Free Agent Focus: OGs

With the start of free agency only a week away we at Bills Report have decided to look closely at some of the free agents out there that we feel the Bills could realistically sign. We will focus on one position each day this week.

In our first article, we'll start with the most immediate need and that's the offensive line, specifically the interior. Although the Bills did re-sign Ross Tucker, we feel the Bills will look to find a proven veteran to start at right guard.

We feel the best veteran guard is Cosey Coleman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only problem is Coleman has played left guard in Tampa and while Ruben Brown is getting older, and many seem to think it's time to let him go we don't. We feel this way because it's far easier to replace one guard then two, not to mention salary cap implications of releasing Brown and that the Bills are only an expected $6.8 million under the cap to begin with. Coleman is a three year starter who was a second round pick in 2000. He's started 47 of the 55 games he's started in the NFL regular season and also earned a Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers in 2002.

The next guy on the list is right guard Adam Timmerman of the St. Louis Rams. Timmerman is a 9 year pro who has started 127 of 141 career NFL games. He joined the league in 1995 as a 7th Round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers. Like Coleman, Timmerman also has Super Bowl experience. Last year the Redskins signed offensive guard Randy Thomas to a seven year $28 million contract including a $7 million signing bonus, if Coleman or Timmerman are looking for this type of contract the Bills will likely be looking to alternatives as it's thought the Bills are only $6.8 million under the cap.

One name that might draw some interest is Chris Villarrial of the Bears. The eight year veteran has been a steady performer and a fixture at right guard for the Bears since being drafted in the 5th Round of the 1996 draft. It was reported last week that he's seeking a fair market contract which would mean he'd ask for about $1.5 million per year that could be within the Bills price range. Also of note Villarrial did attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania where both Bills President Tom Donahoe and Vice President Tom Modrak also went to school.

Another option might be Bobbie Williams. Williams was originally a 2nd Round pick in 2000 out of Arkansas by the then GM of the Eagles and current Bills Vice President Tom Modrak. Williams missed most of his first two seasons in the league because of injury and saw some time as a backup in 2001 but started 11 games last season for the Eagles at right guard. Williams is a guy that could be a good fit because some teams may be wary because of his injured filled past and limited experience and he'd likely not cost as much as the aforementioned guards.

Another lesser name is Jeno James of the NFC champion Carolina Panthers. Prior to last year James was a spot starter for the Panthers but started all 16 games last year at left guard. Like Bobbie Williams, he could likely be signed to a smaller contract and help the Bills both in the short term and long term due to being only four year veterans with limited playing time.

One final name to remember is Shaun O'Hara of the Browns. The Bills showed an interest in him last off-season when he was a restricted free agent. Yet he elected to re-sign with the Browns because Buffalo couldn't guarantee him a starting spot. That could change this off-season as O'Hara is now unrestricted and the Bills have a seemingly bigger emphasis on fixing the offensive line this off season. Part of the appeal initially in O'Hara is that he can play both guard and center. Speaking of centers that will be the position we will be focusing on tomorrow.

Buffalo Football Report Top Stories