Bills could be sending messages with new signings

Should we read anything into the Bills' latest signings, undrafted free agents Maurice Jackson and Jykine Bradley? Possibly.

It would be easier to say the Bills signed Jackson, a wide receiver and kick returner from Syracuse University, resulted from the arrests of Charlie Rogers, who was expected to fill those roles for Buffalo this season, and Rodney Wright. But, in truth, the Bills had tried out Jackson before Rogers had his altercation with police in New Jersey early Saturday.

There's more merit in thinking that signing Bradley, an All-Sun Belt Conference cornerback at Middle Tennessee State, was a message to sixth-round draft pick Kevin Thomas, young veteran Jason Bostic and others low on the depth chart.

The signings brought the number of Bills under contract to 82. They also have six draft picks, including Thomas, who haven't signed contracts. The team can take 85 players to camp – the 80-man limit, plus five exemptions for players who were in the NFL Europe League.

Bradley (whose first name is pronounced wah-KEEN) led Middle Tennessee in interceptions each of the last two seasons. The 5'10", 182-pounder was a three-year starter for the Blue Raiders. During two of those seasons, current Bills linebackers coach Miles Aldridge was at Middle Tennessee. In 2001, Bradley also led the team with 18 pass deflections, and was fourth with 53 tackles.

The 5'8", 179-pound Jackson started 13 of his 44 games at Syracuse, including seven as a senior. For his career, he caught 51 passes for 801 yards (15.7 average) and scored five touchdowns. He'll be returning to his hometown of Rochester, where he played at John Marshall High School, for the Bills' training camp.

The next signing, as we speculated in the current issue of Shout!, could be defensive tackle Josh Evans, who played for Gregg Williams with the Tennessee Titans. The Jets and Dolphins reportedly also are interested in signing Evans, who successfully appealed a suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

 


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