Report: Bills could get teams calling them about pass rushers at trade deadline

·3 min read

The NFL is slowly inching toward the trade deadline. While the Buffalo Bills have started the 2021 season at 4-1 and are currently on fire, could they actually be sellers at the deadline instead?

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, there’s a chance that might hold true.

On Tuesday, Fowler reported on current trade buzz with the deadline on the horizon. One specific position group that was mentioned for the Bills was edge defender.

Following an offseason where the Bills added multiple pieces to their pass rush in an effort to improve it, the report calls the area a “surplus” for Buffalo. Because of that, teams might come calling and a few veterans were mentioned as potential trade pieces.

Here’s Fowler’s buzz on the Bills:

The Bills are expected to get calls on their deep defensive line. The team has used draft capital on promising edge players Greg Rousseau, AJ Epenesa and Boogie Basham in recent years, which could make their veterans attractive at the deadline.

Jerry Hughes is an interesting case because of his salary ($6.1 million), age (33) and production (0.5 sacks). Those aren’t very enticing numbers. But he has been solid, and Buffalo plays him a lot (54 snaps in the Week 5 win over Kansas City). Perhaps the Bills hold on to the experienced rusher for the late-season stretch.

Mario Addison, meanwhile, is owed $4.075 million this year. He has one sack and two quarterback hits through the season’s first month. Efe Obada is a cheaper rotational guy at $1 million.

If the Bills do end up being a seller, of sorts, at the deadline, the defensive line is a position to watch. It’s also an unsurprising one.

In the past, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane has took a similar approach to improving the team’s offensive line. Add numerous pieces and may the best man win.

In such cases, those who lose in positions battles have been traded. In terms of O-linemen that were dealt, think Wyatt Teller and Russell Bodine.

Looking at Buffalo’s current defensive line and the report, Hughes seems like a very unlikely player that would be moved. Hughes is a team leader and still drums up QB pressures with the best of them.

If the Bills are truly looking toward the Super Bowl, why trade Hughes?

Addison could be a more likely option. In recent weeks, his snap totals have started to drop and against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5, he played the fewest snaps amongst all defensive ends.

Even Basham, who previously was inactive on game days to start the season, played more than Addison against KC.

The latest report does not mention that the Bills could be interested in trading defensive tackles. However, that’s another area to consider.

In recent weeks including against the Chiefs, Harrison Phillips and Vernon Butler were healthy scratches.

Finally in the report, there is an update on Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. It says if he’s traded, he probably won’t take a pay cut, and there is a brief mention:

As for where Ertz could go, league execs have long pegged Buffalo and Indianapolis as potential landing spots.

Considering the way Dawson Knox has played so far in 2021, this seems like a bit of a recycled take.


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