Buffalo Bills: jarius wynn

Continuing a series analyzing the economics of the Buffalo Bills' roster, position by position:

Position: Defensive end

Total cap value: $27,790,666
Compared to NFL average: 100.2 percent more
NFL positional rank: 2nd

Portion of Bills' total cap number: 23.2 percent

2014 cap numbers:
Mario Williams: $18.8 million (1st on Bills, 1st among NFL defensive ends)
Jerry Hughes: $3.995 million (Bills: 8th; NFL: 39th)
Manny Lawson: $3.1 million (Bills: 15th; NFL: 49th)
Jarius Wynn: $635,000 (Bills: 44th; NFL: tied for 102nd)
Bryan Johnson: $420,666 (Bills: 76th; NFL: tied for 185th)
Jacquies Smith: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 188th)
Ikponmwosa Igbinosun: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; tied for 188th)

Average per year:
Williams: $16 million (1st on Bills, 1st among NFL defensive ends)
Hughes: $2.53 million (Bills: 19th; NFL: 51st)
Lawson: $3 million (Bills: tied for 17th; NFL: tied for 45th)
Wynn: $795,000 (Bills: 33rd; NFL: NFL: tied for 89th)
Johnson: $510,667 (Bills: 66th; NFL: tied for 170th)
Smith: $465,000 (Bills: tied for 84th; NFL: tied for 207th)
Igbinosun: $465,000 (Bills: tied for 84th; NFL: tied for 207th)

Most overpaid: Williams. This is a debate that has flown under the radar as Williams has progressed through his deal. He'll turn in dominating performances, like his 4.5 sack game against Carolina last season, and make big plays, as he did at the end of the Bills' road win in Miami last October. Yet Williams' salary cap hit is 835 percent higher than the average cap hit of an NFL defensive end and the fourth-highest cap hit this season in the NFL (behind Ndamukong Suh, Eli Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger). Is Williams worth it? After starting at a "modest" $9.8 million in 2012 and $12.4 million last season, he's now getting into the meat of his contract. Williams' cap number grows to $19 million in 2015 and $19.9 million in 2016. That's top quarterback territory, and I'm not sure Williams delivers that sort of impact to the Bills.

In a recent piece Insider for ESPN Insider, Pro Football Focus' Nathan Jahnke placed Williams among the top 10 most overpaid players in the NFL.

Most underpaid: None. I would give Hughes some consideration for this title, but he still needs to prove that his 10 sacks last season were more than the product of Mike Pettine's blitz-heavy scheme. With Hughes entering the final year of his contract, the Bills could have chosen to extend him this offseason. They didn't, which was the right call. I would call him slightly underpaid at the moment but Hughes must turn in another good season before he earns more than that in his next deal.

Bills Bubble Watch: Jarius Wynn

June, 19, 2014
Jun 19
(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2014.)

Name: Jarius Wynn

Position: Defensive end

Age: 27

2013 stats: 15 games (2 starts), 11 tackles, two sacks, two passes defensed -- for Dallas and San Diego

Chance of making 53-man roster: 70 percent

Why he should make it: Wynn is an ideal reserve option along the defensive line. He has some versatility, having played 3-4 defensive end and 4-3 defensive tackle in his career. The Bills are starting him out at 4-3 defensive end, but at 285 pounds, Wynn could still slide inside as an interior pass-rusher. The Bills were thin at defensive end this spring following a scheme change on defense and Wynn helped to fill the void.

Why he shouldn't make it: If Wynn loses his roster spot, it will likely be to a younger player -- Jacquies Smith or Ikponmwosa Igbinosun. With Mario Williams and Manny Lawson out during organized team activities (OTAs), the Bills called on Smith for some first-team reps. If the Bills settle on Williams, Jerry Hughes, and Lawson as their top three defensive ends and Smith (or Igbinosun) deserves to stick around coming out of training camp, then it could push Wynn off the roster.

Closest competition: Smith, Igbinosun, Lawson
In his pre-draft gathering with reporters Friday, general manager Doug Whaley didn't shy away from identifying one area where the Buffalo Bills need some help.

"I think with the 4-3, we could use some more defensive end depth," Whaley said. "But we signed some guys who are unproven, so we're excited but we just got to wait and see there."

With the arrival of Jim Schwartz, the Bills are expected to have Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes at the top of their defensive end depth chart. Yet, unless they address the position in the draft, Williams and Hughes could play upwards of 90 percent of snaps, which isn't a formula for success for most pass-rushers. They'll need rest at some point.

Hughes is 254 pounds -- a far cry from Williams, at 292 pounds -- and he'll need to add some bulk if the Bills want him to play an early-down role at defensive end. The same is true for the lanky, 240-pound Manny Lawson, who is without a natural home in Schwartz's scheme after starting at strong side linebacker in Mike Pettine's system. Whaley's comments Friday suggest that Lawson won't play much of a role at defensive end.

That leaves the 285-pound Jarius Wynn, who the Bills signed earlier this month, as the probable third option unless replaced through the draft. Most of Wynn's NFL experience has come as a 3-4 defensive end, so it's a bit of a projection if the Bills line him up at defensive end in their 4-3 scheme. With Wynn's size, he may even be better suited as an interior rusher than an edge player like Williams or Hughes.

Who's left after Wynn? A pair of players who have never played an NFL snap: Jacquies Smith and Ikponmwosa Igbinosun. At 260 pounds, Smith is smaller and more compact, while Igbinosun is sturdier, at 286 pounds. Smith was a productive pass-rusher at Missouri but has yet to emerge on the NFL level.

How would Whaley ideally like his defensive line? He made a comment Friday about the Seattle Seahawks that could answer that question.

"This is a copycat league. The team that won the Super Bowl is the Seattle Seahawks and they have a ‘NASCAR’ package," he said. "That’s a package where they have a lot of speed on the defensive line coming at you in passing downs."

It's not necessarily a new concept. The New York Giants used a speed-based line to win the Super Bowl in 2007, subbing Justin Tuck in for a defensive tackle to supplement the pass rush from Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora.

Right now, the Bills don't have the personnel to do that. Williams and Hughes are a starting point, but they'll need more.

Bills draft preview: Defensive end

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
As we step away on vacation, we'll provide a position-by-position preview of next month's draft from a Buffalo Bills perspective:

Position: Defensive end

Current personnel: Mario Williams (signed through 2017), Jerry Hughes (2014), Manny Lawson (2016), Jarius Wynn (2014), Jacquies Smith (2015), Ikponmwosa Igbinosun (2015)

Draft need: Moderate

State of the position: This position has changed under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Hughes and Lawson figure to split playing time across from Williams in Schwartz's base 4-3 alignment, with Hughes expected to see significant playing time in sub packages. Lawson is a bit of a question mark, a tweener who doesn't have a well-defined role in the defense. He's too tall and lanky to be a stout run defender on early downs, while he lacks the pass-rushing skills of Hughes or Williams to be a force on passing downs. Lawson could see time as a linebacker but lacks the athleticism to play there full-time. General manager Doug Whaley has already indicated that Keith Rivers and Kiko Alonso are penciled in as outside linebackers.

Given Lawson's uncertainty and Hughes entering the final year of his contract -- and possibly set to cash in with another strong season -- it would make sense for the Bills to target defensive end in the draft. There's an outside chance that they could roll the dice and try to move up for Jadaveon Clowney or Khalil Mack, but the much more likely scenario is that they keep an eye out for a defensive end in the mid rounds. The ideal player would be around 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds with some potential as a pass rusher.

Sweet spot: Mid rounds.

Possible targets: Scott Crichton (Oregon State), Trent Murphy (Stanford), Chris Smith (Arkansas), James Gayle (Virginia Tech)
The Buffalo Bills signed defensive end Jarius Wynn on Tuesday.

Wynn, 27, is with his fifth NFL team. He was a sixth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2009 and has appeared in 58 career games, making six starts.

He split time with the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers last season, recording 11 tackles and two sacks in 15 games.

At 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, the bulk of Wynn's experience has come as a defensive end in a 3-4 alignment, making his fit hard to project within the Bills' 4-3 defense. He provides more size at defensive end than Jerry Hughes or Manny Lawson but isn't as athletic as either of those players.

Wynn figures to compete for a roster spot during training camp and could be part of the defensive line rotation with a strong preseason.