Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Bills to target ex-Jet safeties?
By Tim Kavanagh
After the Buffalo Bills elected to hire former New York Jets DC Mike Pettine for the same job with them this offseason, there was speculation that they may attempt to bring in some players who are familiar with Pettine's defensive system. That idea gained some additional steam with the news on Monday that they were releasing LB Nick Barnett and S George Wilson, key players from the 2012 iteration of their defense.
When it comes to the safety position, the Bills appear to have one spot locked down with Jairus Byrd, who many believe will either get a long-term deal this offseason or the franchise tag. But aside from Byrd, there is some room for improvement, and the three players that made up the Jets' rotation at the position in 2012 under Pettine may all be available. LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell are both impending free agents; the buzz on Landry has been that he'll explore his options, while there hasn't been much chatter on Bell at all. Meanwhile, Eric Smith is due to earn $2.4 million in base salary in 2013, and is a candidate for release.
Pettine can't comment on players currently under contract with another team, and technically the Jets still own the rights to all three. But, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News went back and dug up some quotes from Pettine on his safeties from during the 2012 season, and he had some positive remarks on each. It would not be a shock to see any of them in a Bills uniform this fall.