With Sammy Watkins (foot) and Zay Jones (knee) sidelined during OTAs, Holmes has been seeing plenty of action while demonstrating smooth route running and good field awareness, John Murphy of BuffaloBills.com reports. Everyone seems to want to pencil Jones into that No. 2 starting wideout spot, but that may be jumping to conclusions considering the rookie played his college ball at East Carolina, has yet to play an NFL down, and is now injured. Holmes seems like the safer play if the Bills choose to go that route, as he has plenty of pro experience and did catch 47 balls (four TD catches) for the 2014 Raiders. Assuming Jones gets back to health quickly, this might end up being a pretty good job battle this summer.
Holmes, signed in March to help the Bills rebuild their depleted receiving corps, will face added competition after the team drafted Zay Jones in the second round last weekend. The Bills traded up to get the rookie from East Carolina, and the talk already has him getting a fair shake at the vacant No. 2 position. Of course, Holmes offers more experience than Jones, though he's produced 25 or fewer catches in four of his five NFL seasons and doesn't have anywhere near the youngster's upside. That said, rookies have struggled to quickly grasp the pro game before, so consider this an open three-way battle for now, with Philly Brown also in the running.
Holmes will be part of an open battle for the starting job across from Sammy Watkins, The Buffalo News reports Head coach Sean McDermott said he expects his No. 2 wideout to emerge from the players already on the roster, but that assessment could change in a hurry if the Bills select a receiver in the early rounds of the upcoming draft. The current group includes Holmes, Philly Brown, Dez Lewis, Jeremy Butler, Walter Powell and Kolby Listenbee, with only Brown and Butler having recent experience handling major roles in an offense. Holmes did have 693 receiving yards for the Raiders in 2014, but he needed 98 targets to get there in a talent-deficient offense. His role declined drastically after the team added Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, with Holmes catching only 28 passes in 32 games over the past two years. He'll turn 29 before training camp and may have to fight for a roster spot.
Holmes has signed with the Bills, the team's official site reports. The signing was lingering all week and the Bills finally landed the four-year Raider on Saturday. It seems likely the Bills will take a wideout in the first or second round of the upcoming draft in an effort to land a guy to slot in opposite Sammy Watkins as a starting wideout, while such a scenario will leave Holmes and a host of other journeymen or unproven youngsters for the No. 3 and depth wideout spots. The Bills have now added four receivers to the roster this week alone, though Holmes has the size and experience the team might be looking for to fill a mildly important role -- without breaking the bank.
ESPN's Mike Rodak relays that both Holmes and a Bills spokesperson indicated that as of now the wideout has not signed with Bills. ESPN's Dan Graziano previously noted that Holmes was in line to sign a three-year, $4.5 million deal with the Bills, but evidently such a deal has not been finalized. For the time being at least, the 28-year-old wideout remains a free agent.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/10||New York Jets||19||22.75|
|7||10/22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||20||22.88|
|9||11/03||@New York Jets||19||22.75|
|10||11/12||New Orleans Saints||29||24.75|
|11||11/19||@Los Angeles Chargers||10||20.75|
|12||11/26||@Kansas City Chiefs||18||22.41|
|13||12/03||New England Patriots||7||19.74|
|16||12/24||@New England Patriots||7||19.74|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||52||25||340||4||17||13.60||58|