Too much, too soon?: NFL analyst questions Bills' offseason changes to core

Bleacher Report has questioned whether the Buffalo Bills made too many alterations to their core in the 2024 NFL offseason.
Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) in the first half of the 2024 AFC divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) in the first half of the 2024 AFC divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane made a concerted effort to extend his team’s championship window in the 2024 NFL offseason, moving on from several stalwart starters to reset its on-field and financial clocks.

The moves were perceived, by some, as a stepback; the team parted ways with players like Stefon Diggs, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Tre’Davious White, Mitch Morse, and Gabriel Davis, largely replacing these players with contributors already on the roster, value free agents, and rookies. It wouldn’t be difficult for a person without an ear to the ground to believe that Buffalo is not effectively positioned to compete in the 2024 season—the team has objectively seen a fair bit of turnover.

Bleacher Report’s Ryan Fowler is among those who question whether the Bills made too many changes too soon; in a recent article identifying “every NFL team’s biggest storyline to follow after minicamp,” the analyst wrote that the changes within Buffalo’s is a narrative to track.

“Gone are wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, safety Jordan Poyer, cornerback Tre'Davious White, linebacker Tyrel Dodson and edge-rusher Leonard Floyd, all of whom served as core contributors on either side of the ball,” Fowler wrote. “Bills general manager Brandon Beane sent a clear message this offseason that making the divisional round isn't enough. While Buffalo keeps running into the buzzsaw that is Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs, Beane can only hope that the new-look roster will help head coach Sean McDermott finally get over the hump.

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“Bills fans don't want to hear it, but the Super Bowl window in Buffalo will continue to close as the roster churns and seasons go by.”

We’ll push back on Fowler’s suggestion that Buffalo’s Super Bowl window “will continue to close as the roster churns,” as the moves Beane executed throughout the offseason were very specifically made to extend the team’s window of contention. Excluding White (29) and Davis (25), all of the long-time contributors the Bills parted with this offseason are over 30 years of age and had shown signs of decline; they were primarily replaced with significantly younger players, something that, in theory, would elongate the team’s Super Bowl window, assuming the moves prove fruitful.

We’ll also push back on the idea that Tyrel Dodson and Leonard Floyd were “core contributors,” as neither were longtime starters. Though Dodson was forced to start 10 games for the team at linebacker last season, he had almost exclusively been a special teams player throughout his three preceding campaigns—he was a nice player to have, but hardly a piece of the “core.” Floyd spent one season in Buffalo; he started 16 games and notched a team-high 10.5 sacks, but it’s difficult to say that a player who was only with the team on a one-year deal was ever part of its “core.”

It’s fair to wonder if the changes the Bills made to their core were too sweeping, but the continuity in the coaching staff and the presence of otherworldly quarterback Josh Allen go a long way in quelling concerns. The offense is admittedly revamped, but the defense is returning eight of 11 starters, with two of its new starters (A.J. Epenesa and Taylor Rapp) having experience in the system. Buffalo may not be as stout as it has been in previous seasons in 2024, but it still figures to be competitive while simultaneously being better positioned for sustained success.


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Kyle Silagyi

KYLE SILAGYI