PHOENIX — As I wait for Air Canada at 5:03 am local time to take me home to Toronto — is it 86, clear with not a breath of wind there too? — I thought I’d share the unused portions of my Q&A on Monday with Buddy Nix at the NFL annual meeting.
The Buffalo Bills GM talked about free agency, the status of Buffalo’s other unsigned free agents, his options to restock at wide receiver, and how Manny Lawson wasn’t the only outside linebacker the Bills targeted at the get-go of early free-agency negotiations almost two weeks ago:
YOU BELIEVE IN THE DRAFT OVER FREE AGENCY PRIMARILY, RIGHT?
“Absolutely. But you have to plug holes in free agency, and that’ll continue for the rest of the spring. There’ll be guys available and there’ll be guys that’ll fit, and we’ll plug them in.”
ARE THERE STILL FREE AGENT OPTIONS OUT THERE FOR YOU AT WIDE RECEIVER?
“Possibly, but you know, there’ll be wide receivers in the draft.”
IS IT A GOOD WIDE RECEIVER CLASS THIS YEAR?
“It always is. The reason is, colleges are playing spread offences and you’ve got four or five of them on each team.”
HOW ABOUT UPDATES ON TALKS WITH YOUR OTHER FREE AGENTS. HAVE YOU HAD RECENT TALKS WITH ANY OF THEM, OR CLOSE TO RE-SIGNING ANY OF THEM?”
“No, we’re not right now.”
KYLE MOORE, IS HE MORE OF A 4-3 STYLE DEFENSIVE END YOU MIGHT NOT BRING BACK BECAUSE OF THE SWITCH TO A HYBRID DEFENCE?
“You know, that’s not it so much, I don’t think. We — We have things we have to do, and things we have to plan to do to keep our own guys, which we will have some, that in the summer we’ll try to get done before the season, or early in the season. And we have to keep those things in mind.”
MANNY LAWSON TOLD ME THAT YOU, OR SOMEONE, CALLED HIM AT 12:01 ON THE FIRST DAY OF EARLY FREE-AGENCY NEGOTIATIONS, AND THAT THAT IMPRESSED HIM. DID YOU DO THAT WITH THE INTENTION TO WIN HIM OVER, AND DID YOU TRY THAT WITH OTHERS THAT DIDN’T WORK?
“We had two or three or four guys targeted, and he was a priority for us. Because we didn’t have a true SAM linebacker on the team. So we targeted him, and we did target another one or two. But basically the top two or three free agents were on our team already — Jairus (Byrd, safety) and Leodis (McKelvin, cornerback/returner).”