In order to make a successful conversion from a 4-3 defense predicated on small, quick players to a 3-4 scheme, Buffalo's new coaching staff has been busy adding players with size. The team's second- and third-round draft picks were 314-pound nose tackle Torell Troup and 285-pound defense end Alex Carrington. Two linebackers added in the sixth round were Arthur Moats at 246 pounds and Danny Batten at 254. Free agent veteran LB Andra Davis is 250 and defensive end Dwan Edwards goes 290.
"It's important," said GM Buddy Nix of finding players suited for the 3-4. "We try not to be dictated completely by need but obviously you want to take guys that fit, too. Tom (VP of scouting Tom Modrak) and I but talked about it and if you're going to get big, you just about have to get big within the first three picks."
OLB Nic Harris, who suffered a knee injury late last season, was unable to take part in the team's recent rookie camp. "He's getting there. He's not 100 percent," coach Chan Gailey said. Gailey said he does expect Harris to be on the field for organized team activities in June but could not give an exact timetable on the player's recovery.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--DE Ryan Denney, a capable backup pass rusher, was told by the team he was free to shop his services.
--DB Todd Johnson appeared in eight games before going on injured reserve. Not a priority to be retained.
--OG Seth McKinney, an eight-year vet with 46 starts, was brought in for depth but couldn't stay healthy. Has been told he won't be brought back but things could change depending on status of Eric Wood, who is recovering from a badly broken leg.
--WR Terrell Owens, the future NFL Hall of Famer, was thanked by the club of his one-year of headline making and told he wouldn't be retained. He's 36 but should still draw some interest on the market.
--WR Josh Reed, who had 311 career catches in eight seasons, was informed he would not be offered a new contract and is free to shop his services.
--OG Kendall Simmons, a former standout for Pittsburgh, has been plagued by injuries for two seasons. Has been told to shop his services.
--LB Josh Stamer rejoined the team late in the season. Tough player who excels on special teams but team likely to explore more affordable options than paying a six-year minimum.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--LB Marcus Buggs (not tendered as ERFA) will be coming back from major knee surgery and could be brought back as a depth player.
--RB Justise Hairston (not tendered as ERFA) spent the entire year on injured reserve.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
--LB Jon Corto: ERFA; $470,000/1 yr.
--*LB Keith Ellison: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M million with sixth-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
--OT Christian Gaddis: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Cary Harris: ERFA; $395,000/1 yr.
--TE Joe Klopfenstein: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.
--TE Derek Schouman: RFA; (tendered at $1.684M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.684M/1 yr.
--SS Bryan Scott: Potential UFA; $3M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--TE Jonathan Stupar: ERFA; terms unknown.
--*S George Wilson: RFA; (tendered at $1.759M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.759M/1 yr.
--*CB Ashton Youboty: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M with third-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
--LB Andra Davis: FA Browns; $4.4M/2 yrs.
--DE Dwan Edwards: UFA Ravens; $18M/4 yrs.
--RT Cornell Green: UFA Raiders; $9M/3 yrs.
--WR Chad Jackson: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--TE Martin Matthews (waivers Lions).
--RB Chad Simpson: FA Colts; terms unknown.
--OT Brad Butler (retired).
--LB Chris Draft: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.
--TE Derek Fine (released).
--*QB Gibran Hamdan: Not tendered as RFA/Toronto-CFL).
--*OG Richie Incognito: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; $725,000/1 yr, $250,000 guaranteed.
--WR Justin Jenkins (released/failed physical).
--DE Jermaine McGhee (released/failed physical).
--LB Ashlee Palmer (released).
--C Marvin Philip (released/failed physical).
--OT Jonathan Scott: Not tendered as RFA/Steelers; $545,000/1 yr.
--DE Marcus Smith (released/failed physical).
--S John Wendling (released/failed physical).
Copyright (C) 2010 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.