Jason Peters Watch is heating up as both sides number-crunch themselves in circles.
Buffalo may be bracing for the loss of its starting left tackle as more high-profile tackles continue to come in for visits.
Smith has developed a scorned rep after ducking out of the NFL Combine and having an underwhelming performance at Alabama's Pro Day. Smith, once considered a candidate at the No. 1 overall pick, is almost guaranteed to slide to the Bills at No. 11.
Smith only had 19 repetitions on the bench press at his pro day. For context, 55 offensive linemen had more reps than that at the NFL Combine. Still, Smith showed enough last season in Alabama's power offense to warrant a first-round pick. The Crimson Tide climbed to No. 1 in the nation late in the season behind a rushing game that churned out 185 yards per game – second-best in the cutthroat SEC.
The Bills and Jason Peters have reportedly opened up negotiations, but the two sides are not most likely miles away from an agreement.
Peters wants to be paid as the richest lineman in the NFL, higher than the $13 million per year Jordan Gross will earn with Carolina. Don't count on the Bills meeting his unrealistic demand. Peters allowed 11.5 sacks in only 13 games last year – more than any starting left tackle in the league. Despite his two straight Pro Bowl bids, Peters hasn't quite established himself as the best offensive lineman in the game.
That being said, perception differs from team-to-team. The Philadelphia Eagles and other teams surely would be open to the possibility of a trade and colossal contract, too. For more on that, read this column. The Eagles have two late first-round picks as ammunition.
And that is where Buffalo's interest in Andre Smith makes sense. Smith's nightmarish pre-draft charades could drop him to the lower portion of the draft, behind Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher and Jason Smith. Considering the team also met with Arizona tackle Eben Britton, there is justifiable reason to believe that they could be looking to acquire a late first-round pick for Peters.
In other visit news, one defensive end the Bills met with is quickly becoming a hot commodity across the league.
As reported here on Scout.com, Connor Barwin began his flurry of visits at One Bills Drive. Barwin said his trip went great. He spoke highly of the direction of the franchise and new defensive line coach Bob Sanders told Barwin how he'd use him in the Bills' scheme. But it's starting to look like Barwin will not slip to Buffalo in the second-round. After running a 4.4 at 260 pounds, Barwin is drawing a ton of interest. Scout.com has learned that Barwin has received serious interest from Baltimore, Arizona, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and the New York Jets.
Though Barwin still needs to refine his skill-set at defensive end – he only played the position one year at Cincinnati – he has the potential to be a dangerous pass-rusher. Not many prospects have ever possessed his blend of size, speed and athleticism.
For constant updates on which prospects are visiting the Bills, be sure to check out BuffaloFootballReport.com's DRAFT VISITS thread in the BFR VIP forum.