Since he arrived in Buffalo, McCoy has been exciting and everything the Bills had hoped for. He was the perfect fit in a run first offense with the ability to break away and help in the passing game. Unfortunately, Father Time is undefeated and while he is also plagued by a bad line, his time is almost up. He is only averaging 3.3 yards per carry this season and isn’t getting younger as he creeps up to 31 years old. So with Buffalo having over 70 million in free cap space after the 2018 season, the time for a running back is now.
This isn’t a plea for the Bills to sign Kareem Hunt, his days are over as the videos of multiple incidents keep piling in. But Buffalo has quite a few draft picks and a ton of cap space next season. They also have the benefit of multiple running backs hitting the free agent market.
Just about everyone has heard about Bell and the drama of his season. Bell gambled on himself and decided he was not going to play for the Steelers this season. I get it, a running back has a short shelf life in the NFL and you need to make the money while you can. Bell has shown interest in playing for the Colts but multiple people have said Chris Ballard is trying to change the culture in Indianapolis. Bell is incredibly talented but you could also see why some people would be weary of signing him after all the drama of this season.
The Bills are most likely on the outside looking in for Bell but he would be the perfect fit. He is a bigger McCoy in his prime with his do it all skills. While he comes with a big price tag, allegedly around 17.5 million a year, the Bills have the money for a player that would take pressure off Josh Allen. The biggest issue would be convincing him to come to Buffalo, but hey, he wants to go to Indianapolis so it shouldn’t be that hard.
Ingram is set to hit the free agency market after spending his entire career in New Orleans. With the emergence of Alvin Kamara, Ingram has become expendable. He is likely to sign one last contract before riding off after a solid NFL career for the Heisman Trophy winner.
Ingram doesn’t have the talent of Bell but he is another great running back who would come with a much lower price tag. He really burst onto the scene the last two season and has shown he still has the skill to be a top 10 back. He is basically a down hill runner but needs to be given props for his growth in the passing game. If Kamara wasn’t in New Orleans, Ingram could be a three down back. He also doesn’t have eye popping career numbers because of the way he was used in the Saints system. He is a rhythm back who needs 20 carries a game. It is the same reason Adrian Peterson didn’t work for the Saints.
Buffalo would be a great fit as they have always been a run first team. Ingram isn’t a guy you give the ball to five times a game and expect big things. He is a more talented Chris Ivory and has the ability to catch out of the backfield and pass block. With multiple areas of concern for Buffalo, he could be a good back at a great price.
Ajayi is 25 years old and if the Eagles don’t resign him will be hitting the market. He was injured early this season but still has more touchdowns then McCoy does on the year. He is the same as the two above him as he can do it all. The theme for focusing on a multi-talented guy is to help Josh Allen. Buffalo is built to be a run first team but Allen has shown the ability to throw the ball. Having that safety valve that can make plays is huge for a young QB. Allen struggles with accuracy but someone that can make things happen catching passes out of the backfield will help his development.
Allen is the future, sorry to the Bills fans that don’t want to believe that but he is. But Allen is still rough and will probably need a few years of help until he comes into his own. Big Ben was the same way, so was Tom Brady. I’m not saying Allen is going to turn into those guys but even great QB’s needed to be carried in their first few seasons. Ajayi is the youngest of the three mentioned and has shown he can be a very talented back. He has some years left in him and coming off an injury will likely have a lower price tag. Of the three Ajayi would be the most realistic and a good fit.
The Bills are loaded with picks and cash for next season and possibly have their franchise QB in the building. This season didn’t go great but the future is definitely bright for Buffalo. Based on the way Buffalo has been built over the years, a high end running back is a must. McCoy can’t play forever and they have some other issues to take care of, running back should just be near the top of the list.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.