runner.


Wide Receiver

The Bills caught a bit of lightning in a bottle late in the 2018 season with the emergence of Robert Foster and Isiah McKenzie, but their wide receiver room was still very thin. They grabbed a pair of veterans who will certainly help with Josh Allen’s progression in 2019 in John Brown, an underrated deep threat, and Cole Beasley, a top notch slot receiver. The team also swiped last season’s leading kick returner, Pro Bowler Andre Roberts, from the division rival New York Jets. He is basically a journeyman receiver, but his kick return ability shows that the Bills’ brass is serious about upgrading every phase of the team, including special teams, through free agency.


Offensive Line

The offensive line was clearly the unit in most need of an overhaul, and the Bills got an early start in that project when they signed center/guard Spencer Long after he was waived by the Jets in a salary cap move. Their prize fee agent, and a player I’m sure they expect to anchor the line for years to come, is center Mitch Morse, plucked away from the Kansas City Chiefs. He is a young veteran who will help Allen with the O-line calls. The rest of the offensive line signings could be viewed as depth players, but they all have untapped potential to grow into solid starters if they take advantage of the opportunities they will surely get. Due to the large number of players signed, the newcomers’ chances will range from becoming starters to not even making the final roster. The signees include guard Jon Feliciano from Oakland, who has worked with new line coach Bobby Johnson in the past, tackle LaAdrian Waddle from New England and tackle Ty Nsekhe from Washington, both of whom are immediate candidates to fight for the starting right tackle position. The Bills allowed three starters from last year’s line to walk away, so it was imperative that they add as many reinforcements as possible, and they did.


Tight End

After releasing Charles Clay and not re-signing Logan Thomas, the Bills had only one tight end, Jason Croom, on their roster, leaving another position group razor thin. They shored this group up by signing a pair of interesting prospects – Tyler Kroft, an oft-injured former Cincinnati Bengal who has shown promise in limited playing time, and a real project, Jake Fisher, also a former Bengal who is attempting to transition from tackle to tight end.



Although undrafted free agent Levi Wallace appeared to solidify the CB spot left open when Vontae Davis quit at halftime of a game last year, the Bills added a pair of veterans to compete with him for that spot and also much needed depth at the position. They are Kevin Johnson, a former first round draft choice of the Houston Texans, and E.J. Gaines, who returns to the club after playing last season for the Browns. Both have injury histories they will have to overcome in order to make the roster. It’s worth noting that when Gaines was with the Bills back in 2017, the team had an 8-3 record in the games he played in.



This appears to be strictly an addition to the special teams, but the Bills signed Maurice Alexander to a one year deal as a linebacker also. It should be remembered that Buffalo did the same thing a few years ago when they signed a player with the same name, Lorenzo Alexander, and he turned out to be much more than what they thought they were getting.

We’ll provide updates to this list if any other players are signed by the Bills as the free agency period continues.

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Classic Team Logo of The Day

27 Mar


Logo of a Division II college football team that plays in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, the Pittsburg State Gorillas. The program came into existence in 1908 and has been highly successful, boasting a .663 winning percentage and an undefeated (3-0) bowl record. The Gorillas, who have claimed 4 small college national championships over the years, have sent a few alumni on to pro football careers, including Eldon Danenhauer, Ronald Moore, Troy Wilson, Brian Moorman, Kendall Gannon and John Brown.


Classic Sports Card of The Day

27 Mar


2014 Bowman Chrome football card of NFL running back Frank Gore, a soon to be 36 year old who recently signed to play his 15th season in the league for the Buffalo Bills. He had most of his success in his first 10 years in San Francisco with the 49ers, but has proven to be a durable back. A five-time Pro Bowler, Gore is fourth on the NFL’s list of all-time rushing leaders, and should be a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he decides to  retire.


NFL – How The Cleveland Browns Saved Pro Football

01 Feb

The beginning of the growth of the National Football League into the popularity monster that it is today goes back to the 1960s and the birth of the AFL/NFL Championship game, orchestrated by the league’s commissioner at the time, Pete Rozelle. A true visionary, he refereed the battle between the old guard NFL owners and the renegade AFL owners, and out of the battle came the merger of the 2 leagues. The agreement spelled out that beginning immediately the rival leagues would hold a common draft of college players, thus ending the bidding war for players that had been going on. Another of the stipulations was that also beginning immediately, the champions of the 2 leagues would play an ultimate title game to decide who was the “world champion”. The merger agreement was made in 1966, but the actual merger itself didn’t begin until 1970. At that time, there were 16 NFL teams and 10 AFL, so 3 of the old guard clubs had to be transferred into the new American Conference. The Pittsburgh Steelers, longtime NFL doormats who perhaps saw an opportunity for more success among the AFL clubs, volunteered to go. Two franchises that had joined the NFL from another league, the old All America Conference, were natural clubs to make the move  – the Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns. Browns’ owner Art Modell balked at the idea, however, but eventually agreed when Rozelle promised him that his team could host the inaugural Monday Night Football game in that first merger season of 1970.

It wasn’t Modell’s agreement to shift that saved pro football though. It was the Browns team of the late ’60s that had a hand in moving the game forward, in a very weird way in fact. The Browns were a proud, winning franchise in the NFL since joining the league in 1950, and were regular participants in the playoffs most of the decade of the 1960s. In fact, they were in the NFL title game the last 2 seasons before the leagues joined together in 1970. That’s where their contribution to saving the NFL comes in to play. The NFL had always boasted that they were the superior league, and that the AFL was a “Mickey Mouse” league full of castoff players who couldn’t make it in the older league. When the Green Bay Packers dominated the best the AFL had to offer in the first 2 AFL/NFL Championship games, doubt began to creep in on whether the merger was a good idea. The NFL owners’ “Mickey Mouse” comments were appearing to be true, that is, until Joe Namath’s New York Jets and the Hank Stram-led Kansas City Chiefs won the next 2 title contests in what were considered to be massive upsets. Those games gave the AFL a bit of legitimacy, but were they really that great of upsets? Part of the reason the Colts team that Namath beat, and the Minnesota Vikings squad that the Chiefs dominated were considered powerhouses was because they had manhandled the proud Browns franchise in the NFL title games. The Colts shut the Browns out 37-0, and coach Don Shula’s defense was expected to totally crush what was considered to be an inferior Jets’ team in the Super Bowl. The next season, Bud Grant’s Vikings, with CFL reject Joe Kapp at quarterback, completely demolished the Browns in the title game. The final score was only 27-7 but the Vikings controlled play the entire game on a bitter cold day in Minnesota.

So even though the Colts and Vikings had very successful seasons on their way to those Super Bowls, it was their dominance of the Browns that established them as heavy favorites against their supposedly weaker AFL competition. Realistically, though, the Cleveland franchise was in the beginning stages of a gradual decline at that point. Jim Brown, considered the greatest player of all time, had long since retired. LeRoy Kelly had replaced him and was a very good back, a future Hall of Famer in fact, but he wasn’t Jim Brown. More importantly, the quarterback who had guided the Browns to the 1964 title, Frank Ryan, was also gone, forced to retire due to injuries. His replacement, Bill Nelsen, was a gamer who played through injuries and was enough of a leader to get his club into the playoffs, but he wasn’t an elite signal caller. The Browns’ offensive line was aging at the time also, and their defense was a mixture of aging players and  inexperienced rookies and young players. So, in a strange way, credit is due to the Browns for making the Colts and Vikings appear to be unbeatable behemoths, who would easily crush, as Vince Lombardi’s Packers had, their AFL opponents. What those Baltimore and Minnesota clubs didn’t realize was that the AFL was already in its’ ninth and tenth years of existence, and the Jets and Chiefs had been built into true championship contenders.



Browns’ QB Bill Nelsen (Getty Images)