Grading Bills free agency signings

By Franklin Heinzmann

WRs Cole Beasley and John Brown: A

Picture by Keith Allison. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

The clear objective in signing both John Brown and Cole Beasley was to give QB Josh Allen receivers that he can trust. Cole Beasley slots in right away as a starting receiver. Beasley comes from the Dallas Cowboys after finishing last year with 65 catches for 672 yards and three touchdowns. He also finished 8thin the NFL amongst wide receivers in catch percentage (74.71) last season. Brown on the other hand was the leading receiver of the Baltimore Ravens last year in terms of terms of yards (715) and touchdowns (5). He is the epitome of a deep threat. According to Pro Football Focus, both Brown and WR Robert Foster finished in the top five in terms of Average Depth of Target last year. Look for the Bills to take the top off of defenses with Brown, and don’t expect Beasley to drop too many passes this season.

C Mitch Morse: B+

The Bills signed one of the best centers on the market in Mitch Morse. According to Pro

Morse (far left). Picture by Victor Araiza. Licensed by Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Football Focus, Morse hasn’t allowed a sack since his rookie season in 2015 and has only allowed one QB hit in the last 21 games (of playing 20+ snaps). Signing a center of this caliber should help stabilize what was a woeful offensive line last season. The only reason this signing doesn’t get an ‘A’ is because Morse, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, is injury prone. He’s only played in 18 out of a possible 32 games the last two seasons. That’s a bit of a gamble to take, but one the Bills were clearly willing to take as they made him the highest paid center in NFL when they signed him to a four-year contract worth $44,500,000 (according to

TE Tyler Kroft: C

Photo by Jeffery Beall. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

The Bills signing of former Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Kroft is a bit of a head scratcher.
His best season was in 2017, when he had 404 yards and seven touchdowns. The Bills passed over multiple tight ends in free agency that are coming off of career years, in terms of yards, including: Jared Cook, Nick Boyle, and Jesse James. At the worst, Kroft is a marginal improvement over former Bills TE Charles Clay, but he could be a great second option if the Bills choose to select another TE in this year’s draft to compliment Kroft.

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